The tradition of an Indiana dairy farmer handing a bottle of ice-cold milk to the winning driver of the Indianapolis 500 continues this year with Milk Woman Kim Minich. Also serving is the Rookie Milk Man, Andrew Kuehnert, who will award bottles of milk to the winning car owner and chief mechanic–and train for his big moment next year. Let’s meet our Milk People.
Milk Woman Kim Minich married into the dairy farming business and now with her husband, Luke, she’s raising five kids (Anna, Kate, Mary, Will, and Calvin) on their dairy farm in LaPorte, Indiana. Kim and Luke farm with Luke’s parents and Kim also works off farm as a nurse practitioner. In addition to taking great care of their dairy cows, Kim and Luke are true animal lovers and their house, next door to the farm, is home to a host of dogs, cats, chickens, goats, horses, rabbits, and other pets. Kim’s background as health professional gives her a special insight into the nutritional necessity of dairy foods, but her true passion for dairy farm life comes from the joy of watching her young children grow up and learn life lessons on the dairy farm. A lifelong learner, Kim is on track to complete her Ph.D. this year. Kim enjoyed serving as the Rookie Milk Woman last year, and has been practicing her milk hand-off all year to be ready for this year’s race.
Rookie Milk Man Andrew Kuehnert grew up on his family’s sixth generation dairy farm in Fort Wayne, Indiana. There are four generations still involved in the farm today, from Andrew’s grandmother to the youngest member—Andrew and his wife Brittany’s daughter Kennedy. Andrew also works off farm as a cattle nutritionist, creating scientifically formulated diets for dairy cows around the area. At home, Andrew brings his nutrition skills to his family’s farm to make sure each cow is staying healthy and well-fed. Kuehnert Dairy Farm recently installed four robotic milking machines that allow cows to “milk themselves” whenever they would like. This doesn’t mean that the work is done, though! Each family member still works hard to ensure the cows have everything they need. Andrew is also passionate about creating great food for people, too, and serves up his award-winning grilled cheese sandwich, the Mousetrap, at the Kuehnert Dairy Farm Fall Festival each October.