Featured Farmers: Bishop Family

The Indiana State Fair is the greatest showcase of the past, present and future of Hoosier agriculture and the Indiana State Fair – Celebrating Indiana’s Bicentennial which proudly dedicates your Great Indiana State Fair to Indiana’s history and heritage over the past 200 years.  

To honor and celebrate those who have committed their lives to innovation in agriculture, each day of the 17-day Fair will highlight a different farmer/farm family who has been awarded with a Hoosier Homestead Award. These farmers, who were selected in collaboration with Indiana agriculture stakeholders, will be featured on daily highlight sheets for the Fair as well as participate in various events and exhibits all around the Fair.   

We wanted to take the time to highlight these farmers and share a bit more about what makes them love agriculture. Take a moment to meet the Featured Farmer that will be at the Indiana State Fair on August 21st, the LAST day of the Great Indiana State Fair.

Bishop 1

Bishop Farms

  • Bob and Waneta Bishop; Sonja and Randy Hesser
  • Centennial Hoosier Homestead Award
  • Owns a trucking company that delivers seed to dealers
  • Operation grows soybeans, seed corn, wheat and raises beef cattle
  • Focused on education; former teacher who still leaves his door open for student visits

Bob and Waneta Bishop hail from the small town of Leesburg, Indiana located in rural Kosciusko County. Along with their daughter and her husband, Bob and Waneta farm around 5000 acres, raise 30 head of beef cattle for market and 4-H projects and own a trucking company for seed delivery. Their operation includes the original homestead that was first farmed by James Harvey Bishop in 1833. When they aren’t busy with the work above, they find time to participate in community events.

Bishop 2

“No Child Should Go Hungry in a Farming Community”, organized by the Bishops’, encourages farmers to donate a portion of their grain profits each season to the local food bank. This initiative spurred the AgCares Fund run by the Kosciusko County Community Foundation, where Bob serves as a board member. This program benefits the local food bank and provides aid to those in the Ag community who are in need.

Bob also recently organized a breakfast that brings business and agriculture professionals together. It’s a free networking event for 200 producers and businessmen to provide the opportunity for conversion. They were fortunate this year to host representatives from the Indiana State Agriculture Office and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

Although these things keep Bob and Waneta busy, they continue to participate in other organizations. Bob is the current president of the county Farm Bureau, owns a trucking company, experiments with specialty crops and leaves his gates open for students on a regular basis. Being a former educator has inspired him to never pass up the opportunity to provide knowledge to someone. His most recent visitors were students from Grace College studying Water Conservation and learning about how his practices worked firsthand.

For 16 years Bob taught elementary school and in 1985 he had the opportunity to rent 1,500 acres. This encouraged him to leave teaching and farm full-time.

Bob and Waneta Bishop_EDIT

“I had a desire to farm even when I got out of high school,” Bob said. “I love being outside and the country is a great place to raise a family.”

Bob, Waneta and their family will be at the Indiana State Fair on August 21st, and they will be featured in a Live Chat at 2:30 p.m. in the Glass Barn presented by Indiana Soybean Farmers and will attend the evening parade at 6:30 p.m.

Come join us at the Indiana State Fair on August 21st, 2016 to celebrate with and congratulate the Bishops on their hard work and dedication to Bishop Farms and Indiana Agriculture!

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