Meet the Indy 500 Milk Woman!

This year’s Indianapolis 500 Milk Woman, Janet Dague, will hand a bottle of ice-cold milk to the winner of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. Janet lives and works on her family’s dairy farm in Kewana, Indiana. Janet farms with her husband, Andrew, and parents-in-law, Jim and Peggy. The Dagues milk 170 dairy cows, as well as raising their own corn, soybeans, wheat and hay. The Dagues also raise all their bull calves for beef steers. Last year Janet was the Rookie Milk Woman and gave bottles of milk to the winning chief mechanic and team owner.

I caught up with Janet to ask her a few questions about the 500 this year.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

Janet Dague: I’m really looking forward to the milk toast this year. ADAI is partnering with the Motor Speedway and Prairie Farms to pass out 100,000 bottles of milk. The Drink of Milk is a great tradition that this year we get to share with fans. Normally, the driver is the only one who gets to enjoy milk at the 500 and this year fans will get to toast along with the winning driver. (Click here for more info on the toast.)

What was the most exciting part of being the Rookie Milk Woman at the race last year?

JD: Just getting in to Victory Lane was awesome and so exciting. But, my favorite part was probably the 500 Festival parade. I’d never been to the parade before, although I’ve been to race many times.  Riding on the Winners Drink Milk float and seeing all the people and the excitement at the parade was really neat.

Are you rooting for anyone in particular in the race?

JD: I would love to see someone win the race who has been racing for years but never won the 500. Or I’d love to see a rookie driver win.

What does the Indianapolis 500 mean to you?

JD: The thing I love most about the race is all the longstanding traditions. My husband Andrew and I have been going to the race for 21 years this year. It’s amazing that after 100 years, the 500 is still the greatest spectacle in racing, it’s still in Indianapolis, it’s still that tradition. And milk has been part of that tradition for a long time.

What does representing dairy farmers in Victory Lane mean to you?

JD: I’m incredibly proud to represent other dairy farmers at the 500. We’re all just regular people who do our jobs every day and are really passionate about taking care of our cows and producing high-quality milk. It’s an honor to represent Indiana’s 1200 dairy farm families and the 43,000 dairy farms around the United States.

What’s your favorite dairy product?

JD: Chocolate milk! And whole is the best.

If you were a driver in the Indianapolis 500, you would be given a choice of skim, 2 percent, or whole milk if you won the race. Which would you choose?

JD: Whole all the way! {Note: make sure to check back on our site or follow us on social media during race week to see what milk your favorite driver picked!}