RIVER FRIENDLY HONORS: Johnsons, Shady Grove Farms reap prestigious title

Shady Grove Farms, operated by the Johnson family near Churubusco, was chosen as this year’s River Friendly Farmer at the Indiana State Fair. From left: Indiana Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch, Tim Johnson, Kyle Johnson, Mark Johnson and Indiana Farm Bureau President Randy Kron.
Staff Writer

The Johnson family at Shady Grove Farms was recently awarded the River Friendly Award at the Indiana State Fair.

The statewide initiative recognizes farmers who, through good production management practices, help keep Indiana’s rivers, lakes and streams clean.

Shady Grove Farms is a farrow-to-finish hog operation near Churubusco. In addition, they operate a grain operation consisting of corn, soybeans and wheat.

Their property is located in the Eel River Watershed in Smith Township. They use cover crops to keep top soil in place and minimum tillage, which has saved money in fuel costs and decreased compaction of the soils. Soil testing is completed on a regular basis. Numerous waterways and filterstrips can be found on their property. Erosion has decreased so less sediment is traveling to the water resources. Shady Grove Farms has a number of small woodland acres that provide homes for various wildlife.

The farm consists of brothers, Dave and Ron Johnson, who were active in 4-H and FFA when they were in high school. In addition, the farm is operated by Ron’s son, Tim Johnson, as well as Tim’s son, Austin Johnson. Dave’s sons, Kyle and Mark Johnson, round out the operation. All were active for 10 years each in 4-H.

Dave Johnson has been on the Whitley Co. Soil & Water Conservation District Board for a number of years and currently serves on the Whitley County Drainage Board.