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Tomatoes rule the day Thursday at the Indiana State Fair

Tomatoes rule the day Thursday at the Indiana State Fair
David and Mary Howell and family represent tomato farmers in the Indiana State Fair Year of the Farmer program.

If you buy and eat canned Red Gold tomatoes or drink Red Gold tomato juice, you may have tasted tomatoes grown by David and Mary Howell and family near Middletown in Delaware County. The Howells raise lots of corn, soybeans and even other specialty crops. One of their enterprises is tomatoes.

Related: Unique crop farming family comes to Indiana State Fair Aug. 19

The Howells will be at the Indiana State Fairgrounds all day on Aug. 20 as part of the Year of the Farmer program. It's the theme for the 2015 Indiana State Fair. The entire celebration called the year of the Farmer this year is sponsored by Dow AgroSciences.

Meet the Howells- Aaron, left and Adam Howell manage tomatoes and other crops on their farm.

Look for the Howells to be at key events during the Indiana State Fair. They will visit the Indiana Glass Barn at 2:30 p.m. EDT for a live chat with fair-goers. They are also expected to participate in the nightly parade around the fairgrounds, featuring the Howell family and a number of antique farm tractors and implements.

The parade is held as long as the crowd at the fair that day is not so large that it would make it difficult to get their equipment down in front of the revamped plaza area outside the Indiana Farmers coliseum.

David and Mary Howell were nominated together and received the Master Farmer award in 2010. It is co-sponsored by Indiana Prairie farmer and the Purdue University College of Agriculture.

Today, their sons, Aaron and Adam, manage most of the operations on the farm, Mary says. That includes both tomatoes and other crops.

"It hasn't been a good year for tomatoes because of all the rain," Mary says. "It has certainly made getting jobs done more difficult."

Tomatoes are harvested with machines. Early versions featured lots of riders sorting tomatoes on the go. Today there are fewer riders, Mary says. Color sorters do some of the work that was once done by humans.

See a full list of family farmers and links to their stories as they appear on the Indiana Prairie Farmer website: Indiana Soybean Alliance's Glass Barn will feature 'Year of the Farmer' hosts

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