Brad Clayton
Brad Clayton
PIERCETON - The 15th Annual Heirloom Tomato Festival will be Aug. 27 in Brower Park and The Old Train Depot in Pierceton from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Pierceton Heirloom Tomato Festival will welcome Jim Wyant and Brad Clayton as the guest heirloom tomato experts for the 2022 festival. Each of these tomato experts will give two talks inside The Old Train Depot, according to a news release provided.

Clayton works for Clayton Garden Center in North Webster. He is the digital marketing and information specialist.

Clayton studied plant and soil sciences at Oklahoma State University, specializing in crop science. Upon graduation, he worked two years for Harvestland Co-op as a yield specialist, working with producers. He then became a territory sales manager for Bonide Products, a lawn and garden chemical company, traveling extensively for two years educating and training consumers and retailers on proper chemical use and application.

Clayton chose to return to the family business in North Webster in 2013. His many different experiences working in both agronomy and horticulture have given him a unique perspective on today’s horticulture industry and home gardening, the release states.

He will speak inside The Old Train Depot at 10:15 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

The second speaker is Jim Wyant, also known as Tomato Jim.

Tomato Jim spent 40 years at Chrysler Kokomo Transmission plant. For decades, gardening has been a favorite pastime.  Around 1990, he discovered heirloom tomatoes. His mentor was Gary Millwood from Louisville, Ky.

Wyant decided to follow his mentor’s footsteps on the heirloom tomato adventure and help save as many Kentucky heirloom tomato varieties as possible. This lead him to treasure the Appalachian tomato varieties. He has more than 200 tomato variety seeds that he sells at local seed swaps.

Wyant will speak inside The Old Train Depot at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The festival kicks off with a 5K run/walk at 9 a.m. Registration begins at 8 a.m. All other events will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pre-register for the 5K at runsignup.com.