Jamie) Good morning and welcome back to Farm Factor at the Kansas State Fair. Let’s join Duane Toews at the Dairy Bar as he catches up with Stephanie Eckroat with the Kansas Dairy Association.
(Duane) And back with more AGam in Kansas. Duane Toews joined with Stephanie Eckroat, and Stephanie, you’re with the Kansas Dairy Association, but for the ten days of the Kansas State Fair you’ve got a bigger job that this year’s been quite the load. (Stephanie) Oh I tell you what, we run the Dairy Bar down here underneath the Grandstand every year and we have had a lot of people come down. I’m sure the attendance is way up for the fair this year. (Duane) Sounds like as far as the amount of ice cream that you’ve pushed through that facility, far exceeding expectations of some years and maybe even record setting this year. (Stephanie) Last Saturday was just really crazy. We sold a lot of ice cream, had a lot of consumers come through and pick up their favorite flavors. And we started out with about 1,500 gallons of ice cream, that’s the hard pack and it looks like we’re gonna go through most of that. (Duane) So from the Kansas Dairy Association’s perspective how long have you been involved with the Dairy Bar here at the State Fair? (Stephanie) Actually this is only my second year of actually managing the bar. I’ve been involved in Kansas Dairy Industry for about 20 years now. I did dairy for a long time at the University of Fort Hays. During that time I did the milking demonstrations and just recently like last year, I got the opportunity to take over the bar from the former director. And so this is my second year of doing this. And it’s been exciting. We did some changes this year and it’s been good I think, for the bar. (Duane) As far as general public coming through obviously this is kind of the culmination of the dairy industry when the consumer actually gets to enjoy that. And it looks like a lot of happy faces as they exit the line. (Stephanie) Oh, I tell you what, the dairy bar is a great opportunity for the dairy producers to get to showcase their product. And the consumers that come through, they tell me stories about how they used to come when they were little kids. And I’ll have people well past retirement age telling me that I’ve been coming here every single year. So, it’s a great tradition for a lot of families and it’s a wonderful opportunity for the Kansas dairymen, it really is. (Duane) So, from your perspective working with Kansas Dairy Association, obviously you have other things that go on throughout the year to support the dairy industry. Give us a little background on maybe some of those things that you’re involved in. (Stephanie) The Kansas Dairy Commission and Association are involved in a lot of different things throughout the year including Farm Bureau Kid’s Ag Day. We do several of those throughout the state. We do lots of promotional things. We also were involved in the Great Milk Drive this last year and I had some different Farm Bureau and 4-H groups that were involved in that and helped collect money and food for the needy in the state. So, we do lots and lots of different things throughout the year. (Duane) Just an anecdotal perception, it appears that almost fluid milk’s becoming more in vogue over the last couple of years, partially for some of those producer checkoff funded activities that are promoting it. (Stephanie) Definitely, you worry about the consumption of milk, but it seems to be holding well. Really there’s been a big push with a lot of dairy commodity groups to help promote milk as kind of an after work type drink, for chocolate milk especially. So, lots of protein, good vitamins. Nine essential vitamins and minerals for you. (Duane) Our thanks to Stephanie Eckroat, with the Kansas Dairy Association managing the Kansas Dairy Bar here at the Kansas State Fairgrounds under the Grandstand and serving up delicious ice cream. Jamie we’ll send it back to you in studio for more on AGam.
(Jamie) Thanks, Duane! Folks, stay with us as Duane moves to the Milking Parlor and visits with Callie Unruh with Southwest Dairy Farmers.