The Indiana State Fair Featured Farmers program continues this year. A different Indiana family will represent agriculture during each day of the 2018 fair, which means 17 farm families will be honored.
Corteva Agriscience, which will eventually be the new name for DowDuPont’s ag division, is sponsoring the program again this year. The featured family will be guests of honor during the entire day.
The Indiana State Fair is Aug. 3-19 in Indianapolis.
First 4 families
Here is a brief look at the families that will be honored during the opening four days of the fair. Watch the website in the coming days to meet more Feature Farmers.
Aug. 3: Mark and Phyllis Legan, Legan Livestock and Grain Inc.
Mark and Phyllis Legan farm with their daughter and her husband, Beth and Nick Tharp, near Coatesville. Their primary enterprise is hogs. Starting as first-generation farmers in 1989, the Legans have developed a large hog operation, along with a crop operation. Mark began his career as a Purdue University Extension educator before investing in the hog operation.
The Legans produce 54,000 weaned pigs per year. About 30,000 are raised in partnership with one farm family, and the other 24,000 are finished in a partnership with another family. Adhering to all standards for producing animals humanely is one of the core values for the operation.
MARK LEGAN AND FAMILY: Purdue’s Jim Mintert (left) interviews Mark Legan about the Legans’ swine enterprise during the recent Indiana Farm Management Tour.
Aug. 4: Tim Schwab, Kopp Land and Livestock
Tim Schwab manages a large cattle operation near Batesville in Franklin County. The operation includes 300 cows and from 500 to 750 head of feeder cattle in a backgrounding program. The number depends upon the year, Schwab says.
“We sell club calves, a few bulls, and hold a sale for bred heifers and cows each year,” he says. “Most of our cattle are black, and we have a few purebreds, including Angus, Maine and Simmental cattle.”
Schwab raises primarily corn, with nearly half of it chopped for feed for his feeder cattle. He also makes a lot of hay.
BEEF IS HIS BUSINESS: Tim Schwab raises cows and calves, and backgrounds feeder cattle in southern Indiana. He also grows corn and hay for feed.
Aug. 5: Brent and Natasha Cox family, Maple Island Farms
Brent and Natasha Cox operate Maple Island Farms near Templeton in Benton County.
“We wanted to raise our children on the farm, so we joined the family farm operation,” Natasha explains. She grew up near Vevay in Switzerland County.
The Coxes farm with Brent’s parents, Steve and Gena Cox. They raise corn, soybeans and wheat.
FAMILY FARMERS: The Cox family is proud of their family farm. The family includes Stephanie and Trent Hall (left), and Steve, Brody, Gena, Alex, Lydia, Natasha, Ryan and Brent Cox.
Aug. 6: Mark Boyer, Healthy Hoosier Oil
Mark Boyer, Converse, and his family farm, but recently he has diversified into raising sunflowers and canola for oil. He developed his own processing plant to produce oil right on the farm.
Byproducts go to a neighbor, who feeds them to his hogs. His pork is featured at a local restaurant.
Boyer has recently turned to working more with third-party distributors to market his bottled oil. He has worked closely with the Indiana Grown program as he developed his business. “Indiana Grown is absolutely essential to my success,” he says. “We wouldn’t be here without their assistance.”