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Master Farmer highlight: Kent Hodel

This 2021 Prairie Farmer Master Farmer continues to build a legacy while growing his farming operation.

Sierra Day, Field editor

September 14, 2021

1 Min Read
Holly Spangler presents Kent Hodel the Master Farmer award
CONGRATULATIONS: Kent Hodel is a 2021 Master Farmer award winner. Kent was recognized at the 2021 Farm Progress Show by Prairie Farmer editor Holly Spangler. Sierra Day

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

Today, Kent and wife Janet raise 1,200 acres of corn, soybeans and hay, and 50 head of polled Dorset sheep in partnership with their son Eric. In the past, Kent operated an egg and poultry business. Kent was nominated by 2015 Master Farmer Bill Christ.

Almost two decades after retiring from the poultry business, Kent and Janet remodeled the chicken house into a space for family gatherings — one example of how valuable family is to the couple.

“My favorite thing about farming is the family working together,” says Kent, holding back tears. “Our family gets along well, and it means a lot when we farm as a 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 about what makes Kent 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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