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Illinois Master Farmers through the decades

Who’s been a Prairie Farmer Master Farmer? Here’s a look — plus Honorary Master Farmers.

Holly Spangler

February 27, 2023

2 Min Read
collage of 2020-2023 Prairie Farmer Master Farmer group shots
ROLL CALL: The 2023 Master Farmers join an accomplished list of “who’s who” in Illinois agricultural production. Pictured are (clockwise, from upper left) Martin Barbre, Ron Moore, David Meiss and Curtis Strode, who join 2022’s Curt Zehr, Darryl Brinkmann, Doug Schroeder and Jim Raben; 2020’s Ted Mottaz, Joe Pickrell, Susan and John Adams, and Dale Hadden; and 2021’s Kenneth Hartman Jr., Paul Taylor and Kent Hodel. Betty Haynes and Holly Spangler

The 2023 Master Farmer class joins Illinois’ best agricultural producers. Here’s a look at every Master Farmer and Honorary Master Farmer named by Prairie Farmer since the awards program was reinstated in 1968.

1968
Clarence Albriten
Glenn Brown
A.J. Cording
Arthur Essington
John Harber
Frank Kern
Jack Moran
William Travis
Harry Turley
Bob Yoder

1969
John Ammon
Dick Anson
Fred Baumberger
Jack Brown
Wayne Fell
Albert Gehlbach
Eddie Gilmore
Allen Hoffman
John Keller
John Kinscherff
Richard Muehling
Philip Snell
Albert Webb
William Wyffels

1970
John Albin
Bob Armstrong
Edmund Daily
Dave Dickey Sr.
Carl Guebert
Ray Larson
Bill Pfeffer
Harold Steele
Daryle Tegeder

1971
George Brauer
Jim Cravens
Ken Gorden
Walt Stemler
Wilbert Stevenson
Don Wilken

1972
Wayne Clark
Harold Council
Bob Gilmore
Russ Jeckel
Cornelius Rietveld
Dale Schaufelberger
Frank Simpson

1973
Bill Curry
Bill Furry
Laverne Johnson
Jim Monier
Al Unverfehrt

1974
Stewart Carlisle
Elliott Y. Johnson
Keith Jones
Harold Kuehn
Jack Rundquist
Richard Stone

1975
Lyle Grace
Paul McClure
Dale McKee
Wayne Maschhoff
Donald Morris

1976
John Beckett
Bob Hamilton
Paul Kermicle
Harold Rice
Lester Stone
Charles Weingart

1977
Carl Behme
Rollie Main
Carl Marriott
Wayne Niewold
Wilbur Paulus

1978
Paul Beetz
John Huftalin
Jerry King
Bill McFadden
Harold Milliman
Bob Provines

1979
Bill Baumgartner
Melvin Parkhurst
Leo Pfeiffer
Del Scheider
Roger Wegehenkel
Jim Willrett

1980
Wayne Heberer
Don Huftalin
John Irwin
Ken Riskedal
Elmo Springer

1981
Sherwood Danner
Charles Diehl
Kenneth Kesler
Willard Severns
Roger Steimel
Don Zimmerman

1982
Maurice DeSutter Jr.
Eldon Gould
Gilbert Hennenfent
Paul Montavon
Orlo Ruppert

1983
Allen Aves
Ross Gates
Virgil Rosendale
Richard Rubenacker
J. George Smith
Marvin Warner

1984
John Curtin
John Kellogg
Bill Lenschow
Dale Mowery

1985
George Helman
I. Ron Lawfer
Ralph Sloman

1986
Hilding Allen
Ned Brown
Richard Rayburn
William Taake

1987
Joe Bicknell
Neil Pistorius
Ken Rehn
Harold Stahl

1988
Preston Carson
Donald Grubb
Harry Herrmann
Robert Wilson

1989
Laverl Byers
Sonny Eddleman
Dean Ganschow
Glenn Meyer

1990
Leland Behnken
Tom Fenstermaker
Stephen Moser
Melvin Offenheiser

1991
Edward Arndt
Floyd Bohlen
James Smith
Levi Yoder

1992
Erval Borgic
Milo Thurston
Howard Vohland
Ronald Warfield

1993
Ernest Garbe
Gerald Hartmann
Norman Karg
Russell Stewart
Gary Timpner

1994
William Beeler
Gerald Carney
Ray Hankes
Edward Peterson

1995
Wilbert E. Buchholz
Dennis Endress
Larry Fesser
Keith C. Kesler

1996
Wayne Danekas
Mike Hennenfent
Dan Meinhart
Rollie Moore

1997
Jerry Bemis
Darrell Lasswell
John Reifsteck
Ralph Walter

1998
Bob Johnson
Melvin Schweizer
Leroy Scott
Duane Torrance

1999
Kendall Cole
Wayne Gleim
Marvin Perzee
Terry Wolf

2000
Gene Lane
Richard Maloney
William Olthoff
Gene Youngquist

2001
Kent Krukewitt
Philip Nelson
Wendell Shauman
Ralph Timpner

2002
Jack Erisman
Randy Newcomb
David Ruppert
Bob Thurston

2003
Henry Bullock
Brad Daugherty
David Erickson
Kevin Green
Randy Sims

2004
Stanley Blunier
Lamar Fesser
Thomas Mueller
James Niewold

2005
Rollo Burnett
Richard Martin
Doug Miller
Russell Rosenboom

2006
Richard Guebert
Steve Stierwalt
Jim Walter
Larry Wernsing

2007
David Downs
Ronald Fehr
Bill Gray
Henry Kallal

2008
Roger Allaman
Leon Corzine
Jim Patterson
Gary Wachtel

2009
Doug Block
Tom Block
Randy Lambdin
Rick Nelson
Kent Schleich

2010
Raymond E. Defenbaugh
Garry Niemeyer
Terry Pope
Jamie Willrett

2011
David C. Bliss
Ken Greene
Linnea Kooistra
Jim Purlee
Ron Tombaugh

2012
Scott Bidner
Tim Lenz
Tim Seifert
Mel Von Bergen

2013
Ron Bork
Neil Fearn
Doug Scheider
Jim Sheaffer

2014
Ronald Bremmer
Craig Buhrow
Michael J. Kenyon
Gregory M. Leigh

2015
Bill Christ

Randy DeSutter
Don Schrader
John Werries

2016
Mark and Karen DeDecker
Reggie and Norma Jean Dowell
Ron and Julie Lawfer
Bill and Brenda Raben

2017
Allen Entwistle
Tracy Jones
Kent Kleinschmidt
Joel Kooistra

2018
Tom Martin
Jim Rapp
Fred Reichert
Darell Sarff

2019
Martin E. Marr
Jim Robbins
Bill Sahs
Boyd Schaufelberger

2020
John and Susan Adams
Dale Hadden
Ted Mottaz
Joseph S. Pickrell

2021
Kenneth Hartman Jr.
Kent Hodel
Paul Taylor

2022
Darryl Brinkmann
Jim Raben
Doug Schroeder
Curt Zehr

2023
Martin R. Barbre
David Meiss
Ron Moore
Curtis Strode

Honorary Master Farmers

1972
Charles L. Gunn
Robert J. Webb

1973
Harry G. Russell

1974
Charles B. Shuman

1976
Earl M. Hughes

1977
George McKibben
John K. Morris

1978
G. R. Carlisle

1980
Harvey Woods

1986
J.M. Holcomb

1989

Nye Bouslog

1994
Len Gardner

2003
Orion Samuelson

2010
James F. Evans

2018
Max Armstrong

2023
Robert A. Easter

Read more about:

Master Farmers

About the Author(s)

Holly Spangler

Senior Editor, Prairie Farmer, Farm Progress

Holly Spangler has covered Illinois agriculture for more than two decades, bringing meaningful production agriculture experience to the magazine’s coverage. She currently serves as editor of Prairie Farmer magazine and Executive Editor for Farm Progress, managing editorial staff at six magazines throughout the eastern Corn Belt. She began her career with Prairie Farmer just before graduating from the University of Illinois in agricultural communications.

An award-winning writer and photographer, Holly is past president of the American Agricultural Editors Association. In 2015, she became only the 10th U.S. agricultural journalist to earn the Writer of Merit designation and is a five-time winner of the top writing award for editorial opinion in U.S. agriculture. She was named an AAEA Master Writer in 2005. In 2011, Holly was one of 10 recipients worldwide to receive the IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Ag Journalism award. She currently serves on the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation, the U of I Agricultural Communications Advisory committee, and is an advisory board member for the U of I College of ACES Research Station at Monmouth. Her work in agricultural media has been recognized by the Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Corn, Illinois Council on Agricultural Education and MidAmerica Croplife Association.

Holly and her husband, John, farm in western Illinois where they raise corn, soybeans and beef cattle on 2,500 acres. Their operation includes 125 head of commercial cows in a cow/calf operation. The family farm includes John’s parents and their three children.

Holly frequently speaks to a variety of groups and organizations, sharing the heart, soul and science of agriculture. She and her husband are active in state and local farm organizations. They serve with their local 4-H and FFA programs, their school district, and are active in their church's youth and music ministries.

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