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Meet this year’s Master Farmers

This year’s crop of Mid-Atlantic Master Farmers is a diverse bunch.

Chris Torres

June 1, 2022

1 Min Read
Master Farmer medallion

The 2022 Mid-Atlantic Master Farmers are an all-Pennsylvania group. But their diversity is a great representation of agriculture in the Keystone State.

Here are this year’s winners:

  • Donald Cairns of Parkesburg, Pa., who grows 1,600 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat

  • Jeff and Sue Frey of Willow Street, Pa., who grow 900 acres of field crops, several greenhouses of cut flowers and raise contract-finishing hogs for Country View Family Farms

  • Arthur King of Valencia, Pa., who raises 137 acres of fruits and vegetables, and runs a farm market just outside Pittsburgh

Full profile stories and slideshows are being posted this week, starting Wednesday, with a profile of Jeff and Sue Frey. Thursday will feature Donald Cairns, and Friday will feature Arthur King.

89th class

This year’s crop of Master Farmers comprises the 89th class of Mid-Atlantic Master Farmers.

It is America’s longest-running and most prestigious agricultural honors program. It sprouted in 1927 as part of a Master Farmers of America program to foster stewardship and leadership. At that point, the program was initiated by Pennsylvania Farmer magazine and USDA.

Today, the award is co-sponsored by American Agriculturist magazine and by Cooperative Extension programs in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and West Virginia. AgChoice Farm Credit, Mid-Atlantic Farm Credit and FS/Growmark are supportive partners.

The Master Farmer award is the lifetime achievement award of agriculture that recognizes exemplary role models of outstanding management, land stewardship and community leadership.

Candidates are nominated by individuals and organizations. Once nominated, candidates receive application forms to complete. This year’s applications were viewed and scored by a three-judge panel in February and March. Final selections were made in late March.

Scoring is weighted as follows: 75% farm management/financial progress; 15% ag leadership involvement; and 10% non-ag leadership.

For more information on the Mid-Atlantic Master Farmer Association, visit midatlanticmasterfarmer.com.

About the Author(s)

Chris Torres

Editor, American Agriculturist

Chris Torres, editor of American Agriculturist, previously worked at Lancaster Farming, where he started in 2006 as a staff writer and later became regional editor. Torres is a seven-time winner of the Keystone Press Awards, handed out by the Pennsylvania Press Association, and he is a Pennsylvania State University graduate.

Torres says he wants American Agriculturist to be farmers' "go-to product, continuing the legacy and high standard (former American Agriculturist editor) John Vogel has set." Torres succeeds Vogel, who retired after 47 years with Farm Progress and its related publications.

"The news business is a challenging job," Torres says. "It makes you think outside your small box, and you have to formulate what the reader wants to see from the overall product. It's rewarding to see a nice product in the end."

Torres' family is based in Lebanon County, Pa. His wife grew up on a small farm in Berks County, Pa., where they raised corn, soybeans, feeder cattle and more. Torres and his wife are parents to three young boys.

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