If you’re visiting the 2018 Indiana State Fair, keep an eye out for the Featured Farmers. A different Indiana farm family is featured each day of the fair through this program, sponsored by Corteva Agriscience. The farms represent a wide variety of ag products that are produced in Indiana. The Indiana State Fair is Aug. 3-19 in Indianapolis.
Aug. 11: Mark and Emily Corbin, Corbin Beef and Poultry
Mark and Emily Corbin, Clay City, are proud to represent the poultry industry, and specifically, turkey production in Indiana. They began growing turkeys on contract for an Indiana processor in December 2014.
So far, it’s been a successful venture, Mark says. “We’ve learned a lot, and the system is working good so far. We get them when they’re small and raise them to more than 40 pounds each.”
The Corbins have three turkey barns, each 60 feet wide and 500 feet long. They typically raise 9,000 birds per barn at a time.
The family also raises more than 60 beef cows and sells freezer beef.
MEET THE CORBINS: Mark Corbin and son Kason (left), and Emily and daughter Kennedy (right) raise turkeys on contract and sell freezer beef. Their operation is in Clay City.
Aug. 12: Steve and Abby Herr, Herr Dairy Farm
The Herrs milk 445 cows near Kendallville. They milk Holsteins with some Jerseys and a few dairy-cross cows. Things changed drastically in their operation earlier this year.
“We installed four robots in January and four more in February,” Abby Herr says. “It took most of the cows three to four days to convert over to the new system. They’re very much motivated by feed to come get milked by the robots. They’re interesting to watch as they adapt to the system. Some circle around, waiting for their turn.”
The Herrs market their milk through Dairy Farmers of America, a dairy cooperative.
ROBOTIC DAIRY: The Herrs installed eight robotic milkers on their farm this year. Abby and Steve Herr, holding their daughter, Alexis, are flanked by Steve’s parents, Mary and Dave Herr.
Aug. 13: Dave and Jane Smith, Smith Sheep Farm
Dave and Jane Smith represent the sheep industry. If you travel U.S. highways 41 or 52 in northwest Indiana, you’ll find the Smith farm where the two roads meet, near Earl Park.
The Smiths have a flock of 300 Katahdin ewes, classified as hair sheep and raised for meat. They raise breeding stock, and participate in several shows and sales each year. Dave is also a recognized sheep judge.
They also grow corn, soybeans, oats, cereal rye and hay. Some of the rye is used as seed. Their son, Jared Whitwer, farms with them.