Paarlberg Family Farm, Rolling Prairie, Indiana

  • Paarlberg Family Farms
    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 work and all play:

    Today, Jim’s lucky enough to work side-by-side with his own kids – Ryan and Tyler (not to mention Dylan and Connor and Jackson and Ashley).

    If you can’t find them out in the fields, chances are they’re up in their second level full size basketball court (converted from an old dairy barn). In the winter, they are probably somewhere ripping up the slopes, snow skiing. They’re a family that works, and a family that plays together.

  • “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.”
  • Jim takes the wheel:

    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.”

  • Love at first grade:

    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.

    “We were at a wedding, and Amy was in the wedding. I had a group of cousins sitting around a table and I told them: “See that girl up there? I’m gonna marry her someday.” – Jim
  • The family that stays together:
    On the heels of their 30th wedding anniversary Jim and Amy now have six kids, two daughter-in-laws and a grand-child, and growing! That makes four generations of Paarlbergs; and most of them are never too far away from the place they’ve all called home.
  • “Usually the person that wins the argument is the one that 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)

  • Little things add up to big things:

    Tomato harvest is obviously a pretty huge task for the family. Gearing up for 455 acres that will feed families across the country doesn’t happen overnight. All the kids pitch in, even being homeschooled up to high school, so they’re never too far away from the next job at hand. Because as you’ll hear around the farm, “It’s a lot of little things that add up to big things.”

  • Country girl:

    Ashley’s the youngest of the 3rd generation of Paarlbergs, and despite her age she has some pretty strong views on what makes farm life worth living.

    “There’s all this room to run and play and it’s quiet and I love it! That’s why mom picked the country.”

    It’s hard to argue with her.

  • And the prize for the first grandchild goes to…

    Ryan and his wife Gabrielle are the proud new parents of Jaden Gray – and the fourth generation of Paarlbergs is off and running (or at least crawling).

    “It gives me the opportunity to go in and have lunch with my wife and my daughter, and they can come out and see me at work, anytime. I can’t imagine raising my family any other way.” – Ryan
  • 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.”
  • Paarlberg Family Farms
  • All work and all play:
  • “In tomatoes” since the ‘30s:
  • Jim takes the wheel:
  • Love at first grade:
  • The family that stays together:
  • “Usually the person that wins the argument is the one that does the work.”
  • Little things add up to big things:
  • Country girl:
  • And the prize for the first grandchild goes to…
  • All in the name