Home Indiana Agriculture News New Indiana River Friendly Farmers are Protecting State’s Resources

New Indiana River Friendly Farmers are Protecting State’s Resources


Ron SutherlinThe River Friendly Farmers awards ceremony dates back to 2000 and at the Indiana State Fair this week 46 more farmers were awarded for their efforts. Putnam County farmer Ron Sutherlin is a new recipient and the things he does on his farm are indicative of the others who are honored each year.

“From our no-till practices and cover crop and things that we’re doing to be environmentally friendly and river friendly, and being conservative with the nature that we’re working with and have been blessed to have,” he said. “Once the soil has been polluted or it’s actually eroded away and gone, it’s gone. It takes forever to replace that. It’s just a natural resource that we have to keep and protect because once it’s gone it’s gone.”

Sutherlin says they have no-till farmed since about 1991 and cover crops entered his mix 10 to 12 years ago, but today “We’re doing more with the cover crop, covering more acres, trying some different mixes of cover crop and just different ideas on how to plant into those cover crops. So it’s evolving.”

The River Friendly Farmer Award is sponsored by the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the 92 county Soil and Water Conservation Districts along with Indiana Farm Bureau.

What a great way to honor these folks who can demonstrate to their neighbors that these practices really pay off,” said IFB president Don Villwock. “We have some fragile land where I live in southwestern Indiana that’s had a lot of erosion and I can testify personally that those thinner soils don’t produce. They’re very susceptible if we don’t get a rain as often the deeper soils in northern Indiana where it’s a little flatter, so conservation is very critical and keeping soil in place is essential for long term sustainability of agriculture.”

Also sponsoring the awards is the Indiana State Department of Agriculture Division of Soil Conservation, Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The complete list of 2013 winners:

1.         Adams County, Rediger Farms Inc., Martin Rediger

2.         Allen County, Byer Farm Service, Ned Byer

3.         Clark County, Valley View Farms, Sam Hagest

4.         Clark County, Dallas Lowery

5.         Clinton County, Windy Lane Farms, Inc., Hal and Ty Brown

6.         Crawford County, Bach Farm, Rollin Bach

7.         Crawford County, Newton Farm, Marcus Newton

8.         Decatur County, Smiley Brothers, Gordon and Jeff Smiley

9.         DeKalb County, State Line Farms, Leon, Mel, and Ed Steury

10.       Dubois County, Welp Homestead Farms, Inc., Mark and Brad Welp

11.       Franklin County, David Hartman

12.       Fulton County, Norman Farms, Michael Norman

13.       Gibson County, Horrall Farms, Ed Horrall

14.       Greene County, Crowe Farms, Inc., Steve Crowe

15.       Hamilton County, Stewart Farms, Jeff Stewart

16.       Howard County, Zell Farm, Dale Zell

17.       Jay County, James Laux

18.       Jay County, Andy Schemenaur

19.       Jefferson County, Reed’s Orchard, Wes Thomas

20.       Knox County, Anson Family Farms, Mark, Michael, Douglas, and Daniel

21.       Knox County, Worland Farms, LLC, Daniel Worland

22.       Kosciusko County, Romine Farms, Brian Romine

23.       Kosciusko/Fulton County, Paxton Farms, Brent Paxton

24.       LaGrange County, Mishler Family Farm, Dewayne Mishler

25.       Newton County, Prairie Park Farm, Warren Johnson, Jr.

26.       Newton County, Strole Grain Farms Inc., Larry Strole (deceased)

27.       Pike County, R J Adams Farms, Inc., Larry and Grant Adams

28.       Pike County, Randy and Ron Leistner

29.       Posey County, Reineke Farms, Steve and Tim Reineke

30.       Pulaski County, Gary Culp

31.       Putnam County, Cedar view Farm LLC, Ron Sutherlin

32.       St. Joseph County, Whitmer Farms, Jim Whitmer

33.       St. Joseph County, Doug Millar

34.       Scott County, Bill and Mary Beth Comer

35.       Spencer County, Freschly Farms, Dean Freschly

36.       Starke County, Pflugshaupt Farms, Robin Phfugshaupt

37.       Starke County, Greg Stone

38.       Steuben County, Moody and Crew LLC, Tyson Franks

39.       Tippecanoe County, Pig Alliance, Todd Welch

40.       Vanderburgh County, Curran and Ann Miller Family LLC, Hugh Miller

41.       Vermillion County, Cheesewright Farms, Kelly Cheesewright

42.       Wabash County, Treska Farms, Gary Treska

43.       Washington County, Cornucopia Farm, Kevin, Linda, Michael, and Jared Baird

44.       Washington County, River Farm, David Souder

45.       Whitley County, Jim Cormany Farms, Jim Cormany

46.       Whitley County, Jagger Farms, Kevin Jagger