January 16, 2009
The 2008 class of Missouri Master Farmers is an impressive group. Collectively, they represent 140 years of production agriculture experience, care for 5,620 acres of cropland and pasture, tend to 680 beef cows and 125 sows, and have given 95 years of agricultural leadership and community service.
The Missouri Master Farmers are Alvin Crooks, Leeton; Steven and Sharon Oetting, Concordia; Scot Shively, Shelbyville; and Paul David Vote, Phillipsburg. They will be recognized Saturday, Feb. 7, at an awards ceremony in Jefferson City.
The Master Farmer Award program recognizes farmers who work hard every day for better, more efficient methods of raising crops and livestock. Nominations are open to all Missourians involved in production agriculture. The judging committee selects the best managers with innovative ideas, business skills, financial recordkeeping, soil and water conservation practices, agricultural leadership, and community service.
"This program recognizes farmers who have not only been successful in farming, but who are also assets to their communities and to agriculture," says Ron Plain, University of Missouri Extension agricultural economist. "This is not meant to be a lifetime achievement award, but to recognize currently active farmers."
The awards banquet for the winners is Saturday evening, Feb. 7 at the 2009 Missouri Young Farmers/Young Farm Wives Convention in Jefferson City. Each Master Farmer will receive a $1,000 cash prize and an award plaque. Also planned is an educational roundtable discussion with representatives from young farmer groups, including. The roundtable is set for Sunday morning, Feb. 8. All events are at the Doubletree Inn, Jefferson City.
Coordinators of the new award program are Missouri Ruralist magazine and University of Missouri Extension. FCS Financial is the gold sponsor.
See our special report, "Meet the Masters," in the January issue of Missouri Ruralist, for more information on each of the Master Farmers.
About the program
The Master Farmer Award is the nation's longest running agriculture award program. States with established award programs include Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, West Virginia, and now Missouri.
It's not too early to start thinking about nominations for the 2009 awards. For an application form, click on the Missouri Master Farmer Award link on this Web site. Forms are also available at MU Extension Centers and at FCS Financial offices. The nomination deadline is July. 1. If you have questions, contact Ron Plain at 573-882-0134 or [email protected].
Steve and Sharon Oetting, Concordia
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