Category Archives: Events

United We Grow: Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmer Conference

“You are a part of something bigger than you are.”

Those were the inspiring words of Wayne Humphreys during his opening keynote at the 2016 Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmer Conference this past weekend. Held in Indianapolis, the conference brought together more than 500 young farmers and Ag professionals like myself to learn from industry experts (and each other) on hot topics within the agriculture industry.

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At the conference I was joined by five other Marion County Young Ag Professionals. On Friday evening we participated in a new volunteer event to help Gleaners Food Bank – “CANstruction”. We teamed up with the rest of District 6 to create a structure out of cans and decorate it for a competition. Attendees would then vote on their favorite during the conference. There were some really creative creations, but I am proud to announce that our district was voted the winning structure! All of the cans were donated to Gleaner’s after the conference.

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Saturday we spent the day attending breakout sessions and recognizing county chapters for their outstanding work during this past year. The breakouts I attended included two round-table discussions on livestock issues and niche markets, as well as a social media session from Brian Scott of The Farmer’s Life on how to effectively communicate your farm story on social media.

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All of these breakouts brought some great discussion, updates on current industry topics, and beneficial facts to take back to our jobs and farms.

To wrap up the conference, we enjoyed some evening entertainment with a live auction, Ag Olympics, and performance by country band, Darlington Road.

Leaving the conference I reflected back on something Wayne Humphrey’s said at the start of the day.

“Agriculture is becoming more complicated. Not only because of new technologies, but also because of the challenge of communicating about them and educating consumers. But we’re doing the best we can with what we have in this day. When something new arises, we find out what it is, we visit, we learn, and we grow together.”

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His message coupled perfectly with the theme of this year’s conference: United We Grow. And that is exactly what we did – we visited, we learned, and we grew to become better agriculturalists.

Thank you to Marion County Farm Bureau for giving us the opportunity to attend and expand our leadership in agriculture.

BoilermakerAg

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Boilermakers Continue to Celebrate Agriculture with Purdue Ag Week

Hello everyone! I hope you’re having a great week so far! Have you had a chance to catch any of my other posts about Purdue Ag Week?  If so, what did you think? Have you learned anything new about agriculture? If not, you can read about them here, here, here and here. (Then return to the question above and let me know if you learned anything new.) 🙂

Learning new things about agriculture is one of the main goals of Purdue Ag Week, and the ag students are doing a great job of educating their peers about all areas of agriculture. One way they are doing this is by daily agriculture quizzes. Each day members of the Ag Week Task Force have been giving away prizes when students take a quiz about agriculture. This year, they are having students take the quiz (which features different questions each day) on their phones so they can better record the scores. Once students are done with the quiz, a Task Force member will hand them an answer sheet and go over the answers with them, along with a fun prize!

Want to test out your knowledge of agriculture? Give the quizzes a try for yourself! Here is the link to Thursday’s quiz. Answers to the questions will be posted on the Purdue Ag Week Facebook page so check back at the end of the day to see how you did! (I’ll also add the link on here after they have been released.)

In addition to the daily ag quizzes there have been some awesome events so far, with even more in store for Thursday and Friday.

Purdue Ag Week - Thursday

Thursday is the ever-popular “Pet A (Goat) Kid” event, along with a diversity in agriculture session from the MANNRS Club, a “Truth or Myth” Ice Cream session from the Food Science Club, mini tractor pulls and various other club events throughout Memorial Mall.

Thursday Instagram Challenge: Take a selfie with a farm animal featured during Ag Week events. Then, post it to your Instagram account along with the hashtags #mAGnifyPurdue and #mAGnifyChallenge and you’ll be entered to win a prize!

Celebration of Agriculture: 8 – 10 p.m. (Memorial Mall)
Thursday night will be a Celebration of Agriculture, a social event for the entire Purdue student body, where students can join together in community to continue conversations about agriculture. They will have free pork burgers along with other food, games and music. The goal for this event is to create an opportunity to build a sense of community within the College of Ag and with students from other colleges, too!

Celebration of Ag Social

To wrap up the week, there will be three club events on Friday from the Cattleman’s Club, Ag Business Club and IAAE. As well as another daily ag quiz and Instagram challenge!

Purdue Ag Week - Friday

Friday Daily Ag Quiz: See just how much you know about agriculture with the final daily quiz. To give it a try, click here. Then head over to the Purdue Ag Week Facebook page to find out how you did. (As mentioned above, I will post the link to these answers as well after they are released.)

Friday Instagram Challenge: “Favorite Photo Friday” – Post a picture of your favorite Ag Week memory and make sure to include the hashtags #mAGnifyPurdue or #mAGnifyChallenge.

 


Continuing the Conversation After Ag Week:
Purdue Ag Week will be coming to a close after Friday, but it is my hope that the conversation about agriculture will continue throughout the year. Agriculture, and the farmers and ranchers who dedicate their lives to growing our food, are so incredibly important to all of us and we shouldn’t take them for granted. I encourage you to join me in thanking farmers and appreciating our country’s advances in agriculture by following some of these agriculture causes:

Congrats to all of my fellow Boilermakers on a successful Ag Week!

 

BoilermakerAg

 

 

 

 

Purdue Ag Week: Wednesday – Farmer’s Breakfast and Oxfam Hunger Banquet

When you go to the grocery store to buy bread, apples, milk, eggs, cereal, cheese, spinach, etc., have you ever thought about how much of the price goes back to the farmer?

Probably not. The amount might surprise you.

Did you know that for every dollar spent on food in America, farmers only receive 12 cents back? 12 cents! The other 88 cents goes to packaging, food processing, transportation, retail trade, food services, energy to keep goods cool, and finance and insurance.

Farmer’s Breakfast: 9 – 11 a.m. (Class of 1950 Building)
This is another misconception that Purdue Ag students are trying to bring awareness to during Purdue Ag Week. Many people think they are paying a lot for food while farmers get rich off the profits. But in reality, farmers put a lot of time, effort and resources into growing a product they don’t end up getting much financial return on.

To demonstrate this, students from the Ag Communicators of Tomorrow and Collegiate 4-H are holding a Farmer’s Breakfast. During this event, students will receive a complete breakfast (that would normally cost them $2.00) for only 25 cents. This amount demonstrates how much the farmer would earn back from the cost of that meal.

The fact that farmers do so much work for not much in return just shows how much passion they have for what they do. Farming is truly a lifestyle and you can’t just be in farming for the money. Because on average, you won’t make a ton. Farmers simply do it for the satisfaction of helping feed the world.

So next time you see a farmer, give them a thank you for their hard work and selflessness. They deserve it.

 

Oxfam America Hunger Banquet: 6 – 9 p.m. (PMU Faculty Lounges) – RSVP Required
Also on Wednesday, Ag Week Task Force will be hosting 100 students for an Oxfam America Hunger Banquet where students will get a firsthand experience with the effects of global hunger and listen to a keynote address from Libby Crimmings of the World Food Prize.

But this isn’t just your normal dinner banquet. At an Oxfam America Hunger Banquet, the place where you sit, and the meal that you eat, are determined by the luck of the draw—just as in real life some of us are born into relative prosperity and others into poverty.

hunger banquetPhoto: Josh Kuroda – http://www.oxfamamerica.org/

When guests arrive, they draw tickets at random that assign each to a high-, middle-, or low-income tier—based on the latest statistics about the number of people living in poverty. Each income level receives a corresponding meal. The 20 percent in the high-income tier are served a sumptuous meal; the 30 percent in the middle-income section eat a simple meal of rice and beans; and the 50 percent in the low-income tier help themselves to small portions of rice and water.

That would give you a big dose of reality, wouldn’t it?

A master of ceremonies reads a script to guide participants through the interactive event. Finally, all guests are invited to share their thoughts after the meal and to take action to right the wrong of poverty.

I had never heard of this experience before, but I think it is such a creative way to bring awareness to hunger and poverty. Because as with as many resources as we have in this world, hunger and poverty shouldn’t be something people should have to worry about.

If you’re at Purdue and would like to attend the Hunger Banquet, sign up here: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0b4fabae2ca4fe3-oxfam

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Ag Week is only at the half way point, and I just have to say how impressed and proud I am to see students putting together all of these excellent events to help bring awareness to the various parts of agriculture.

I can’t wait to see the rest of the things they have in store!

Tomorrow I will be sharing about Ag Week events for Thursday and Friday. Thursday is the ever-popular “Pet A (Goat) Kid” event, along with mini tractor pulls and various other club events. Thursday night will be a Celebration of Agriculture, a social event where students can join together in community to continue conversations about agriculture. And wrapping up the week on Friday will be three club events from the Cattleman’s Club, Ag Business Club and IAAE.

Happy Ag Week!

 

BoilermakerAg

In Honor of Pi Day: Cushaw Squash Pie

I originally wrote this post for my contribution to RuralHousewives.com back in November, but never got around to posting it on this blog. Well, today is the day. It’s Pi Day! And what better excuse to honor this special “Once in a Century” Pi Day than with a special pie recipe!

In case you forgot since freshman geometry class, Pi (π) is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Pi is a constant number, meaning that for all circles of any size, Pi will be the same. The diameter of a circle is the distance from edge to edge, measuring straight through the center. The circumference of a circle is the distance around. *

Today is a very special Pi Day that comes but once in a century. The date, 3-14-15 will be the only time before 2115 that the date reflects five digits of the magical, infinite number, 3.141592653… Oh and be sure to note the time 9:26:53 this morning and night, when even more digits will match pi!**

The star ingredient of this pie (which is very special to my family), cushaw squash, is grown in the fall. But you can stick this recipe in your recipe box and save it for when fall rolls back around! Hope you enjoy!

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NOVEMBER 11, 2014 — During the fall, the typical star ingredient is pumpkin. And there are pages upon pages of recipes for it. But as this Thanksgiving approaches, I wanted to feature a unique ingredient that is sure to win the rookie of the year award at your Thanksgiving table…squash! But this is not just any ole’ squash recipe, it is my family’s traditional Cushaw Squash Pie!

“Squash pie?!” you might be asking. “That sounds awful!” Well let me tell you, it’s anything but awful! It could win over pumpkin pie any day in my book.

To me, squash pies are a familiar family favorite and are the star of the show every Thanksgiving. But as I’ve gotten older it seems that few people know about them!

As I started thinking about it even more, I realized that I hadn’t had much experience making them. That was always Grandma’s job! So when I was home this weekend I took the opportunity to spend some quality time with my wonderful grandparents and learn exactly how to make one of our favorite family recipes.

And since this recipe is just SO incredibly good, I am going to share it with you too!

Before we get started, I’ll give you a little more background on what cushaw squash actually is.

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Cushaw squash  – “wait, that’s not just a gourd?”

The green-striped cushaw is a crookneck squash that typically weighs 10 to 20 pounds and grows to be 12 to 18 inches long. The skin is whitish-green with mottled green stripes and the flesh is light-yellow. It is mild and slightly sweet in flavor; meaty in texture and fibrous.

It is sometimes called “cushaw pumpkin” and is often substituted for the standard, orange, jack-o-lantern pumpkin in pie-making.

Cushaw is mainly grown in the southern and southwestern United States. It is a hardy plant, one that tolerates heat and resists the deadly vine borer; can be grown easily in vegetable gardens, and it can be stored for an unusually long time. While the green-striped cushaw is not endangered per se, it tends to be grown in small batches for private use, and is not widely available in retail markets. Although widely known, the cushaw is a favorite ingredient in a few culinary cultures, including to some southwest Native Americans, to the southern Appalachians, and to the Louisiana Creoles and Italians.

Making cushaw butter is a family tradition in Tennessee, and all around Appalachia cooks prefer to use cushaws in their pumpkin pies.

This squash pie recipe has been passed down from my great grandma, Mary Alice Griffin (“Grannie Griffin” as we refer to her), who grew up in Blackford, Kentucky. And according to my grandma Patsy, aka “Grannie Pat”, it may have even been passed down from Grannie Griffin’s mom, Florence.

My mom and grandparents recently took a trip to Blackford to revisit some of the places grandma and great grandma grew up and it was incredibly fascinating to learn about! I wasn’t able to go, but my mom captured some wonderful pictures to keep as memories of the trip and our family’s history.

Veteran’s Day

As I was writing this, I remembered that today is Veteran’s Day. I wasn’t sure at first if I was going to be able to incorporate that into my post about squash, but as I was looking back through the pictures my mom took, I was reminded that Blackford, KY also has a wonderful Veteran’s memorial!

That was the perfect sign that I couldn’t, and shouldn’t, go without recognizing its significance in my post.

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My grandpa Jim, or “Gramps” as I like to affectionately call him, was a veteran of the Korean War and was also along on the trip to Blackford. He enjoyed looking at the bricks in the memorial and even found one of my Grandma’s uncle, Major!

 

Family and history have always been important to me, but I think I have come to appreciate them even more as I get older. And one thing I try to always remind myself is that our country is what it is today because of the people who have come before us and worked to build it.

So today, this post goes out to the Veterans in my family as well as all of the brave men and women who have fought, and are still fighting, to keep our country safe. From the bottom of my heart I want to say, THANK YOU.

Squash Pie with Grannie Pat

This past Saturday I invited Grannie and Gramps over to my parents’ house and got a lesson in Squash Pie making – straight from the pro. My sister was there to help document the day with pictures, allowing me to fully concentrate on learning all the tips and tricks. And my dad, well, he was just there to be the taste tester. 🙂 It was such a fun afternoon!

Alright, now let’s get down to business. The first step is to cook you squash. This can be a little bit of a process so be sure to plan in advance. I found a great tutorial on how to cook cushaw squash from The Novice Chef, but my Grannie Pat’s way of doing it seems even easier!

Step 1: Cooking Squash

Begin by washing one cushaw squash. Cut the neck of the squash off and cut into slices, (like the Novice Chef suggests). Then, cut the main part of the squash inhalf and scoop out the seeds like a pumpkin. Once that is done, cut the squash into large chunks. Here’s the difference in this technique – DON’T worry about peeling the squash before you cook it. And trust me, you’ll be glad you don’t have to worry about it because peeling a squash like this is a pain!

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Cook the squash in boiling water until the pulp of squash is soft. Let cool and the peel will slide right off. Once the peel has been removed and the squash is cool, place it in a food mill, food processor, or blender and puree until smooth. This creates the pulp for the pies.

(My mom had several bags of squash pre-cooked so we didn’t do the whole cooking process during this lesson, but it seems pretty straight forward.)

We store the pulp in Ziplock bags in the freezer. This can be kept up to three months or you can also can the squash to save for the whole year! We can it in chunks, not as a puree.

Step 2: Make Crust & Prep Pie Plate

Since we were going all out for this example, we decided to make homemade crust, but if you’re in a hurry, store bought pie crust will be fine as well. Grannie said that’s all she ever uses now days!

Grannie Pat Tip #1: Before putting your pie crust in the pan, rub some butter around in the bottom of the pan and it will prevent the crust from sticking to the bottom.

Place your pie crust on your pie plate. Since we were rolling our dough out, we rolled the crust up on a rolling pin to help keep it in good form as we transferred it to the pan. Make sure to press your crust down around the entire bottom of sides and so you’re not short when you cut the excess crust off the edges.

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Once you have your pie crust positioned, cut the excess crust off around the edge of the pie plate. And I always like to add a decorative little fluted edge around my pies just for presentation.

Step 3: Preheat Oven and Make the Pie Filling

Before you start with the filling, remember to preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

For the filling, start by breaking two eggs into a large mixing bowl and add 1 ½ cups of sugar. (The original recipe calls for 1 ¼, but Grannie Pat always adds extra.) Beat until smooth and then add in your squash pulp.

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Grannie Pat # 2: If you want to make great big thick pies, just double the recipe for the filling.

Next add in the milk and vanilla. For this, Grannie says it doesn’t hurt if you put more than the recipe calls for so just eyeball it. In this case, I added about ¼ teaspoon more that the recipe says. Depending on your strength of vanilla extract, this can be increased or decreased.

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I was using our local town’s specialty, Grandpa Derr’s Vanilla Extract, which is a little bit stronger than most varieties so I didn’t add too much over.

And finally, you’re going to add a thickening agent of flour and water, (also known as a roux). To do this, get a little bowl and put 2 Tbsp of flour into a ¼ cup of cold water. Sometimes she just guesses at it without really measuring. Keep mixing it with a fork until all of the flour is dissolved in the water.

Grannie Pat Tip #3: The more of this you put in the faster it bakes and the thicker it gets. Grandma usually doubles it and decreases the baking time if she’s in a hurry.

Once dissolved, add to mixture and beat a little more until combined.

Step 4: Building Pie and Baking:

Before you pour the filling into the crust, I have one awesome little secret for you. This one comes straight from Grannie Griffin. Her trick was to sprinkle the pie crust with some sugar before you pour anything in. Her reason, not sure. But why not?

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Pour the filling into two unbaked pie crusts and sprinkle the tops with cinnamon and nutmeg. (Grandma does more cinnamon and less nutmeg.)

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Then place in the oven for at least 45 minutes. Grannie Pat’s original recipe says to bake for 15 minutes at 425 and then reduce to 350 until set. But depending on your oven, you may want to just watch it to see what works best. And be sure to keep checking them to see if they shake.

Grannie Pat Tip # 4: You need the right amount of shake! They’ll still shake when they’re done, but you just have to keep watching them. (This comes from years of practice so until you become a pro at identifying this shake; you can stick a knife down in the pie to test it. When the knife comes out clean, the pie is done. If filling is left on the knife, keep baking for a few minutes.)

Once the pies are done, let them completely cool on a cooling rack before serving. This allows it to fully set up and obtain the consistency of the familiar pumpkin pie.

Serve with cool whip and store leftovers in the refrigerator… if there are any. 🙂

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This blog was longer than I normally write so if you’ve made it this far I want to thank you for taking the time to read about my family’s history and this recipe that is so special to us.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with your family and I’d love to hear if you decide to add our squash pie to the menu!

Full Printable Recipe: Cushaw Squash Recipe

 

Photos courtesy of Ali Nord and Becky Nord
*Information courtesy of http://www.piday.org/learn-about-pi/
**Information courtesy of http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/03/14/pi-day-kids-videos/24753169/

Preview: American Spirits at the Indiana State Museum

On Jan. 17, 1920, the 18th Amendment put into place a nationwide ban prohibiting Americans from manufacturing, selling or transporting alcohol which remained in place from 1920 to 1933. This time period is commonly known as Prohibition.

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It’s something we all learned about in history class, but most likely, rarely think about today. As a fan of history, I sat down to write this blog thinking that I had a pretty good knowledge of Prohibition and the time period of the1920s and 30s. But I soon realized that there is so much more that I have to learn!

That is why I am excited to be touring the new exhibit in the Indiana State Museum, “American Spirits, The Rise and Fall of Prohibition” this Saturday!

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Not only do I get to learn more about our country’s history, I also am looking forward to learning more about the “spirits” we all enjoy from time to time. If you’ve come across any of my Indiana Vino Adventure blogs, you may have learned that I really enjoy a good glass of wine. (In fact, I mayyyy or may not be having a glass as I write this) 🙂

As I was researching Prohibition, I quickly found out that some wine was actually still allowed for religious reasons. Whew – I would have survived! 🙂

Inside the Exhibit
The “American Spirits” exhibit, on view at the Indiana State Museum Sept. 20, 2014 through Feb. 15, 2015 was created by the National Constitution Center.  It spans the dawn of the temperance movement in the early 1800s, through the Roaring ’20s, to the unprecedented repeal of a constitutional amendment during the Great Depression. It includes stories of flappers and suffragists, bootleggers and temperance lobbyists and real-life legends like Al Capone and Carrie Nation.

The 5,000-square-foot exhibition, curated by Daniel Okrent, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, features more than 100 rare artifacts; recreated environments (from a church where visitors can hear [and deliver] temperance speeches to a speakeasy where they can learn the Charleston and the slang of the time to a law-enforcement office where visitors can explore efforts to stop bootlegging) and several multimedia experiences.

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In addition, the exhibition includes interactives such as Wayne Wheeler’s Amazing Amendment Machine, (pictured left) which is a carnival-inspired installation that traces the complex political and legal maneuvering behind the passage of the 18th Amendment.

So cool, right?

Not only does the exhibit share nationwide facts, It also features our very own state, Indiana! Indiana’s stories of the temperance movement, Prohibition and the cultural ferment of the 1920s, are just as colorful helping to shape the national attitude toward Prohibition. Stories like Billy Sunday’s, who moved his family to Indiana in 1911, evolving from a popular professional baseball player to an evangelical Christian. (His strong support of Prohibition played a significant role in the adoption of the 18th Amendment.) Other Hoosier stories include legends May Wright Sewall, a leader in Indiana’s woman suffrage movement, who dedicated her life to peace and Grace Julian Clarke, an influential writer for the Indianapolis Star, to name a few.

Check out a sneak peek of the exhibit below:

Details and Admissions
The exhibit opens to Members on Friday Sept 19th and to the general public on Sept. 20th. Tickets are now on sale for Indiana State Museum members and general admission guests. Tickets are $13 for adults, $12 for seniors and college students, $8.50 for children ages 12 and under. Member admission is included in membership. For more information about the exhibit, special events, online ticket sales and more, visit indianamuseum.org.

I’d love for you to join me!

Agriculture and American Spirits
As a member of the agriculture industry, I also thought this would be a neat opportunity to share some ag facts about “American Spirits”! You may be asking yourself, what role does agriculture play in all this? You probably don’t think about it, but farmers are the biggest source of ingredients for alcoholic drinks! You may have known about corn from Luke Bryan’s song, “Rain is a Good Thing” where he references, “Rain makes corncorn makes whisky” but…

DID YOU KNOW that crops such as barley, sorghum, rice, hops, apples, wheat, grapes, sugarcane, and even potatoes are also used to make different kinds of alcohol?

This means that when Prohibition was put into place, the demand for crops declined, putting even more economic pressures on farmers.

As I tour the “American Spirits” exhibit this weekend, I am also going to focus on highlighting how agriculture is involved in the various aspects of the exhibit as well as the beverage industry in general. I’ll be live tweeting from the event too so if you’d like to get a sneak peek of what’s inside, be sure to follow me at @Chelsea_PA on Twitter!

And to share all of the fun things I learned while at the exhibit, I’ll post a recap blog as well as provide more insight into all things “Agriculture and American Spirits” – so be sure to check back next week!

~Chelsea

 

 

Museum Social Media Information:
Website: www.indianamuseum.org
FB: www.facebook.com/indiana.state.museum
Twitter: @IndianaMuseum
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/indianamuseum
Websta: websta.me/n/indianamuseum​
​Trip Advisor: www.tripadvisor.com
Instagram: instagram.com/indianamuseum
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/IndianaStateMuseum
​Yelp: www.yelp.com/biz/indiana-state-museum-indianapolis​ 

Hashtag for the exhibit:   #ISMSpirits

Credits: Indiana State Museum Press Release. American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition(italicize) was created by the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. Local Sponsors – Supported by: 21st Amendment; Contributors: Barnes and Thornburg LLP, Republic National Distributing Company and American Harvest Vodka.

Happy Meals To Promote The Importance Of Reading – McIndyMom’s Give-A-Way

As I scrolled through social media pages and blog posts over the weekend, I started to see the familiar “thankful” posts that are published each November. I always enjoy these.  I have never actually written a “thankful” post on my blog or social media pages, but they do make me reflect on all the things I am thankful for in my life.

My health, family, friends, faith, and my job are among the few obvious things I initially thought of, but as I reflected more, I know that I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am now without the solid foundation of skills and values that my parents instilled in me at a young age.

One of the most important of those being reading. Growing up, I can remember learning my ABC’s, my parents helping teach me to read with books like, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” (anyone remember that one?), and taking trips to my local Library with my Aunt Beth.

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At the time, I may not have realized how valuable those experiences were, but the very fact that I am able to sit here and share my experiences through words just shows how many things in my life, as well as yours, are affected by our ability to read and write. And looking back, I have really come to cherish those memories.

Last Friday, November 1, was National Family Literacy Day and in support of this cause, McDonald’s launched a National Happy Meal Books Program to invite families to celebrate the joy of reading. Through November 14, children who order McDonald’s Happy Meals will find one of four limited edition books featuring stories that bring nutrition, imagination, and play to life. Each book also comes with it’s very own bookmark that kids can personalize.

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I think this is so neat! I mean, the toys we got in Happy Meals when I was younger were cool and all, but books are something interesting and practical that kids can keep instead of hiding them in between the car seat cushions, or leaving them on the floor for you to step on, when they get bored with them.

Have you seen these books in your kids’ Happy Meals yet?

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Along with these books being placed in Happy Meals nationwide, McDonald’s of Central Indiana is leading a “Give a Book, Get a Book” campaign! By donating a gently used children’s book, customers will receive a “Be Our Guest” card for a free Happy Meal to say thank you for helping to share the gift of reading with others in the Indy community.

Book donation sites will be set up around the area at the Ronald McDonald House, local libraries, and Indy Reads from Nov 1 – 14. In addition, participating libraries are hosting a “Happy Meal Day” with activities for kids and McDonald’s Happy Meal Books. To find a full list of book donation sites and participating libraries, click here: http://www.indywithkids.com/2013/11/happy-meal-day-give-a-book-get-a-book-locations/

Now, I know not all of you are in the Indy area, but I hope everyone can help me promote this event! To help in promoting the “Give a Book, Get a Book” campaign, McDonald’s Happy Meal Books program, and National Family Literacy Day, I am hosting a give-a-way for anyone who shares this post on their social media pages!

By entering the contest, and sharing these events, one reader will win a week of happy meal coupons, a $10 Amazon gift card and a copy of a Happy Meal Book! (Everything will even be put together in a Happy Meal box!)

Here’s how to enter:

1. Share this blog on Facebook, Twitter and or Pinterest leave a comment below with the URL to your post. Be sure to use the hashtag #mcIndyMoms so we can see your posts as well!

For additional entries: (each of these need a blog comment with the URL as well)

2. Tweet About The Give-A-Way:

Help @Chelsea_PA @indywithkids & @MyIndyMcDonalds promote reading! #McIndyMoms http://bit.ly/McIndyMoms 

3.Like IndyWithKids on Facebook

4. Subscribe to Boilermakerag.com

5. Follow @MyIndyMcDonalds on Twitter

6. Follow @Chelsea_PA on Twitter

The give-a-way will be open until this Sunday, November 10 so be sure to share with all your friends this week! Thanks to Indy with Kids and McDonald’s of Central Indiana for providing the awesome prizes and promoting the importance of reading!
If you’d like to increase your chances of winning, check out some of my fellow bloggers who are hosting this give-a-way too!

What was your favorite book as a child?

 

WINNER UPDATE:

We have a winner!!  Congratulations to Angie MCKie! You are the winner of the McIndyMom’s prize pack! Please email me at boilermakerag@gmail.com to claim your prize! Thanks to everyone who shared my posts and followed the social media pages! Stay tuned to BoilermakerAg.com for more blog posts and potential give-a-ways! 

Entries were put into a list randomizer via random.org and chosen from the results.
McDonald's Winner Close Up

Here is the full list of results:

McDonald's Winner 1

FREE TICKET ALERT! JOIN US AT THE INDIANS GAME TONIGHT!

Hey Everyone! How does FREE food, FREE beer and FREE tickets to the Indy Indians baseball game tonight sound for a great Monday night activity?

Indiana Soybean Alliance is hosting a night at the Indians game TONIGHT for bloggers around the state and I have your chance to join us! I know it’s a little short notice, but it will be a great time!

The tickets are coming to you thanks to Indiana Family of Farmers so thanks to them for sharing such a great opportunity! You don’t have to be a blogger to attend, but you do have to show some social media love!

   

If you’re selected as the winner you will receive 2 FREE TICKETS to tonight’s Indianapolis Indians baseball game, wrist bands to the Coors Light Corner with free beer and food in the picnic area and… (the best of all) the chance to hang out with me and a great group of people!

HERE’S HOW TO ENTER:

  1. “Like” this blog!
  2. Re-post this blog on your Facebook or Twitter page  with the phrase:

“I want to go to the @indyindians game TONIGHT with @Chelsea_PA and @INSoybean Alliance! – via boilermakerag.wordpress.com”

and leave the link to the post in a comment below along with your email so I can contact you if you are the winner. (I will not use email addresses for any other reason).

I will select the winner via random.org and announce it in another blog post, on my Facebook page, and my Twitter page at 5 P.M. today!

So HURRY HURRY HURRY and get your entries in!

I will put your tickets and wrist bands to the Coors Light Corner (picnic area) at will call, and they will be available for you there. As a reminder, we do have the picnic area reserved, and you are welcome to come in.  However, don’t feel obligated.  There will be free keg beer and food in the picnic area.

GOOD LUCK! I can’t wait to hang out with you guys tonight at the game!

It’s National Women’s Health Week!

Today I want to give a shout out to all of the ladies because it’s National Women’s Health Week!

Now through Saturday, May 19th the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services is coordinating the 13th Annual Women’s Health Week, a wellness initiative promoting health and wellness in women everywhere.

Let’s be real, we are all busy. Sometimes too busy for our own good and even if we are aware of that, it still doesn’t stop us from that “go, go, go” mentality. (I will be the first to admit to doing this!)

(Do you think my to-do lists are a bit overwhelming?)

But we all need to stop and make sure we put our health on the top of our to-do lists, even when nothing is wrong.

That’s what Women’s Health Week is here to do for us – remind us to think about our health and provide tips and events to help us work toward healthy living.

So in honor of Women’s Health Week, here are few tips to remember:

★    Get preventative screenings!

  • Regular check-ups and tests for things like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, breast cancer, diabetes, colon cancer, and ovarian cancer are important!

★    Get your move on!

  • I know it’s hard to find time to fit exercise in our busy schedules sometimes, but even just little bits of activity throughout the day help.
  • Sneak in several 10 minute walks, tighten abs while you sit at your desk, take the stairs, or use hand weights while you’re on the phone.

★    Eat healthy!

  • Keep basic supplies stocked so you can make a fast, healthy meal in minutes.
  • When you buy veggies, chop/ prepare them all at once so you can easily throw them into recipes quickly.
  • Whenever you can, double recipes and freeze in portion sizes for later meals.
  • Check out my Pinterest page for healthy recipe ideas.

★    Pay attention to mental health, stress management, and sleep!

  • We all need brain and body breaks.  You’re body tells you when its exhausted – listen to it!
  • Strive for that extra hour of sleep each night. Or if you can’t fit that in, at least take 30 minutes before bed to reflect and relax without technology to let your brain rest.
  • If you are dealing with a problem, pick up the phone and call a fellow girlfriend, they give the best advice!

★    Avoid smoking, limit alcohol intake, and wear your seat belt!

  • These are pretty simple tips, but they will be better for you in the long run.

If you would like to learn more about Women’s Health Week, you can attend an event in your local area!

For all my friends in #Indy: Don’t miss this event on Thursday!

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We Serve Women’s Health Open House

Hosted by Sanford Brown College – Indianapolis

Date: 5/17/2012    Time: 10am to 2pm; 4pm to 7pm

Sanford College College
4030 Vincennes Road
Indianapolis, IN 46268

Description: Free Blood Pressure Checkups, Height and Weight Measurements, Body Fat Calculations, Blood Sugar Testing, Visioning Screening, Color Blindness Checks, and Cholesterol Testing.

This is a free event and is open to the general public.

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For all my friends in Southern Indiana:

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National Women’s Health Day Event

Hosted by Curves

Date: 5/17/2012       Time: 7 pm

Curves in Newburgh
8211 Bell Oaks Drive
Newburgh, IN 47630

Description: This is a Community Health Education Event. Health professionals will be speaking on Women’s Mental Health issues and Menopause issues. There will be a question & answer session afterwards, followed by door prizes and a healthy taster’s potluck.

This is a free event and is open to the general public.

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If you would like to find out more information on the National Women’s Health Week, or look for an event in your area, visit their website at http://womenshealth.gov/whw/.

PLEASE SHARE THIS INFORMATION WITH ALL OF THE SPECIAL WOMEN IN YOUR LIFE!

(These are some of the special women in my life – Mom, Sister, & Grandma)

Happy National Women’s Health Week! ♥

Zest N Zing : A Foodie Event For the At-Home Chef

Can @smileyradioshow and @paulpoteet please the palate of #Colts @JacobTamme and #Ch13WTHR’s @JennieWTHR?

You might be asking yourself, what is she talking about?

Well, have you ever seen the Food Network show Iron Chef America? (Two chefs go head-to-head in an hour long competition where they have to create the best food dishes with a “Secret Ingredient” and the winner is chosen by a panel of judges.)

With this show as inspiration, Indiana Farm Bureau has partnered with celebrities, chefs, and farmers (ALL from the Indy area) to create an Iron Chef of their own…only they’re adding a little “Zest” and a little “Zing” to make it fun for everyone!

But the best part about this… YOU ARE INVITED!

Here’s the 411:

Team Poteet: Weatherman Paul Poteet, Chef Carl Huckaby II and FarmWife Liz Kelsay

VS.

Team Smiley: WZPL’s Dave Smiley, Chef Jason Anderson, and FarmWifeHeather Hill

Out Teams

Paul PoteetCarl L. (Chip) Huckaby II, CSCLiz Kelsay
Dave SmileyJason M Anderson CEC, CCE, CCAHeather Hill

These two teams will go up against each other to create a dish that you can re-create at home! They will only have an hour to accomplish this goal before their dishes are places in front of the JUDGES. News Channel 13 WTHR’s Jennie Runevitch and the Indianapolis Colts’ Jacob Tamme will be the ones to taste their dishes and determine the winner.  (I am totally jealous of their job—YUM!)

Judges
Jacob TammeJennie Runevitch

“Zest N Zing: A Foodie Event for the At-Home Chef”

Wed. Feb. 22nd

5-7pm – Reception, 7-8:30pm Competition

Eugene & Marilyn Glick History Center

450 West Ohio Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46202-3269

Tickets are only $20 each and it goes to benefit Gleaners Food Bank and Ronald McDonald House.

This is an event that everyone can enjoy! Your $20 ticket includes two drink tickets of the best Indiana beer and wines, five food tickets for great food from Hoaglin Fine Catering, a SWAG BAG, and the cooking competition. That is a FANTASTIC value for your money… did I mention that the proceeds go to charity? In my opinion, this is a MUST-SEE event that you won’t want to miss.

Also, I am going to be covering the event as the #OfficialTweeter with LIVE updates so make sure to follow me on Twitter :@Chelsea_PA

I will be going backstage to talk to the competitors and posting quotes, pictures, videos, and inside info as the competition heats up! Be sure to look for and mention the hashtag #zestnzing to get this event trending. There has already been a lot of #TwitterChatter about it!

To get the #OfficalTweet’sstarted, check out my Twitter to find out how YOU could get a seat at the judges table!  How awesome would that be? Getting to hang out with Jennie Runevitch and Jacob Tamme, NOT TO MENTION getting to taste all of the great food! You have to be at the event though so make sure to get your tickets before they run out.

Tickets can be purchased on the “Zest N Zing” website – CLICK HERE to register!

So, now that you’ve heard all about the latest SHOWDOWN in Indianapolis, you’re going to come right? You don’t want to miss this. It is going to be really fun and really funny with Smiley and Paul Poteet as team captains.

Paul Poteet has already started the jokes on twitter: @PaulPoteet: I am really looking forward to @smileyradioshowcounting all the Weight Watcher points of the #zestnzing items that evening.

I will be very impressed if Smiley can count all of the WW points of the food ingredients!

So, since I personally invited each of you… I expect you to be there to support the teams, local agriculture, and me in my Twitter career.  🙂

Be sure to listen to WZPL, watch WTHR, and check back at @Chelsea_PA to get more updates as the event gets closer!

Summer Event Spotlight- Part 2

For Part II of my Summer Event Spotlight I am very excited to tell you guys about some unique events that will be happening in the first couple weeks after we get out of school!

Besides county fairs, festivals and races have been some of my favorite summer activities. You get to meet a lot of new people and experience some of Indiana’s traditions.

The first festival I wanted to highlight was the 500 Festival for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race!

Each May the 500 Festival puts on events and programs that celebrate the success of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Some of these events include the Chase 500 Festival Kids’ Day and Rookie Run, American Family Insurance Community Day, memorial service and IPL 500 Festival Parade.

The 500 Festival will take place Wed, May 4, 2011 to Sun, May 29, 2011, and will be held in Indianapolis and at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Admission to this event is FREE and it should be a very good time for you to take your friends or family.


The second festival I want to share with you is the All-American Country Hoedown.

I’ve never actually been to this event but it seems like a really fun time!

The All-American Country Hoedown will be held Thu, Jun 2, 2011 to Sun, Jun 5, 2011 in Campbellsburg, IN, in Washington County.

Some of their events include the Miss Country Girl Pageant, a Seniors Day Luncheon and Entertainment, the Classic Car Show, Talent Show, Habitat for Humanity 5K Walk/Run, and a Street Dance.

They also have tons of food to satisfy any craving! Some include a fish fry, pancake breakfast, chicken BBQ and ice cream social plus more mouth-watering treats to tempt your taste buds.

But wait, it doesn’t stop there… they also have craft booths, and antique tractor show, children’s and adult pedal tractor pulls, and a parade.

Admission to this is also FREE and the festival has been around for 17 years. It is definitely an Indiana tradition!

 

I can’t wait to check some of these fun events out! Have any of you attended either of these festivals? Or have any suggestions of other ones to go to? Feel free to leave a comment for me in the box below!

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