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Nominate a Master Farmer for 2023

Only you can nominate someone to be honored as an Indiana Master Farmer.

December 1, 2022

2 Min Read
Greg and Deb Smoker with their son Jacob Smoker
SPECIAL MOMENT: Deb and Greg Smoker, Wanatah, Ind., were surprised when they found out their son Jacob nominated them for the 2022 Master Farmer award. Tom J. Bechman

Why is this an exciting time of year? Christmas? New Year’s? Add one more: It’s time to nominate the next class of Indiana Master Farmers! Your help is requested. Only you, or another reader like you, can nominate a Master Farmer — nominations come from peers. Now is the time. Who do you know who should be nominated?

Nominations are due postmarked or emailed by Feb. 15. This would be a great day to get started.

Here are answers to basic questions that may help you get your nomination underway:

Where do I get a nomination form? Email [email protected] to request a form, or mail your request to Indiana Prairie Farmer, 599 N., 100 W., Franklin, IN 46131. You can also call 317-431-8766.

Should I tell the person or surprise them? That is your call. People do it both ways. Some want to surprise the person they’re nominating; others want to seek the person’s permission. If your nomination is successful, it’s still up to the nominee to accept.

How long is the form? It’s only one page, with some information questions and a few key essay questions. You will likely add extra sheets to complete essays about the nominee’s operation.

What will the nominees be judged upon? Three judges — the Purdue University dean of the College of Agriculture, a Purdue Extension person and a past Master Farmer — will judge completed nominations. There is no scorecard. Judges evaluate success in farming, stewardship of natural resources, and service to community and agriculture. No one associated with Indiana Prairie Farmer nominates or judges.

How do I learn about the person’s farm? Again, people do this in different ways. In 2022, two candidates were nominated by an ag teacher who knew them, one by a county Extension educator, one by a son and one by a Master Farmer. They typically went to someone in the family or an employee to get additional information.

Are letters of support required? If you want your nomination to be successful, you need letters of support. The maximum number is six, and most successful nominations have six letters. Allow time for people whom you ask to complete a letter and send it to you so it can become part of the nomination package. Neighbors, family members, Extension educators, schoolteachers, ag businesspeople, accountants, landlords, farm group leaders and community leaders all make great letter writers.

How do I submit the nomination? Mail it or email it, preferably as one complete package. As you prepare your nomination, alert me, Tom Bechman, that a nomination is coming.

Now, go nominate someone!

Comments? Email [email protected].

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