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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.


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.


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.


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.”


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.



Join Me At Zest ‘N Zing – A Foodie Event for the At-Home Chef


CALLING ALL INDY FOODIES! Clear those calendars and get those appetites ready because Zest ‘N Zing is back!

Join two Indy chefs and two Indiana farmers who will work in teams to create a great new dish during Zest ‘n Zing: A Foodie Event for the At-Home Chef at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick History Center in downtown Indianapolis on May 7.

Brought to you by Indiana Farm Bureau, this is your chance to witness Indy’s version of Iron Chef, spend an evening enjoying Indiana food, wine and beer, and help out Indy’s own Gleaners Food Bank.

Here's a sneak peak at the Iron Chef set up from last year! "Team Pork" (WZPL's Dave Smiley, pork farmer, Heather Hill, and chef Jason Anderson took on "Team Dairy" with Paul Poteet, dairy farmer, Liz Kelsay and chef Chip Huckaby.

Here’s a sneak peak at the Iron Chef set up from last year! “Team Pork” (WZPL’s Dave Smiley, pork farmer, Heather Hill, and chef Jason Anderson took on “Team Dairy” with Paul Poteet, dairy farmer, Liz Kelsay and chef Chip Huckaby.

Indy weatherman, Paul Poteet and WTHR’s Jennie Runevitch will be emceeing the event and last year’s champion, chef Jason Anderson is returning to defend his title! Chef Anderson, joined by cattle farmer Ginny Tauer will go head to head with the new challenger, chef Greg Schiesser from Indiana Downs and hog farmer, Nick Sommers.

emcees and teams - Zest N Zing

Last year I was the #OfficialTweeter for the event and it was a blast! It is a great opportunity to have fun and learn a little more about farmers and food preparation. The recipes are geared toward something you can make in your own kitchen and last year they sent the recipes out after the event so you could try it at home!


Here I am with Paul Poteet showing off the sweet Zest ‘N Zing apron I got last year during the event!

I’ll be there again this year and thanks to Indiana Family of Farmers, I have a FREE pair of tickets for you to join me!

*** Here’s how to enter***

  1. Like this post and leave a comment at the bottom saying that you’d like to join me at Zest ‘N Zing.

**For additional chances to win**

  1. Subscribe to my blog and leave another comment saying that you followed me.

  2. Post the tweet below to your Twitter account and leave a comment with the link.

I want to join @Chelsea_PA  @PaulPoteet & @JennieWTHR at #ZestNZing for @GleanersFBIndy thanks to @FamilyofFarmers!

The contest will be open until Thursday at 11:59 p.m.

Judges for this year’s event will be Heather Tallman of the blog, Basilmomma and her radio show “Around the Kitchen Sink” and here’s where it gets even more fun – one of you could be the other judge! The second judge will be chosen out of the audience that night so you have to make sure you’re in attendance!


Last year’s judges were (L-R): WTHR’s Jennie Runevitch, guest judge Colleen Fanning (THIS COULD BE YOU), and Colt’s Jacob Tamme!

Doors for the event open at 5 p.m. and you can mix, mingle and eat with farmers from 5 – 7 p.m downstairs. The competition begins at 7 p.m. so be sure to finish up eating a few minutes before to get a good seat!

I’m so excited for this event and I hope you are too after reading this post! Don’t forget that if you want to enter to win the tickets, submit your entry before 11:59pm on Thursday.

If you aren’t drawn as the winner, I hope you will still attend the event!

Tickets are $20, with proceeds benefiting Gleaners Food Bank and can be purchased at this link: Zest ‘N Zing Event Tickets.

Can’t wait to see you all there next week!



IFOF Ambassador

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


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!)

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!

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