Middlesworth Family Farms - Marion, Indiana
The Middlesworth family farm has been raising tomatoes dating back almost 70 years – when Wilma and Daryl Middlesworth got hitched and started a little farm in Marion, Indiana. They raised their family of four boys on that very same land, and things just kind of took off from there.
Today they’ve grown to 290 acres of Red Gold tomatoes, and 21 great-grandchildren. Three brothers – Danny, Max and Brian – and two of their sons – Shane and Brett – are out there every day…and on most days, the fourth generation of Middlesworths isn’t too far behind them.
After spending their childhoods right here in these fields, Danny, Max and Brian have since taken over running the family operation and they don’t take their duties lightly. They know there are countless families out there in the world, relying on their production. As Max puts it, “We’ve got a big responsibility to feed the world.”
Wilma and Daryl Middlesworth (sadly both have passed on) grew up on family farms before starting their own. Throughout their entire marriage, they prided themselves on their ability to grow the perfect tomatoes. Wilma once asked him, “Daryl, do you think there’ll be tomatoes in heaven?” If there are, Daryl’s growing them with Wilma at his side as we speak.
Meet Shane and Brett, 3rd generation Middlesworth farmers. Can you guess where Brett and his wife Linsie had their first date? If you guessed a tomato field, you’d be right.
Shane and Brett work side-by-side with their dads on a daily basis – something they’d both dreamed of since they could walk. To them, family and farm are permanently tied together.
When asked if he knew that he wanted to be a farmer early on, Danny replied, “I was born to farm, that’s all I ever wanted to do!”
Danny remembers sitting on the fender of the tractor as a kid while his dad was driving, and finally heard those four magic words: “You want to drive?” Before he knew it, he was behind the wheel and his dad was on the fender. It was a thrill he’s never forgotten.
As many as 21 great-grandchildren frequent the Middlesworth tomato fields day in and day out. Unlike most cousins, they get a chance to truly grow up together in the outdoors…helping out, playing, even getting into trouble! Needless to say, there’s no shortage of activity.