nate-and-emilyAnd the 2016 Ross Faris Award goes to Nate and Emily Parks, owners and farmers at Silverthorn Farm. They took the award home a couple of weeks ago from the annual BRFM Dinner in the Garden.

Nate and Emily represent the new wave of young farmers in Indiana. They committed as a couple to begin farming together and to providing for their family (now 3 small children) and their community’s needs from the bounty of their farm – including poultry and livestock.

They established themselves in Lafayette at the Farmers Market there and through their very successful CSA. They then grew the CSA, as well as their restaurant and farmers market business into the Indianapolis area and have become the produce anchor at the BRFM in terms of quality, quantity, and variety.

They are currently in the process of earning their Certified Organic designation. They are highly regarded for their integrity, their work ethic, and their products among Indianapolis chefs, restaurateurs, and home cooks.

The Silverthorn CSA is innovative and has kept pace with the Green Bean deliveries of the world by allowing customers to select the produce for their weekly order and they have expanded their business this year with an on-farm store so locals can shop every day.

Nate and Emily have built the farm and business as a team and continue to grow their farm business in spite of the many weather challenges thrown their way (their new greenhouse suffered significant damage in storms this spring and heavy rains have taken their toll).

They produce a weekly newsletter (which I recommend highly) that shares their experiences of life as farmers and they maintain a sophisticated website for their customers – the link is www.silverthorn-farm.com.

Local food writer and radio host Jolene Ketzenberger interviewed Nate Parks last week on her WFYI radio program, Eat Drink Indiana Radio. For her fascinating in-depth interview with the award recipient about his life in farming, click here and settle in. I promise you’ll enjoy it!