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Master Farmer highlight: Kenneth Hartman Jr.

This 2021 Prairie Farmer Master Farmer is dedicated to making a difference in his community, agriculture and his farm.

Sierra Day, Field editor

September 13, 2021

1 Min Read
Holly Spangler presents Kenneth Hartman Jr. and wife Anita with the Master Farmer award
MASTER: Kenneth Hartman Jr. is a 2021 Master Farmer award winner. Kenneth and wife Anita (right) were recognized at the 2021 Farm Progress Show. They are pictured with Prairie Farmer editor Holly Spangler. Sierra Day

Kenneth Hartman Jr. of Waterloo, Ill., is a 2021 Master Farmer award winner. Kenneth and seven other Master Farmers were recognized for their accomplishments at the Farm Progress Show on Sept. 2.

Today, Kenny, wife Anita, and their three children raise 4,000 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat with his mother while staying involved in various organizations. Kenny was nominated by 2015 Master Farmer Randy DeSutter.

Kenny says his computer programming degree and interest in technology has allowed him to stay on the forefront of precision agriculture. Success and expansion of the farm also stems from proper planning.

“Our family has worked over the years to pass things to the next generation,” Kenny says. “My parents have done estate planning to pass the land and operation to the next generations. We are working to do the same to keep the operation in the family.”

Due to the pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 classes of Master Farmers were recognized at a combined awards program emceed by farm broadcaster Max Armstrong during the 2021 Farm Progress Show.

To learn more on what makes Kenny an exceptional farmer, read his story. Also, be sure to watch his 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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