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Views and opinions: Group wants to bring Indiana back into Central time zone


Indiana was shifted from its correct Central Time Zone to Eastern in the mid-1960s; however, we didn’t experience a sunlight-schedule change until 2006 when Eastern Daylight Saving Time was adopted.

Two resolutions in the General Assembly (HCR 2 and SCR 11) call for an examination of the effect of Eastern’s sunlight schedule on the well-being of Hoosiers. Why is this important?

While observing Daylight Saving Time has proven beneficial to Indiana’s economy by keeping our clocks in sync with other states, being in the same time zone as New York is no longer valid. In the meantime, statistics show that our current sunlight schedule is adversely affecting Hoosiers’ well-being.

Hoosiers are the eighth-most tired in the United States. Indiana’s teens have the second-highest suicide attempt rate. We are the eighth-most obese and seventh-least physically fit.

Approximately 55,000 students are chronic absentees each year, most due to truancy. 630,000 adult Hoosiers don’t have high school or GRE diplomas.

At least 28,000 Hoosiers and 51 public school boards have signed petitions to restore Indiana to its correct Central time zone, which simply means that the sun would rise and set one hour earlier. Indiana’s counties would be reunited in the same time zone again. Broadcast of prime-time programs and national events (NFL, NCAA, Olympics, etc.) would occur one hour earlier in the evening.

July 4th fireworks could return to 9 p.m., and children could grow up seeing the stars and catching lightning bugs again. Students would travel to school in the safety of sunlight, and schools for teens could meet the recommended 8:30 a.m. start time.

Central Time is Indiana’s correct time. It’s a no-brainer.

Susannah Dillon, president

Central Time Coalition

Carmel, Ind.

Impact of MPC on dairy markets

Dear Editor,

How ironic! Feb. 9, 2018, was “National Pizza Day.” Consumers were given discounts, coupons, specials, etc., for buying pizzas, while Agri-Mark dairy farmers recently received letters concerning suicide prevention, from their own co-op.

Most “pizza cheese” is manufactured using “Milk Protein Concentrate” (MPC), plus additives such as sodium gluconate, pea starch, cellulose, etc. Altering the process retains more moisture, resulting in a huge yield increase. About 18 pounds of so-called “cheese” is obtained instead of about 10 pounds of real cheese made from 100 pounds of real, natural farm milk!

The greedy quest for higher “cheese” yields with MPC use has made the United States the biggest cheese producer in the world. But at what cost?

Because of MPC use, the extra eight pounds of “Moo Glue” cheese is creating a “mountain of surplus cheese” plus a huge displacement of real fluid milk at the farm that is causing such a devastating drop in dairy farmers’ milk prices that many dairy farmers are losing their farms, homes, way of life, and tragically, some have taken their own lives.

Losing thousands of family dairy farms is a devastating socio-economic blow to local rural communities, threatening a safe, secure, and available national food supply.

As a dairy farmer (and a consumer also), I know how important it is for a cow to have a balanced diet. If our cows did not have the right balance of proteins, energy, fiber, minerals, vitamins, etc., we would have a low-producing cow, a sick cow or a dead cow.

What effect is the relentless push for industrialized milk-derivative “dairy proteins,” in place of real milk, having on consumers’ health?

With fewer than 38,000, licensed dairy farms left in the United States, and thousands more disappearing, I will not celebrate any National Pizza Days.

Hope you won’t either.

Donna Hall, vice president

Farm Women United

Muncy, Pa.

Do Hoosiers shop local? Maybe?

Everyone’s talking about buying local food, but do Hoosiers shop local? The answer, it turns out, is complicated.

If you ask officials at the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, chances are they’ll say no. Indiana is the tenth-most productive agriculture state in the nation, and yet Hoosiers only source 10 percent of their annual $16 billion in food purchases from local providers, according to ISDA’s Indiana Grown media kit.

But 40 percent of farms recently surveyed by ISDA reported sales increases in the past year. Confused yet?

Indiana Farmers Union member Market Wagon, now the state’s largest farmers market, has seen these sales increases firsthand. During the past six months, Market Wagon has nearly tripled the amount of local food it delivers – a 287 percent increase over previous six-month sales figures. And while that’s great, local farmers are struggling to keep up with such demand.

Now is the time for Indiana farmers and artisans to expand. “Last year, we had unsold produce that we had to either donate or take to clearance auctions,” said Dion Graber, farmer at Micro Farms in Bremen, Ind. “Since we started selling on Market Wagon, though, we’ve sold out of every pepper and cucumber we can grow. We tripled our production of leafy greens and added rows to keep up with orders. We’ll have to expand even more this year to meet the demand.”

Hayley McGinley, owner of Native Bread in Indianapolis, said she started out small when she founded her bread-making business, but since she began selling through Market Wagon, she is now “nearly selling out on Market Wagon every week. I soon will need my own kitchen space so I can keep up with the growing demand for my products.”

We believe there’s a story here that needs to be told, and we hope you can help us do it. Indiana needs more farmers and artisans to start or expand their businesses. Hoosiers want more local food, and farmers and food makers need to ramp up to answer the demand.

For more information or to interview farmers who sell through Market Wagon, feel free to contact Nick Carter, owner and founder of Market Wagon, at 317-460-1173 or by email at

For state-specific trends, contact Sherri Dugger, media and outreach director for Indiana Farmers Union, at 317-371-2970 or by email at

Sherri Dugger

Media and Outreach Director

Indiana Farmers Union