(UNDATED) – The Indiana State Department of Agriculture and Red Gold announced the winners of the Red Gold Stewardship award. Myers Sod Farm of Seymour, and Rice Farms of LaPorte, were awarded first and second place, respectively. This presentation, now in its 12th year, is a partnership between Red Gold and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. The award is presented to Red Gold growers who value improving soil health and water quality on their operations.
“Red Gold and it’s growers are committed to stewardship practices that enhance soil health and improve water quality,” said Red Gold’s Director of Agriculture, Steve Smith. “I am honored to recognize these exceptional growers and stewards of the land.”
Adam Myers of Myers Sod Farm started with an idea and over the course of eight years has grown that idea into a successful business. On their farm they grow a variety of crops, from traditional row crops to tomatoes and sod. They value their land and have implemented several successful conservation practices on their farm, including, grassed waterways, vegetative field borders, water sediment and control basins.
“Practicing conservation is important on our farm,” said Adam Myers. “We feel that if we take care of the land, it will take care of us.”
Scott Rice of Rice Farms is a third-generation farmer. Over the past 100 years, Rice Farms has shifted their operation from livestock to now specialty crops. On their farm, they grow tomatoes, seed corn, soybeans and wheat. Rice Farms utilizes a multitude of conservation practices on their farm such as grass filter strips, constructed wetlands and riparian herbaceous covers to promote soil health and water quality.
“We want to do the right thing,” said Scott Rice. “We want to be good stewards of the land we have been blessed with so that we can pass it on in as good, or better, shape to the next generation.”
Indiana is no stranger to soil conservation. Our Hoosier farmers practice a variety of soil conservation practices and planted over 950,000 acres of cover crops in 2019.
“Indiana agriculture is at the forefront of soil conservation,” said ISDA Director Bruce Kettler. “Agribusinesses working alongside their farmers to further this progress ensures our Hoosier soil will remain fertile for generations to come.”
As the top winner, Myers Sod Farm received a $1,000 scholarship and the option to ship an extra truckload of tomatoes per day during harvest season. Rice Farms was awarded a $500 scholarship and the opportunity to ship an extra half truckload of tomatoes per day during harvest.