Elwood, IN (Aug. 6, 2020) – The Indiana State Department of Agriculture and Red Gold announced the winners of the Red Gold Stewardship award. Myers Sod Farm of Seymour, Indiana and Rice Farms of LaPorte, Indiana 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.
Pictured on the far left is first place recipient Adam Myers of Myers Sod Farm. On the right is second place recipients Scott and James Rice of Rice Farms.
The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) was established as a separate state agency by the Legislature in 2005. The Director is appointed by the Governor and is a member of the Governor’s Cabinet. Administratively, ISDA reports to Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, who also serves as Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture. Major responsibilities include advocacy for Indiana agriculture at the local, state and federal level, managing soil conservation programs, promoting economic development and agricultural innovation, serving as a regulatory ombudsman for agricultural businesses, and licensing grain firms throughout the state.