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Featured Farmers have rich histories

Slideshow: Learn more about the farmers being recognized at the Indiana State Fair.

Allison Lund, Indiana Prairie Farmer Senior Editor

June 20, 2024

6 Slides

The Featured Farmers program shines light on a wide variety of operations across the state, each with its own story. The program, hosted by Corteva Agriscience, allows visitors to the Indiana State Fair to be immersed in those stories and interact with the families being recognized.

A farm will be recognized each day during the Indiana State Fair, which runs from Aug. 2 to Aug. 18, except Mondays. Fairgoers can visit with Featured Farmers in the Glass Barn each day at 2:30 p.m. during a live chat. For more information, go to

Read about the first group of farms to be featured here and the second group of farms below. The last five farms will be introduced in coming weeks.

Day 6
Aug. 8 — Union-Go Dairy. A trip to the U.S. sparked the idea for Tony and Yvonne Goltstein to uproot their life in Germany and start a dairy farm from scratch in the states. Tony grew up on his family’s dairy farm in the Netherlands and ran a dairy in Germany for a decade. When the Goltsteins visited a friend’s dairy in the U.S., Tony knew that was what he wanted, and he started his farm in Winchester, Ind.

Tony and Yvonne have brought their three children, Maike, Sanne and Rob, into the operation. The family is always sharing about the industry, opening their farm for tours and visitors. This year, they are featured as a stop on the Purdue Farm Management Tour.

Day 7

Aug. 9 — Blue Yonder Organic Farm. With no prior farming experience, Sara Creech packed her things and left Florida for her new North Salem, Ind., farm following the death of her husband, Chuck. Prior to that move, the pair dreamed of starting their own farm together. When Chuck was diagnosed with colon cancer, they devoted time to making homemade meals and learning from local farmers.

Although Chuck is not here to see their goal materialize, Sara tackled farming with a can-do attitude. After experimenting with produce and a variety of livestock, she found her place in providing ground beef, chicken and eggs to a local distribution center for food pantries. An Air Force veteran, she also works to teach veterans how to kick-start their own farming journey.

Day 8
Aug. 10 — Kirk Hoffman and Family Farms. Kirk and Judy Hoffman, South Whitley, Ind., dove headfirst into farming in the 1980s when farming was uncertain. While he did not grow up on a farm, Kirk always planned on starting his own farm someday. The family has maintained a diversified operation, fulfilling one of the pillars of their core values: perseverance, faith and diversity.

Their custom hay business makes up a large chunk of the operation, along with corn, soybeans and wheat. Their daughter Kelli and her husband, Tayler, recently started a maple syrup venture. Kelli also started her own spray drone business, Spot-On Drone Services. The family hopes to bring agritourism to the farm soon so they can share their slice of the ag industry.

Day 9
Aug. 11 — Fair Farms and Produce. Jim and Vicki Fair started their Greenfield, Ind., farm from scratch in the 1990s with beef cattle, row crops and custom hay baling. While some of that has shifted, one thing that remains constant is the sweet corn patch at the edge of their cornfield. Their son, Jake, remembers selling sweet corn out of a small stand.

The family has since expanded that small patch into a 30-acre produce business, in addition to their 500 acres of row crops. They raise sweet corn, pumpkins, strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers and green beans. They offer U-pick for strawberries and pumpkins while bringing most of their produce to local farmers markets. Jake hopes to incorporate more agritourism in the coming years.

Day 10
Aug. 13 — Advanced Ag Resources Inc. Bobby Hettmansperger credits his committed employees for making it possible to produce, condition, package and distribute seed corn and soybeans for up to 17 companies at a time. What is now a widely diversified operation in Wabash, Ind., started when Bobby’s father, Bob, joined forces with Bob Brodbeck and helped expand Brodbeck Seeds Inc.

The brand name was purchased by Dow AgroSciences in 2008, and the genetics are now sold under the Dairyland Seed name. Bobby and his employees oversee the entire production process at a warehouse dedicated solely to Dairyland Seed. They do the same at several other warehouses for a variety of companies. Bobby says things have come together at the right time, as his focus now shifts to succession planning with his nephew Chris Shultz.

About the Author(s)

Allison Lund

Indiana Prairie Farmer Senior Editor, Farm Progress

Allison Lund worked as a staff writer for Indiana Prairie Farmer before becoming editor in 2024. She graduated from Purdue University with a major in agricultural communications and a minor in crop science. She served as president of Purdue’s Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow chapter. In 2022, she received the American FFA Degree. 

Lund grew up on a cash grain farm in south-central Wisconsin, where the primary crops were corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. Her family also raised chewing tobacco and Hereford cattle. She spent most of her time helping with the tobacco crop in the summer and raising Boer goats for FFA projects. She lives near Winamac, Ind.

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