Paarlberg Family Farm - Rolling Prairie, Indiana
Welcome to the Paarlberg family farm – Red Gold tomato growers since the early 1980s. Owner Jim Paarlberg grew up watching his father and uncle raise tomatoes, and knew early on that he would follow in their muddy footprints. He took over in 2000 with his first grade sweetheart Amy, and together they grew a whole new family of their own.
All in the Name
When asked about his family’s relationship with Red Gold, Jim doesn’t mince words. “They’ve allowed me to grow our operation to where we are today, and we’re very thankful for that. I don’t know many companies you can grow for, where the owner knows your name. They’ve been on our farm…and we know their names. That doesn’t happen today.”
"In Tomatoes" Since the 30s
The Paarlbergs are no strangers to tomato farming. In fact, they’d be hard-pressed to tell you a time when it wasn’t a part of their family’s history.
As Jim’s dad reminisced, “That’d be back in the 30’s – early 30s, with my grandpa, my father, and my uncle. They were already in the tomato business back then, and the family’s been in the business ever since.”
The One Who Wins the Argument Does the Work
When it comes to helping hands, Jim has some good ones. His two oldest – Ryan and Tyler – started out mowing onions at nine years old, and have since graduated to just about everything their dad does. As brothers they don’t always agree, but they do have a system. (See above quote from Tyler)
Jim soaked up everything he could from Wayne and Conrad, and then was given the opportunity to try things on his own. He considered it a huge leap of faith on their part – one that he plans to pass on to his own kids someday.
It’s no secret to say Jim absolutely loves what he does. When asked about his views on farming, “It’s just a way of life. You – you breathe it. You sleep it. You play it.”
Amy Paarlberg is Jim’s better half – both in business and life. They met in first grade, but his dedication of loving her didn’t happen until years later – in the eighth grade.