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Master Agriculturists: Wisconsin’s cream of the crop

Four Wisconsin farmers are recognized as 2021 Master Agriculturists.

Fran O'Leary, Wisconsin Agriculturist Senior Editor

August 2, 2021

2 Min Read
2021 Master Agriculturist Brian Brown is pictured with his wife Yogi at their 500-cow dairy farm near Belleville, Wis.
2021 MASTER: 2021 Master Agriculturist Brian Brown is pictured with his wife, Yogi, at their 500-cow dairy farm near Belleville, Wis.Fran O’Leary

Wisconsin Agriculturist, in partnership with FS Growmark; the ag law firm of Twohig, Rietbrock, Schneider and Halbach S.C. of Chilton; and Compeer Financial, presents the 2021 Master Agriculturist award to four top achievers in farming, community service and leadership.

The Master Agriculturist program is the state’s oldest farm awards program and is one of the longest-run career-achievement honors programs in American agriculture. It dates back 91 years to 1930, when Wisconsin Agriculturist started honoring farmers for their hard work, dedication, farming success and exemplary leadership.

Congratulations to Brian Brown of Belleville, Brian Forrest of Stratford, Jack Herricks of Cashton, and John Judd of Mount Horeb.

All four winners have worn many hats in their businesses and communities, have built top-notch farming operations, and are truly deserving of receiving the Master Agriculturist award. The winners were selected by a panel of judges for their proven abilities and accomplishments as progressive farmers, and for the time, effort and leadership they contribute to community, church, agricultural organizations and conservation.

The Master Agriculturist award is given to honor not only the selected individuals, but also their families. Watch the website this week for stories about each of this year’s winners.

2020 winners to be honored

Due to COVID-19 canceling the 2020 awards program, the 2020 and 2021 honorees will be recognized at an awards luncheon on Aug. 11 at La Sure’s Banquet Hall in Oshkosh. The 2020 honorees are: Charlie, George, Tom and Mark Crave of Waterloo; Jeff Hendrickson of Belleville; Eric Rygg of Eau Claire; and Kent Wendorf of Viroqua. These farmers were featured in the March 2020 issue of the magazine and online.

The Master Agriculturist process begins by requesting a nomination form. Forms already are available for the 2022 awards. To obtain a form, call 920-346-2285, email [email protected], or write to: Master Agriculturist, Wisconsin Agriculturist, 112 S. Prairie St., P.O. Box 236, Brandon, WI 53919.

About the Author(s)

Fran O'Leary

Wisconsin Agriculturist Senior Editor, Farm Progress

Fran O’Leary lives in Brandon, Wis., and has been editor of Wisconsin Agriculturist since 2003. Even though O’Leary was born and raised on a farm in Illinois, she has spent most of her life in Wisconsin. She moved to the state when she was 18 years old and later graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

Before becoming editor of Wisconsin Agriculturist, O’Leary worked at Johnson Hill Press in Fort Atkinson as a writer and editor of farm business publications and at the Janesville Gazette in Janesville as farm editor and a feature writer. Later, she signed on as a public relations associate at Bader Rutter in Brookfield, and served as managing editor and farm editor at The Reporter, a daily newspaper in Fond du Lac.

She has been a member of American Agricultural Editors’ Association (now Agricultural Communicators Network) since 2003.

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