The Indiana State Department of Agriculture and Elwood-based Red Gold have awarded two farm families who have adopted sustainable farming practices on their operations. McKillip Farms of Wabash and Lievens Bros. of Petersburg, MI are recipients of the 2021 Red Gold Stewardship award.
Now in its 13th year, the award is given to farmers who grow tomatoes for Red Gold and have taken steps to improve soil health and water quality on their farms.
“We feel it is our responsibility to maintain filter strips and waterways along all each of these,” said Nate Gage, a fourth-generation farmer. “Improving soil health and water quality is important to us as we farm near major watersheds.”
Gage, who manages tomato production for McKillip Farms says they have implemented several conservation projects, such as filter strips and cover crops.
“Red Gold is an excellent partner for the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and Hoosier farmers,” said ISDA Director Bruce Kettler. “Congratulations to each of this year’s award recipients and thank you for your commitment to soil conservation and water quality.”
The Lievens Bros. farm have also implemented conservation programs, such as reduced tillage and grassy filter strips, to reduce soil erosion and runoff.
“Winning this award would be confirmation we are doing the right thing while also ensuring our farm is productive for many generations to come,” said Brent Lievens.