indiana Prairie Farmer Logo

Help us update our Master Farmer filesnominate someone new!

Tom Bechman 1, Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

January 28, 2013

2 Min Read

This is the first in a series of articles to remind you of previous Master Farmer winners. Each year we get questions about who has already received the award. At the same time, we'd like to hear from you if you know someone on the list is (deceased), and we're not showing them as (deceased).


Meanwhile, if there is someone not on the list that should be, consider either nominating them yourself or asking someone else to help you. There's still time to put a quality nomination together. Click Master Farmer on the right side of the Website to find the nomination form. Gather six letters of support. The nomination must be postmarked by Feb 15, 2013. If you have questions, email [email protected] or call 317-738-0565.

Here are the first five classes of Indiana Prairie Farmer Master Farmers from the modern era, beginning in 1968. The original program was discontinued in 1935 due to the Depression. Today, Purdue University's College of Agriculture co-sponsors the award.

From 1968: Mark Anson, Guy Beerbower (deceased), George Corya, Richard Craig, Ernest Miller (deceased), William Nash (deceased), Kenneth Perkins (deceased), James Schershel, Gerald Tarnow, and Philip Warner (deceased).

From 1969: Ellsworth Biesecker, Walter Carter (deceased), Robert Gross, Robert Harper (deceased), Glen Lightfoot, Byron Nixon Jr., and Robert Williams.

From 1970: Norman Becher, William Cable (deceased), Paul Canary (deceased), Orville Chamberlain, Virgil Gerhardt (deceased), Carl Johanningsmeier and John McCormick (deceased).

From 1971: Lloyd Clayton (deceased), Morris Hoar, Erland Rothenberger (deceased), William Rothenberger (deceased),  James Shilling and Richard Ward (deceased).

From 1972: Francis Beck (deceased), Sherman Kessler (deceased), Henry Norman, Russell Norris (deceased), and Dwight Smoker (deceased).

From 1973: Kenneth T. Caldwell, H. Roland Moesner (deceased), Carroll L. Thompson (deceased), Paul G. Thurston (deceased) and Samuel H. Washburn.

From 1974: Roy Elliott, Cecil Madill (deceased), Lincoln Priebe, John Rodibaugh, Gilman Stewart (deceased) and John Stewart.

From 1975: Max Foster (deceased), Donald Green, Marvin Mann (deceased), Victor Sprong and Ellis McFadden.

About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

Tom Bechman is an important cog in the Farm Progress machinery. In addition to serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom is nationally known for his coverage of Midwest agronomy, conservation, no-till farming, farm management, farm safety, high-tech farming and personal property tax relief. His byline appears monthly in many of the 18 state and regional farm magazines published by Farm Progress.

"I consider it my responsibility and opportunity as a farm magazine editor to supply useful information that will help today's farm families survive and thrive," the veteran editor says.

Tom graduated from Whiteland (Ind.) High School, earned his B.S. in animal science and agricultural education from Purdue University in 1975 and an M.S. in dairy nutrition two years later. He first joined the magazine as a field editor in 1981 after four years as a vocational agriculture teacher.

Tom enjoys interacting with farm families, university specialists and industry leaders, gathering and sifting through loads of information available in agriculture today. "Whenever I find a new idea or a new thought that could either improve someone's life or their income, I consider it a personal challenge to discover how to present it in the most useful form, " he says.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like