A Very Heartfelt Thank You to Betty Phelps Refior!
November 24, 2014
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches and we reminisce on the moments that we are and have been grateful for throughout the year, we at the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute want to take the time to extend a very special thank you to Betty Phelps Refior.
As many of you know, Betty has been a lifelong and steadfast supporter of sustainable agriculture. She has recently illustrated that staunch commitment to environmental stewardship through the incredibly generous donation of the Peru, Indiana farm that has been in her family since 1887. Betty donated this farm to the Institute in the hopes that it would be converted to a USDA certified organic operation, of which it is currently going through the 3-year transition process. Betty wants this organic farm to serve as a practical resource for area farmers and urbanites alike. She wants people in the area to take notice of the changes on the farm and be able to learn from the practices being adopted.
Michael Fields staff have reached out to local organic experts and NRCS staff to assist the current farmer in the organic transition process of this land. Cissy Bowman of Center Valley Organic Farm and Rick Duff, Miami County District Conservationist, have provided insight and guidance on planting pollinator habitat to establish beehives and assisted in strategizing on best practices for the organic transition of 20+ acres of wooded lands and 192 acres of cropland.
Your generous gift showcases your profound passion for the long-term health of our environment. This farm will serve as a beacon of responsible and sustainable farming techniques and will provide a real-life model and case study of the organic transition process for interested and budding practitioners in the Miami County area and beyond.
We at the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, and all of those who care about sustainable agriculture and a better, more responsible farming future, thank you for this selfless gift.
Check out this Facebook post for pictures from the farm.