Monday, March 17, 2014

Thank You Farmers!

Did you know that this month is not only National Nutrition Month, but that Governor Mike Pence has declared March Agriculture Appreciation Month here in Indiana!

I grew up on a small family farm here in hilly Southern Indiana. My childhood memories are full of rides on the tractor, helping work the cattle, pitching hay (ALWAYS on the hottest day of the summer...not sure how that happens still to this day!), bottle feeding calves and so much more. 

They are memories that I cherish and wish I could share with Ryder, so when my Dad wants to take Ryder down to the barn, (that now provides shelter for some awesome horses instead of cattle) I am all for it. I want him to grow up learning the traits of a be hard working, honest, caring, selfless and to take pride in the good work that you do.

So when I heard that March was Agriculture Appreciation Month here in Indiana, I was pretty excited. Not only did I grow up on a farm, I have come to know some pretty amazing farmers here in Indiana. I am amazed at the sacrifices they make and how passionate they are about the food they produce for all of us. (In fact, I used this cool little tool on Where Is My Milk From? and found out that the milk in my fridge comes from the same plant that my friends over at Kelsay Farms sends their milk to! How cool is that?) I think a month long celebration of their dedication and hard work is perfect!

Did you know that only 2% of the population are farmers? Yet these amazing people produce the food to feed their families and the rest of us in the other 98%. In Indiana alone, we have 1200 hardworking dairy farm families. And for many of them it is a family tradition where the farm is not only passed down from generation to generation, but also has multiple generations working together, just like the Kelsay's. 

It makes sense to me that March is also National Nutrition Month, because it is all incorporating nutrient rich foods into your diet. MY favorite way to do this is having a nice tall glass of chocolate milk to refuel after my friend Autumn and I go running! If you haven't heard of this trick yet, give it a try! Milk makes the perfect refueler (is that a word?) because it contains 9 essential nutrients—calcium, vitamins A, D and B12, protein, potassium, riboflavin, niacin and phosphorus and 4 nutrients of concern (nutrients likely to be inadequate in at least 50% of American’s diets)—calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and fiber.

So March is the perfect month to get out there (well, you might have to do some activities inside until winter decides to go away!), get active, eat nutrient rich food and be sure to thank a farmer for that food! 

This post was sponsored by Indiana Dairy Association, however, my thoughts and opinions are (as always) definitely my own!
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