A local farmer has been recognized for being an exceptional grower and steward of the land.
Myers Sod Farm of Cortland received first place for the Red Gold Stewardship award by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and Red Gold earlier this month.
The award is presented to Red Gold growers who value improving soil health and water quality on their operations.
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The presentation, now in its 12th year, is a partnership between Red Gold and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.
“Red Gold and its growers are committed to stewardship practices that enhance soil health and improve water quality,” said Steve Smith, Red Gold’s director of agriculture. “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.
Myers has implemented several successful conservation practices on his farm, including grassed waterways, vegetative field borders, water sediment and control basins.
“Practicing conservation is important on our farm,” Myers said. “We feel that if we take care of the land, it will take care of us.”
According to in.gov/isda, Indiana farmers practice a variety of soil conservation practices and planted more than 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.”
In 2018, Myers received his third Master Grower Award and was presented with a Red Gold plaque. In addition to growing tomatoes, Myers owns and manages the Myers Sod Farm sod operation.
As the top winner of the Red Gold Stewardship award, 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 of La Porte placed second for the award. Scott Rice of Rice Farms is a third-generation farmer. Over the past 100 years, the farm has shifted its operation from livestock to specialty crops. The farm grows tomatoes, seed corn, soybeans and wheat.
Rice Farms utilizes a multitude of conservation practices on its farm such as grass filter strips, constructed wetlands and riparian herbaceous covers to promote soil health and water quality.
For placing second, the farm was awarded a $500 scholarship and the opportunity to ship an extra half truckload of tomatoes per day during harvest.