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Time to Nominate Someone to Be a Master Farmer!Time to Nominate Someone to Be a Master Farmer!

Deadline for nominations for 2012 will be February 15.

Tom Bechman 1

November 14, 2011

2 Min Read

Master Farmers live everywhere. Perhaps there is one living down the road form you, or perhaps it is you. Maybe you've already received the award, or maybe you know somebody that should receive it but hasn't. Here is your chance to change that, and help shine the spotlight on a farmer and his or her family that not only do a good job of farming and caring for the land, but that also are active in organizations and the community, perhaps even at the state and national level.

Indiana Prairie Farmer and the Purdue University College of Agriculture sponsor the award each year. Typically, four Master Farmers and one Honorary Master Farmer are named each year. Nominations for Master Farmer must come from someone outside of Indiana Prairie Farmer. That's why if you know of someone who meets the qualifications, it's so important that you agree to take time to put together a nomination on their behalf.

The nomination form itself is only a page long. You can obtain one by emailing : [email protected] or writing to: Indiana Prairie Farmer, P.O. Box 247, Franklin, IN 46131. However, most of the questions require additional information that can't be explained on one page. Most of the questions relate to how the nominee you would like to be considered operates their farm, what measures they have taken to care for their land and resources, and what types of leadership activities they have been involved in during their career.

The modern version of the program started in 1968. Master Farmers have been named to join the group every year since then. The original version started in 1925, but was discontinued during the Great Depression in the mid-1930s.

Beginning last year, the Master Farmer Awards Program was held in conjunction with the Indiana Farm Management Tour. The highest attendance on record, well over 200, attended the banquet and honored last year's new inductees. The same format will be used this year. The tour will be in late June in northern Indiana. Watch for an announcement on dates and exact locations.

Meanwhile, circle Feb. 15 as a target date on your calendar, and start the process of nominating someone you look up o for the award. Nominators of successful candidates are also invited to attend the ceremony.

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.

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