Monday, August 20, 2012

2012 Taste From Indiana Farms

Last week I spent 3 days at the Indiana State Fair working the Taste From Indiana Farms event. This event is put on by the Women’s Leadership Committee of the Indiana Farm Bureau every year.

The Indiana Farm Bureau has 10 districts. Each year, every district is assigned a different commodity. This year, my district had fruit. I found an orchard in our area, and loaded up the back of my truck with 120 pounds of apples – enough to give a sample to each of the almost 5,000 people we expected to see over the next 3 days.

truck full of apples
It was a great event. We ended up serving almost 4,500 people over the 15 hours we were open in 3 days. I brought home less than 10 pounds of apples!

We had a wonderful chance to talk to people at the fair about many different aspects of agriculture. We talked about the nutritional value of pork.


The different products you use every day that are made with cattle by-products – things like chalk, paint brushes, vitamins, and gum.

products from cattle

Some of the products you use every day that are made with sheep by products – things like wool, candles, crayons, and footballs.


The different kinds of corn. (I also recently talked about this on AgriCultured.)


Fun facts about popcorn. Did you know Indiana ranks #2 in the United States for popcorn production? We’re right behind Nebraska!


We got to try potato chips that were cooked in a new type of vegetable oil made from soybeans.

soybean oil

We learned about food safety – here are some good tips for cooking convenience foods.

food safety

These are safety tips for handling eggs once you get them home. (Okay, some of them are meant for grocery stores. But they apply to you at home, too!)

egg safety

And, finally, the apple station. Here’s Farmer Doc and our Indiana Farm Bureau District Director, Philip Springstun, talking to people about apples.

apple station

I’ve got to say… while we had fun at the Taste From Indiana Farms event, I came home exhausted! Remember a few weeks ago when I took a personality profile, and learned that I was lowest in yellow energy? This is the energy that comes from being social and interacting with people. Let me tell you – talking with 4,500 people in 3 days sure drained my yellow energy! I was ready for a cocktail and to be alone in my hotel room for a few hours when we were done every day.

Overall, we had a blast. We got to meet some good people, and we got to talk to lots of people about Indiana agriculture. If even one person came out of that event knowing that Indiana ranks 19th in apple production in the US, or that there are 2,500 varieties of apples grown in the US, I did my job. Smile


  1. Good for you! Did that one year, and we were the first table in the door. It was a crazy, fast paced shift for sure, and we were giving out "squeaky cheese" as I liked to call it just to make it fun! The kids really liked it if they were brave enough to try it! go rest my friend! You have earned it!.

  2. Great job Marybeth! Love the picture of 'Doc' setting down! Rest fast, the Ag In The Classroom Update is just around the corner.

  3. He was there with me all 3 days... he deserved to sit down a little bit. He can talk just as well sitting as he can standing!

  4. We were about half-way through the room, so we didn’t have the mad crush they had at the beginning. Still exhausting, though!


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