While most of Indiana will be watching the Indy 500 on Sunday for the excitement of the race, one Fort Wayne family will be watching for the excitement of the celebration.
Andrew Kuehnert from the Kuehnert Dairy farm is this year’s rookie milkman, meaning he will hand off the celebratory bottle of milk to the winning crew chief in victory lane.
“It was last fall, I got the phone call saying, ‘Hey, do you want to be the rookie milk man this year?’ and, man, I was so excited,” said Kuehnert. “This is an opportunity I will never forget. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
His family’s farm has been around for more than 100 years. This is the first time someone from the Kuehnert family has been selected for this opportunity.
Kuehnert said he’s been an advocate for dairy farming, and represenatives from the Indianapolis 500 found him and called.
As the rookie milkman, Kuehnert is next in line to hand the milk to the winning driver, something he will get to do at next year’s 500 race.
This year, Kuehnert also has some responsibilities.
“The plan for Sunday is to have a blast,” said Kuehnert. “You know, get down there, talk to as many people as I can, make sure the milk person this year, Ken Menning, doesn’t drop the bottle of milk and make sure that milk gets kept with lock and key so it’s absolutely amazing how we have to guard the milk and make sure no one can get to it.”
Kuehnert said he and his family will be protected from the notorious heat that never fails to come with the Indy 500, as they will be sitting in a shaded area near the finish line.