May 21, 2024

2024 Farm Family of the Year named

27th annual award

AgriNews Editor James Henry (from left) presents the 2024 Indiana Farm Family of the Year award to the Muegge family: Bruce, Kade, Mary, Cari, Sadie, Linda, Jordan, Rhett, Chris, Judd, Krue, Beau, Karver, Carli and John.

CARTHAGE, Ind. — AgriNews and Beck’s are proud to announce the 2024 Indiana Farm Family of the Year — the Muegge family of M5 Family Farms in Hancock County.

Bruce and Linda Muegge grow corn, soybeans, wheat and forages for their cattle, alongside their family:

• Daughter Carli and husband John Hinton and children Kade, Krue and Karver.

• Daughter Cari Barfield and fiancé Ben Ballard and children Beau, twins Rhett and Judd, and Sadie.

• Son Chris and wife Jordan Muegge and newborn Raelyn, who joined the family on Jan. 12.

• Bruce’s mother, Mary Muegge.

Raelyn, the daughter of Chris and Jordan Muegge, was born on Jan. 12.

“All the kids, in some respect, help on the farm,” Bruce said. “We’re trying to teach the grandkids about work ethic. Hopefully, one day they’ll look back and remember mamaw and papaw on the farm and they can pass that on to their kids.”

The family members take pride in raising their cattle, maintaining a herd of strong, easy-calving cows, always improving bloodlines and weaning calves to be on pasture until the cattle are finished out on grain to produce tender cuts of meat.

The family is all about keeping it real.

“We’re not about gimmicks,” Linda said. “We’re just real. We feed our cattle hay. We don’t do any growth hormones. If the cattle are sick we give them antibiotics, or whatever the vet says they need to keep them healthy.

“We care about our cattle. The same with our crops. We are cautious with anything we use and everything we do. Integrity is irreplaceable.”

The family is active in their community. Bruce and Linda have attended Walnut Ridge Friends Meeting for 20 years, where Linda serves as a clerk and trustee, and Bruce helps with maintenance.

Bruce served on the Hancock County Co-op Board prior to its consolidation and on the Indiana Cutting Horse Association. Both are current members of the National Cutting Horse Association.

Linda has served several local chambers of commerce, as well as the Blue River Community Foundation and the Hancock Community Foundation.

She also took great pride in serving on the board of Hope Center Indy, a recovery center for female victims of trafficking.

On the farm, they host a beef seminar in the fall and a bull sale in the spring. In 2019, they added an on-farm meat shop where people can purchase their beef.

Jordan Muegge helps on the family’s cattle farm.

Jordan And Chris

Jordan helps Chris with photography, records and marketing on the farm. She’s always willing to help with the cattle.

Chris is active in Farm Bureau, currently serving as the Hancock County Farm Bureau president. He also is a member of the Indiana Beef Cattle Association and volunteers with 4-H and FFA.

Chris is an experienced ruminant nutritionist, working for Lowe’s Pellets & Grain in Greensburg.

The family members are very proactive in efficient and effective feed use to make sure they have the dietary support the cattle need to keep them strong and healthy with a focus on proper marbling for high-quality beef cuts.

Carli And John

Oldest daughter Carli and her friends developed Once Upon a Prom, a not-for-profit to supply free prom dresses to girls in Indiana.

Her husband, John, is a firefighter and professional farrier. His experience with forging and steel comes in very handy.

He attended Black Hawk College, is a board member of the Indiana Farriers Association and speaks each year to the Passion Project class at Eastern Hancock to help kids understand what careers are available in agriculture.

Cari And Ben

Cari is a fifth-grade teacher at Eastern Hancock. She has served Leadership Hancock County, the Greenfield Area Chamber of Commerce and the Community Foundation of Hancock County’s Women’s Fund.

Alongside grandma Mary, she is known for being an excellent baker. She is engaged to fiancé Ben Ballard.

Award Winners

Recipients of the Indiana Farm Family of the Year award, presented by AgriNews and Beck’s previously at the Fort Wayne Farm Show and currently at the Indiana Farm Bureau State Convention, are:

1998 — The Kohlhagen Family of Jasper County

1999 — The Walker Family of Blackford County

2000 — The Bontrager Family of Elkhart County

2001 — The Stinson Family of Clinton County

2002 — The Ambriole Family of Huntington County

2003 — The Schlatter Family of Allen County

2004 — The Johnson Family of Orange County

2005 — The Perkins Family of LaGrange County

2006 — The Bell Family of Wayne County

2007 — The Leininger Family of St. Joseph County

2008 — The Ring Family of Dubois County

2009 — The Minich-May Family of Carroll County

2010 — The Mohler Family of Clinton County

2011 — The Coy Family of Decatur County

2012 — The Hayden Family of Lake County

2013 — The Baird Family of Washington County

2014 — The Duttlinger Family of Jasper County

2015 — The Hadley Family of Allen County

2016 — The Clauson Family of Fulton County

2017 — The Miller Family of DeKalb County

2018 — The Ramsey Family of Shelby County

2019 — The Wenning Family of Decatur County

2020 — The Everett Family of Boone County

2021 — The Stephenson Family of Johnson County

2022 — The Schenk Family of Posey County

2023 — The Hamilton Family of Vigo County

2024 — The Muegge Family of Hancock County

Erica Quinlan

Erica Quinlan

Field Editor