Local tomato grower recognized by Red Gold


A Seymour produce farmer was recently recognized as a Red Gold Master Grower at Red Gold’s 27th annual growers banquet in Indianapolis in conjunction with Purdue University’s Horticulture Congress.

Adam Myers received his third Master Grower Award and was presented with a Red Gold plaque. In addition to growing tomatoes, Myers owns and manages a sod operation, Myers Sod Farm.

According to a news release from Red Gold, the award is presented annually to growers who have distinguished themselves by exhibiting professionalism, industry leadership and delivering quality production.

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A contract grower with Red Gold for the past nine years, Myers has excelled in stewardship and sustainable practices and is a participant of the Red Gold Integrated Pest Management program, the release said.

“I have worked with Adam Myers since 2009, and he’s such a great grower for Red Gold,” said Danna Dolliver, Red Gold agriculture administration manager. “Adam is progressive in all phases of being a grower, from good production practices to good business practices.”

Dolliver said the attributes considered for a Master Grower may include human resources management, accounting, soil science, business management, mechanics, purchasing, transportation, marketing and strategic planning.

“A grower is selected for a Red Gold Master Grower Award who has excelled in all phases of their tomato season,” Dolliver said. “They set themselves apart in terms of providing outstanding quality fruit and demonstrating superb management characteristics.”

Red Gold growers have good stewardship and conservation practices. Myers participates in an annual, voluntary Indiana State Department of Agriculture Red Gold Stewardship and Conservation program. In 2015, he placed second out of all the Red Gold growers.

“Adam had nearly a perfect quality year in 2018, even with the adverse conditions of the flooding rains hitting his crop soon after transplanting was complete,” Dolliver said. “He cares a lot about growing a quality crop and working toward Red Gold’s mission statement: to produce the freshest, best tasting tomatoes in the world.”

Approximately 15 percent of their growers are honored as master growers at the annual Red Gold Growers Banquet award ceremony, Dolliver said.

“About 60 percent of our contracted growers are located in Indiana, 25 percent are in Ohio and 15 percent are in Michigan,” said Dolliver. “We have approximately 8,000 contracted acres of tomatoes in Indiana.”

Dolliver said for 2018, Red Gold has contracted with 46 tomato growers who have farms in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s 2012 Census of Agriculture, Indiana has 687 tomato farms and Jackson County is home to seven. Last year, Indiana farmers harvested a total of 7,600 acres of tomatoes.

This year’s production from Myers’ farm should account for nearly six million cans of Red Gold whole, diced, stewed and specialty tomato products. That number is up from 4.5 million in 2013.

Red Gold has three production plants in Indiana at Elwood, Geneva and Orestes. The company also has a one-million-square-foot distribution center in Orestes and operates a wholly-owned subsidiary RG Transport trucking fleet in Elwood.

Red Gold began four generations ago with one family and has since become a full time operation with more than 50 partnerships with Midwestern growers. The company is now the largest privately-owned tomato processor in the nation since it’s inception in 1942.

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