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Master Farmer highlight: Joe Pickrell

This 2020 Prairie Farmer Master Farmer is committed to his family and innovation while growing his operation.

Sierra Day, Field editor

September 9, 2021

1 Min Read
Holly Spangler and Joseph S. Pickrell receiving the Master Farmer award
WINNER: Joe Pickrell is a 2020 Master Farmer award winner. Joe and wife Marilyn were recognized at the 2021 Farm Progress Show due to the 2020 awards program being canceled because of the pandemic. They are pictured with Prairie Farmer editor Holly Spangler. Sierra Day

Joe Pickrell of Buffalo, Ill., is a 2020 Master Farmer award winner. Joe and seven other Master Farmers were recognized for their accomplishments at the Farm Progress Show on Sept. 2.

Today, Joe and wife Marilyn raise 3,600 acres of corn and soybeans with sons Joe Jr. and Jason in partnership. Joe was nominated by his sons and daughter, Michele D’Antonio.

Joe’s innovation, along with his involvement in organizations and his operation, continues to be a model for his children.

“He has instilled leadership in his children,” Joe Jr. says, and even more: “He’s inspired me to become actively involved in my community and my profession.”

Joe as well as the other 2020 Master Farmers were unable to be recognized at the annual Master Farmer awards luncheon due to the pandemic. Therefore, a combined 2020 and 2021 awards program emceed by farm broadcaster Max Armstrong was held during the recent Farm Progress Show.

To learn more about what makes Joe an exceptional farmer, read his story. Also, be sure to watch the video below:


About the Author(s)

Sierra Day

Field editor, Farm Progress

A 10th-generation agriculturist, Sierra Day grew up alongside the Angus cattle, corn and soybeans on her family’s operation in Cerro Gordo, Ill. Although she spent an equal amount in farm machinery as she did in the cattle barn as a child, Day developed a bigger passion for the cattle side of the things.

An active member of organizations such as 4-H, FFA and the National Junior Angus Association, she was able to show Angus cattle on the local, state and national levels while participating in contests and leadership opportunities that were presented through these programs.

As Day got older, she began to understand the importance of transitioning from a member to a mentor for other youth in the industry. Thus, her professional and career focus is centered around educating agriculture producers and youth to aid in prospering the agriculture industry.

In 2018, she received her associate degree from Lake Land College, where her time was spent as an active member in clubs such as Ag Transfer club and PAS. A December 2020 graduate of Kansas State University in Animal Sciences & Industry and Agricultural Communications & Journalism, Day was active in Block & Bridle and Agriculture Communicators of Tomorrow, while also serving as a communications student worker in the animal science department.

Day currently resides back home where she owns and operates Day Cattle Farm with her younger brother, Chayton. The duo strives to raise functional cattle that are show ring quality and a solid foundation for building anyone’s herd.

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