Local farmers honored by Hirzel Canning


PEMBERVILLE — Hirzel Canning Company and Farms, producers of the Dei Fratelli tomato brand, held its
annual Growers’ Dinner on April 2. This yearly dinner is hosted by Hirzel Canning Company to recognize
the local family farms that they partner with in growing tomatoes and cabbage for their Dei Fratelli and
Silver Fleece brands.
Several awards were given for the 2018 season, including 0% Culls Award, which is given for loads that
are 83% or higher in #1 top grade tomatoes with 0% unusable fruit. Also given at the banquet was the
Master Grower Award, which represents recipients who have distinguished themselves from others by
delivering quality tomato production and exhibiting professionalism and leadership within the industry.

The highly regarded Grower of the Year Award was presented to Mike and Todd Schulte of Schulte Produce
Farms in Pandora. The Grower of the Year Award is given for outstanding performance as the top supplier
of processing tomatoes for the year. This is the third time Schulte Produce Farms has won the award and
they also hold two Master Grower Awards from previous years.
The following outlines all of the Award Winners from the evening:
Grower of the Year – Mike and Todd Schulte of Schulte Produce Farms.
Master Grower – Andrew Basinger and Josh Schumacher of Basinger-Schumacher, and Steve and Tom Busch of
Busch Farms. This is the third Master Grower Award for Basinger-Schumacher, and the second for Busch
Top Grade – Todd and Trent Rothert of Rothert Farms. This is the second time Rothert Farms has received
this award and they currently hold the highest 5-year average grade for Hirzel Canning Company.
0% Culls – Todd and Trent Rothert of Rothert Farms, Steve and Tom Busch of Busch Farms.
All of the growers affiliated with Hirzel Canning Company are family farm operations closely located to
one of Hirzel’s three processing plants, which are located in Northwood, Pemberville and Ottawa.

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