Wednesday, November 24, 2010

2011: The Year of Soybeans

Are you on a high-protein diet? Then you're going to love the 2011 Indiana State Fair! After much contemplation and occasional discussions with the State Department of Agriculture, we are ready to celebrate soybeans and all that they mean to our state.

Soybeans produce at least twice as much protein per acre as any other major vegetable or grain crop, and soybean meal is the main food source for cows, chickens, pigs and fish, which means you are probably taking in soybeans in some form every day. And those yummy cakes, cookies and pies we all love... well, they required vegetable oil - soybean oil - in order to become yummy. So let's give it up for soybeans!

We're looking forward to working with the Indiana Soybean Alliance to promote soybeans at the fair. We are still brainstorming all the fun ways we'll incorporate this important legume into the fair, but you can count on getting lots of facts, such as:
  • Indiana ranks 3rd in the U.S. in soybean processing

  • Indiana ranks 4th in the U.S. in soybean production

  • Hoosier farmers produce 244 million bushels of soybeans each year

  • The soybean industry contributes $2.5 billion to the state's economy

In case you weren't aware, our midway rides and tractor shuttles have been operating on soy biodiesel fuel for years, so soybeans aren't just about food production. And if you don't think soybeans can be fun, maybe you've never run into Bennie the Bean roaming around the Pioneer Our Land Pavilion. He's a fun bean.

Submitted by Andy Klotz

Friday, November 12, 2010

'Tis the Season...

It's become as much of a tradition as trimming the tree.

The Christmas Gift and Hobby Show has been going on for 61 years now! Each year, there's always something new and different, but by and large it's the same wonderful atmosphere of unique gift ideas, yummy treats and occasional surprises.

Surprises? Yes, there are surprises. The ladies in this photo were surprised to find out that they were selected to receive some "Random Acts of Christmas" gifts, which included money that could be used on anything at the show and gift certificates for products and services by show vendors. Over the course of the show, more than $3,000 will end up being given away! How can you win? Well, it helps if you and your friends all wear reindeer antlers.

Regardless of whether or not you receive any random acts of kindness, you are sure to get your holiday shopping season started off on the right foot. What I like most about the show is that you can get so many personalized gifts. You can get your kid's name imprinted on any number of things, and you will also find a ton of things that you would have never found just wandering through the mall.

So if you haven't made this a part of your family's holiday traditions, you might want to start. And for all the husbands who are just "along for the ride," find the chocolate stand on the east side of the builidng. That alone is worth the trip. Merry Christmas!

Submitted by Andy Klotz