Indy 500 'Milk Woman' reflects on experience

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PLYMOUTH, Ind. -- The drinking of milk is one of the most exciting moments for not only the winners of the Indy 500 but many Indiana farmers, as well. Every year, Indiana dairy farmers come together to nominate one representative for the Indianapolis 500 victory circle. The winner is given the opportunity to provide the milk of choice to the winning driver.

This year, Jill Houin with Homestead Dairy in Plymouth was voted to be the Indy 500 milk woman. One week prior to the race, Houin takes all of the milk requests from each driver whether 2%, whole, or skim. Then, at lap 175, she prepares for the winner.

This year, Homestead Dairy provided Helio Castroneves with a refreshing glass of 2% milk. The winner even bringing pink dye to match his beverage to his car.

Here at Homestead Dairy though, it is more than just about the milk.

Homestead Dairy was first established in 1945 with 9 cows and 12 children in a 2-bedroom home. Now, the farm is milking 4,900 cows on three different facilities with 14 family members.

Houin explains this tradition goes even beyond her and her family’s farm. For them, recognizing local dairy farmers from all over Indiana is the best part.

“97% of dairy farms are family run, so knowing I was able to represent that knowing they were there 24/7 during the pandemic to people who needed it, donating food. We donated food and knowing all of the hard work they did during this time to celebrate on this scale and to be so humbled by knowing the driver was excited to drink it. I am just over the top it is amazing to share our story and tell how wonderful dairy farmers are,” says Houin.  

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