Miers farm celebrating 200 years

Mar. 27—DECATUR COUNTY — The Miers Farm has been producing seed corn, seed wheat, seed soybeans and more, including popcorn, for 200 years. But, Mary Miers, current owner, says she and farm manager Chris Bierhaus are focused on the future.

"Farming," Miers said, "has changed so much." Miers noted her late husband David preferred the term ag production over farming. "It is agriculture" she said, "and agriculture is all about food and that is what we do." Bierhaus elaborated by noting that technology itself is currently growing at a rapid pace, with both equipment and genetic and biological advances for crops themselves.

Good management, according to Bierhaus, has been the key to the farm's success.

"It's taken generations to do that," he said." We're not the first ones trying to stay on the front of the curve," with technology, "we're just continuing that legacy. The number one success story in agriculture on every production farm is being a steward of the land. We pride ourselves with being very good stewards as far as taking care of the land, giving it what it needs," and harvesting crops.

"We reap what we sow," Miers added.

Popcorn is among the most unique things Miers Farm does; they began growing popcorn around 2014 or 2015 after finding themselves needing a high-grossing, low volume product. The ability to experiment, generally, also sets Miers apart.

"We do a lot of different trials and research on management practices and products," Bierhaus said.

Beyond growing crops, Miers and Bierhaus also believe in educating the next generation. The farm does outreach with all Decatur County schools and hosts tours for agriculture classes and STEM programs.

"Indiana is a powerhouse in agriculture," said Bierhaus, "and I don't feel like that's going to change at all. If anything, it's going to get even better with the different technologies coming down the line, different organizations pushing for agriculture to succeed. Decatur County has historically been a very ag-based county and that's one thing we're looking forward to being a part of is continuing that trend and the education process to advance," agriculture in the community.

Miers added, "We've had ages from daycare to high school," visit the farm and believes education to be more important than ever given statistics showing that most children are a generation or more removed from agriculture.

Noelle Maxwell: