Gov. Mike Pence poses for a photograph with Stonycreek Farm Nursery and Landscaping owner Loren Schmierer and office administrator Becca Kelly. He is holding a pumpkin decorated by Kelly like the Indiana flag with a torch and 19 stars, representing the nation’s original 13 colonies, the next five states and then Indiana.
Gov. Mike Pence poses for a photograph with Stonycreek Farm Nursery and Landscaping owner Loren Schmierer and office administrator Becca Kelly. He is holding a pumpkin decorated by Kelly like the Indiana flag with a torch and 19 stars, representing the nation’s original 13 colonies, the next five states and then Indiana.

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — As the families picked pumpkins, climbed a mountain of straw bales, shot corncobs into a canoe floating on a pond and munched apple dumplings, they made a connection to agriculture.

Stonycreek Farm Nursery and Landscaping in Hamilton County has been the backdrop for family fun for more than four decades. Recently, the farm hosted Gov. Mike Pence.

“We’ve got a stack of pictures of our kids at different ages at pumpkin patches. These are the places where memories are made,” he said.

“There’s no question, the importance of giving Hoosiers an opportunity to go and experience life on the farm and be around agriculture and livestock really is an opportunity to reinforce the vital importance of agriculture to the economy of the state of Indiana today.”

Pence praised agritourism enterprises such as Stonycreek Farm for showcasing agriculture to the public.

“It’s part of what’s great about fall in Indiana — the opportunity for Hoosiers in the city to get a little taste of the farm. It just strengthens the ties,” he said.

“Indiana is a lot of things, but at our very core, Indiana is agriculture. I really believe that the values of hard work, neighborliness and integrity that emanate out of life on the farm still define who we are as Hoosiers.”

“It’s moments like these, opportunities for Hoosiers from the city to go and enjoy the farm with their families, that strengthen the ties and reinforce to every member of our communities the importance of agriculture and the fun of agriculture,” he added.

“This is one of a lot of venues around Indiana that I think are just the best place to be on a Saturday in the fall.”

Agriculture is a crucial component of the state’s economy, the governor stressed.

“Hoosiers learned through the course of this recent recession about what a bulwark of the Indiana economy agriculture really is. It was the agricultural economy that supported many of our rural areas, many of our smaller communities, when the national economy was struggling,” he said.

“And to this day, in the midst of these challenging economic times, agriculture continues to be a vibrant source of our economic strength in Indiana, so all of our plans for getting this economy moving again are built on building on the strength of Indiana’s agricultural past, present and future.”

Pence, who previously served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013, said he vows to support agriculture as Indiana’s governor.

“In Indiana, I always say, throughout our history we have done two things well — we make things and we grow things. We also raise things. Two out of three of those activities take place on the farm,” the Republican said.

“The diversity of our agricultural economy both in terms of production agriculture, livestock and agritourism play a vital role in Indiana’s economic life, and we’re going to continue to look for ways to expand that strong agricultural economy for generations to come.”

That includes supporting animal agriculture, as well.

“One of the great accomplishments in recent years in Indiana has been an expansion into more strength and more diversity in our livestock economy, particularly as it pertains to pork production. We look forward to continuing to support efforts to expand our livestock business in the state of Indiana,” Pence said.

“It’s vitally important that our agricultural economy take in production agriculture and livestock, and we’re going to continue to promote policies that will make that possible and increase those in years ahead.”

Owner Loren Schmierer said he started Stonycreek Farm so his children — and now others — could experience agriculture.

“We offer a taste of the farm for the kids who haven’t seen it,” he said. “We love the harvest time, and we love seeing the kids going out and picking out their own pumpkins. That’s what gives me the most joy.”

Schmierer estimated that he will sell about 50,000 pumpkins by Halloween. The 50-acre farm will open back up to sell Christmas trees starting Nov. 23, the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

Stonycreek Farm is located two miles east of Noblesville on State Road 38 East. For more information, visit www.stonycreekfarm.net.