State ag department recognizes Logan County farm for sustainable operations

Dave Bishop and his family, operators of PrairiErth Farm south of Atlanta, received the state award Thursday during the annual meeting of the Illinois Organic Growers. (Photo Facebook/PrairiErth Farm)

By Greg Halbleib

ATLANTA, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Agriculture has recognized a Logan County family for its efforts in sustainable agriculture.

The department is presenting the R.J. Vollmer Award for Sustainable Agriculture today to Dave Bishop and his family, who operate PrairiErth Farm near Atlanta. Bishop has farmed the 300-acre farm since 1981, originally producing conventional corn, soybeans, wheat and oats. He converted to synthetic-chemical-free procedures in the 1980s after observing those crops fared better during drought conditions.

Sons Graham and Hans have joined the farm and broadened its scope.  Dave’s daughter, Kristin, is an elementary school educator and shares her expertise as she helps facilitate school tours on the farm.

The farm now also produces vegetables, fruit, honey, and organic beef, pork and eggs. Bishop is a member of the advisory board of the Downtown Bloomington Farmers Market and Artists’ Alley.

Greg Halbleib can be reached at 


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