Wednesday, September 10, 2014

We Are Indiana Agriculture: Smith Family Farms

By Sarah Mahan of This Farm Family's Life

Smith Family Farms is located just a few miles west of Pendleton. Jennifer and Neal Smith are the sixth generation to farm the family farm that was established over 100 years ago. Their sons: Mitchell, a sophomore at Purdue, Nathan, a senior at Pendleton Heights High School, and Miller, a seventh grader at Pendleton Heights Middle School make up the seventh generation. The Smiths, along with Neal’s parents Mike and Linda, farm about 2500 acres of corn, soybeans and hay. They milked approximately 100 Holstein calves until 1999 when they converted the dairy farm to a beef farm. Now they have 100 cows. They raise the calves to sell for freezer beef or for show calves.The Smith's cattle are grass and grain fed and raised without the use of antibiotics or added hormones.

The Smith children are definitely familiar with the show ring. “Our boys are very active in the National and State Junior Shorthorn Livestock Shows. Our beef recipes have won the National Junior Shorthorn Cook-off for the last four years,” Jennifer explained. “It is one of our kids’ favorite contests. The teams consist of four kids each. They have a recipe that they must prepare while explaining what they are doing, plate it and present it to the judges to taste.”

If you would like some locally raised beef, Jennifer invites you to visit them at Pendleton, Saxony, or Noblesville farmer’s markets on Saturdays from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m., or you can buy directly from them. They are also in the process of opening a meat market in Pendleton. “I wish the public would understand that they have the safest and cheapest food supply in the world,” Jennifer says.

In addition to the corn, soybeans and hay, the Smiths also have 25 acres of wholesale pumpkins and a U-pick pumpkin patch for field trips. Smith Family Farms combines fall fun and Ag education. The kids can navigate their way through the corn maze, visit the petting zoo, ride ponies, go on a wagon ride and enjoy the other various entertainments while learning all about agriculture. There is also a prairie maze, which is a maze in the soybeans that is geared toward younger children. Visit them on Saturdays and Sundays beginning the last Saturday in September from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Smith Family Farms is located at 7055 West 675 South, Pendleton, Indiana 46064. You can also visit their website for more information.