Local Food Helping Neighbors in Need

Monday, April 5, 2010

What do colored mechanical racing pigs have to do with feeding the hungry?

It has everything to do with feeding the hungry. This year during Ag Week Mini Farm Fest we had racing pigs for the first time. If you are not familiar with Ag Week, it is a county-wide celebration of our agriculture heritage in Putnam County. During Ag Week we try to educate the general public about the importance of agriculture. A special thanks to all of you who worked hard on Ag Week to make it a success!

Now what about the pigs? They are mechanical, a switch is used to turn each one on or off. When the switch is turned on the pig's legs move and carry the pig along. They are a variety of colors, pink, orange, green, blue, and purple. They also have special ear tags that denote different colleges and universities in Indiana. The favorites were Purdue and DePauw, but we had Indiana University, Indiana State University, and Ball State University represented also. When the switches were turned on the pigs raced against each other to try to win each race. Sound like fun? But wait a minute, how does all this fun help feed hungry people? Participants in Ag Week could bet on which pig would win a particular race with the proceeds going to help feed the hungry.

Each of the pigs raced to help raise money for the Greencastle Local Food Helping Neighbors in Need group. Due to the increased pressure that food pantries and families are feeling in this recession, several agencies and community members came together to help. Local Food for Neighbors in Need helps encourage gardeners, sportsman hunters, and community members to donate extra food.

Gardeners regularly grow more produce then they can use. This is a great source of nutrition that can be distributed to several food pantries and organizations. Please call before you bring your harvest; the food pantries need to be able to distribute the food before it goes bad. Some of the participating drop-off sites are Away Home Shelter at 765-653-9734, Fillmore Christian Church at 653-9617, and Putnam County Senior Center at 765-653-8606.

Farmers and sportsmen can participate by donating meat. Donated meat is a highly valued and hard to obtain food. Local Food Helping Neighbors in Need has partnered with Deer Creek Deer Processing at 765-653-2525 and Rodger's Customer Butchering at 812-442-6328 to help get animals processed for distribution. Both processers will take deer, but any donated livestock must be taken to Rodger's Customer Butchering.

All of the proceeds from the pig racing will be donated to help pay for the cost of processing meats. I want to thank all of the people who participated in the pig racing to help this great cause and I hope you had fun at Ag Week!

For more information please contact Ann Delchambre at adelchambre@purdue.edu, 765-653-8411 or face book Putnam County Agriculture or Twitter AgAgent.

Upcoming events

April 5: 4-H Trip, Award and Workshop Interest forms due

April 5: Small Farms Work Group, County Annex, 6-8 p.m.

April 6: Deadline to register for Craft Workshop

April 7: Risk Management Workshop

April 9-11: Hoosier Horse Fair Indianapolis

April 10: Fiber Event, Putnam Fairgrounds

April 12: Craft Workshop 7 p.m. at County Annex, registration necessary.

April 13: Farmer Market Boot Camp -Indianapolis

April 15: Tax Day

April 15: Introduction to Starting a Specialty Food Business in Indiana -Indianapolis

April 16: Putnam County 4-H Scholarships Due

April 17: Dairy Feeder Steer Weigh-in and Tagging, Fairgrounds, 8-10 a.m.

April 26: Pond Workshop

April 29: Ext. Homemaker Spring Dessert at Fairgrounds