On Farmer’s Day, Aug. 14, at the Indiana State Fair, the Miers family will receive the 2013 John Arnold Award for Rural Preservation from Indiana Landmarks and Indiana Farm Bureau. David and Mary Miers operate the Miers Farm Corporation in Decatur County.
“The Miers family uses their historic barns and farm buildings in modern agricultural operations while preserving the structures’ original character,” says Tommy Kleckner, Indiana Landmarks’ western office director and manager of the Arnold Award program.
David is the sixth generation Miers on the farm—2 ,000 acres of corn, beans, soybeans, and wheat. The Miers live in the c.1890 Queen Anne-style farmhouse built by David’s great-great-grandfather, Thomas Sandford Miers.
The farm also includes a 1910 concrete block pump house and garage, a turn-of-the-century barn, and historic outbuildings.
While protecting the farm’s legacy, the Miers also harness modern technology to maximize harvests, using GPS and crop yield mapping to identify weaknesses. The Miers farm has won its seed corn contractor’s highest yield award 11 times since 1989 among growers of similar hybrids.
The Miers support wildlife habitats and land conservation by maintaining a plantation of 3,000 walnut trees and setting aside 120 acres for the federal Conservation Reserve Program.
David and Mary Miers will accept the Arnold Award at approximately 8:45 a.m. during the Old-Fashioned Pancake Breakfast on Main Street in front of the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand. Indiana Landmarks’ President Marsh Davis and Don Villwock, President of Indiana Farm Bureau, will be joined by Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann in presenting the award.
The annual award is named in memory of John Arnold (1955-1991), a Rush County farmer committed to preserving Indiana’s rural heritage. Decatur County Alliance for Preservation nominated the Miers Farm for Arnold Award.