Last month, we asked our newsletter subscribers and social media followers to nominate a Farmer Hero in their life. We received nominations for farmers all over the country who are growing food for their communities and stewarding important natural resources. These farmers are keeping their communities fed and working through a summer where many parts of the country have seen record-breaking temperatures, smoky skies, and devastating floods.
Though every farmer deserves to be recognized for their hard work, we’re excited to highlight some farmers from Indiana, where this year’s Farm Aid festival will be held. Without further ado, here are some of your Farmer Heroes!
Betsy Muhlenkamp nominated Steve Muhlenkamp as her Farmer Hero:
Raising cattle and farming fields in rural Indiana, Steve is also battling cancer but hasn’t lost the energy to work part time and get up before dawn to start his day on the farm. He takes all of nature in from watching the eagles nest, tending to the garden, and making his own rain barrels and trellises for the home. The farm was also hit by a tornado recently, which the community from all over came to help clean up immediately. Steve is deserving of this recognition.
Aaron and Lacy Sheller
Aaron and Lacy Sheller were nominated by their friend Jesse Hunter:
Aaron Sheller and his wife Lacy farm a large amount of ground in Hamilton County about fifteen minutes from the venue. Aaron’s father passed when he was in college and Aaron came home to take over the farm and keep the family name in the ag business. He and his wife also run Sheller Family Foods where they raise and sell beef and pork. Aaron never gives up no matter the situation facing him and he always pushes everyone around him to be the best form of themselves. I met Aaron while building a new grain bin on his farm a few years back and he has been a great friend ever since.
Alex Pennington nominated Daniel Garcia, an organic farmer who runs Garcia’s Gardens. Here’s what he had to say:
Daniel Garcia runs Garcia’s Gardens out of Indianapolis near Lawrence. He is a super rad dude who takes care of all his people and teaches people about everything that goes into what he does. I have been lucky to have him as a vendor and a friend.
And here’s a bonus Farmer Hero from North Carolina (where Farm Aid 2022 took place). Kelly Kiker wrote to us about Brittany Chester, a farmer in North Carolina:
I met Brittany in college. She was the daughter of a multigenerational dairy farmer. Her family lost the farm years later due to a decline in milk prices by big competitors. Recently, her family started farming again, selling at local farmer’s markets and offering a delivery service. Britney is inspiring because she is living her dream while practicing environmentally responsible farming. She also hosts students at her farm and a summer camp.