The Duttlinger family had an eventful winter, including family Christmas celebrations and a trip to an indoor water park in the Wisconsin Dells. Dave Duttlinger said that being able to go swimming in the middle of winter is always a good feeling.
The Duttlinger family had an eventful winter, including family Christmas celebrations and a trip to an indoor water park in the Wisconsin Dells. Dave Duttlinger said that being able to go swimming in the middle of winter is always a good feeling.
WHEATFIELD, Ind. — The Duttlinger Family has a packed calendar this spring.

Between sports practices, 4-H projects and planting, there is no shortage of activities planned for Dave and Jill Duttlinger, along with children Nathan, 8; Max, 6; Grant, 3; and Annabelle, 1.

The Duttlingers were named Indiana Farm Family of the Year in December. The award is given to an outstanding farm family every year by Beck’s Hybrids and Indiana AgriNews .

“We’ve been able to get everything accomplished so far this spring,” Dave said. “Our ground conditions have been quite favorable for work the past two weeks. We’ve got some planted and are just trying to take advantage of the dry conditions we have right now.”

The family members grow corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. They also manage a beef cow and calf herd and a trucking business.

A lot has happened since they were named Farm Family of the Year. The couple celebrated 10 years of marriage, and daughter Annabelle turned 1.

“Our winter was pretty much like everyone else’s — cold and snowy,” Dave said. “It was a challenging winter — from keeping cows fed to keeping diesel trucks running and not freezing up. We had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s.”

The Duttlinger children are doing well in school and have maintained perfect attendance. They are staying busy participating in soccer and flag football.

This is a big year for Nathan, the oldest child.

“It is his first year of 4-H, and he’ll be showing sheep,” Jill said. “Preparing for that and spending all that time at the fair this summer is something we’re looking forward to. It will be something new and different on our plates this year.”

The family also is looking forward to going camping when it warms up, as well as visiting Cedar Point later in the summer. The Duttlingers won a trip there as a prize for being named Farm Family of the Year.

“The kids are bouncing off the walls and can’t wait to go,” Dave said.

In the meantime, Dave and Jill are staying busy working and being involved with their community. Dave now is a board member for his county Farm Bureau.

The family is enjoying spring and looking forward to the completion of planting.

“It’s nice going outside without having to wear coats and winter gear,” Dave said. “It’s nice seeing grass growing again and calves playing out in the pasture. It’s also nice to be able to able to get back in the fields and do productive work again.”