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Nominate a 2019 Master FarmerNominate a 2019 Master Farmer

Here is your chance to help select the next class of Master Farmers in Indiana.

Tom J Bechman 1

December 1, 2018

6 Min Read
MOST RECENT WINNERS: Indiana’s 2018 Master Farmers gathered for a panel discussion after their awards ceremony. They are (from left) Carl and Sally Swinford, Hillsdale; Jim Farris, Vincennes; Barry Bishop, Campbellsburg; and Christine and Mark York, Roann. Carl Eiche, Frankfort, received the Honorary Master Farmer award (not pictured).

Now is the time to nominate an Indiana farmer or farmer and spouse for the 2019 Master Farmer award. Applications are due Feb. 18.

Here are frequently asked questions about the Master Farmer program and nomination process:

1. How do I know if someone has already received the Master Farmer award?

The list of farmers who have received the award since the modern version began in 1968 is now over 200. Find the list below. 

2. What do the judges look for when evaluating applications?

There is no hard and fast scoresheet used for judging. Judges are asked to evaluate applications in three areas: farming accomplishments and use of progressive practices; conservation and stewardship of natural resources; and leadership and service to community, state and nation. Individuals or couples who have developed a successful farm operation and found time to serve their community and industry soon rise to the top.

3. Are there age requirements for nominees?

No. In the past farmers, in their early 40s have been named Master Farmers. Two years ago, Stan Poe, Franklin, had celebrated his 80th birthday by the time he received the award. Judges are more interested in accomplishments and dedication to agriculture and family rather than age.

4. Are supporting letters a requirement?

Yes. These letters often go a long way toward helping the judges understand what an individual or couple has truly accomplished, and how they serve others. The application form notes that you may send a maximum of six letters. Most successful nominations include six well-written letters from people who know the nominee(s) well. Letters can come from neighbors, bankers, pastors, school officials, Extension educators, ag business associates, heads of commodity organizations and anyone else with insight about a person’s character and qualifications to be recognized by their peers. The letters should accompany the nomination.

5. Who sponsors the Master Farmer program?

Prairie Farmer began the original recognition program in Indiana in the mid-1920s, but it was discontinued during the Great Depression in the mid-1930s. Prairie Farmer restarted the program in 1968. More than a decade ago, the Purdue University College of Agriculture joined Indiana Prairie Farmer as co-sponsor of the program in Indiana. Master Farmer ceremonies occur during the evening program of the annual Indiana Farm Management Tour.

6. How do I get a nomination form?

You can find one on this page. Scroll to the bottom of this page and click on the orange download button, and then print the form. You may add extra pages as needed. You may also call 317-431-8766 and request a form, or write to: P.O. Box 247, Franklin, IN 46131.

Here are the Master Farmers
We often are asked who has already earned the Master Farmer award. Here’s a list since 1968. Those who are deceased are marked with an asterisk. If you know someone on the list who is deceased and not marked, please let us know at 317-431-8766 or [email protected].

1968: Mark Anson, Guy Beerbower*, George Corya, Richard Craig, Ernest Miller*, William Nash*, Kenneth Perkins*, James Scherschel, Gerald Tarnow, Philip Warner*

1969: Ellsworth Biesecker, Walter Carter*, Robert Gross, Robert Harper*, Glen Lightfoot, Byron Nixon, Jr., Robert Williams

1970: Norman Becher, William Cable*, Paul Canary*, Orville Chamberlain, Virgil Gerhardt*, Carl Johanningsmeier, John McCormick*

1971: Lloyd Clayton*, Morris Hoar, Erland Rothenberger*, William Rothenberger*, James Shilling, Richard Ward*

1972: Francis Beck*, Sherman Kessler*, Henry Nieman, Russell Norris*, Dwight Smoker*

1973: Kenneth T. Caldwell, H. Roland Moesner*, Carroll L. Thompson*, Paul G. Thurston*, Samuel H. Washburn

1974: Roy Elliott, Cecil Madill*, Lincoln Priebe*, John Rodibaugh, Gilman Stewart,*, John Stewart

1975: Max Foster*, Donald Green, Marvin Mann*, Victor Sprong, Ellis McFadden

1976: John Keithley, Ralph Kennedy, Gilbert H. Schmidt*,  David C. Salomon, Cecil P. Westerhouse*

1977: Marjorie Colglazier*, Kenneth Culp, Robert Morgan, Harold L. Myers, Maurice B. Woodward

1978: William Congleton, Frank C. Forster*, John V. Maloney*, George w. Pickering*, Jerry D. Roberts

1979: Lawrence (Sonny) Beck, Donald W. Brown*, Roger F. Doerstler*, Thomas E. Howell*, Jack W. Torr*

1980: Lloyd A. Arthur*, Charles A. Kirlin, O. William Mann*, Thomas E. Murray, Raymond E. Musselman*

1981: O.T. (Ted) Blank, Gary Clark, Arthur Colbert*, Burch R. Harlan, Ralph E. Mautz

1982: Beryl (Jake) Grimme, Sylvan W. Ice, Robert G. Persinger, Dale Smith, Donald H. Strietelmeier

1983: William Howard Adler*, Phil Boring, Tom Simons, Bill Smiley, Howard E. Springer

1984: Pete Clark, John Hardin, Jr., Jim Martin*, Philip A. Maxwell*, Harold Wilson*

1985: Herman Bullard*, C. Ray Lamb, Warren Harlan*, Richard L. Welty, Don Villwock

1986: Fred O. Mann, Joe Rund, Robert Stickles, Charles F. Walker

1987: Leroy Brammer, William T. Crane*, Robert Foltz, Bill and Kaye Whitehead

1988: Harry T. Armstrong*, Robert Ward Johnson*, Carl Martin, Larry J. Pumphrey

1989: Homer C. McDonald, Steve Sickafoose, Wayne Townsend, J. Olen Yoder

1990: Tom Boyd, Merrill Kelsay, James Moseley, William Pickart

1991: Dave and Ron Johnson, Paul Keffaber*, Wally Linneweber, Larry Stoy

1992: Raymond Becher, Alan Kemper, Howard Unger, Fred and Linda Wise

1993: Gene Brune, Wayne McCutchan, James Pettigrew, Jerry Rulon

1994: Scott Fritz, Don Jones*, George Likens, Herbert Likens, Bob Mills

1995: James Reed, Donald Rettinger, Herman Rettinger, Roland Seller, Brad Starr

1996: Paul Brocksmith*, Donald Gurtner, Kenneth Phares, James Smoker

1997: William W. Erwin, George W. Krom III, Donald E. Morehouse, Thomas Roney

1998: James Bell, Greg Graham, Hubert McGaughey, Joe Vieck

1999: Dayton Merrell, Myron Moyer, John A. Norton, Paul D. Smith

2000: L. David Allyn, Joe Huber*, David A, Minich, Joseph M. Russell

2001: Dennis Carnahan, Kendall Culp, Lynn Stockwell, Norman Voyles, Sr.

2002: Kenneth L. Ames, Mike Beard, Dave Buck (Milroy)*, Dave Forgey

2003: David A. Buck (Lafayette)*, Bruce Moody, Richard (Dick) Nash, David Williamson

2004: Mike Brocksmith, Wilber Hoeing, Bert Holsapple*, Clark Sennett

2005: Roger Hadley II, Robert Mann, Joe Peden, Ed Yanos

2006: Jim Culp, Mark Legan, Gary Reding, Mark Townsend

2007: Scott Beck, Bruce Buchanan, Jim Douglas, Davids Miers

2008: Robert Bishop, Thomas Johnson, Jim Lankford, Rory Walker

2009: Rodney Hager, Chris Mann, Maurice Robeson, R. Duane Wolheter

2010: Keith Berry, David and Mary Howell, Ray McCormick, Mike Shuter

2011: Jim Day, Bill Schroeder (Knox County), Loran Wilson, John Zupancic

2012: Keith Ames, Kim Ames, Kerry Ames, Ed Carmichael, Gene Schmidt, Bill Schroeder (White County)

2013: Kevin Cox, David Ring, Ken and Jane Rulon, Del and Tammi Unger

2014: Jack and Rita Maloney, Carl and Diane Schmitz, David and Danita Rodibaugh, Mike and Karen Starkey

2015: Mike Flock, Mike and Jan Heckaman, Terry and Susan Hayhurst, Richard and Carol Kohlhagen

2016: Dan Gwin, Tom and Karen McKinney, John and Nan Nidlinger, Don and Darci Zolman

2017: Denny Bell, Larry Holscher, John and Kristi Kretzmeier, Stan Poe

2018: Barry Bishop, Jim Farris, Carl and Sally Swinford, Mark and Christine York

Honorary Master Farmers: Hobe Jones, Mauri Williamson, Howard Doster, Max Armstrong, David Petritz, Tom Turpin, Bruce McKenzie, Tom Bauman, Wayne Dillman, Fred Whitford, Bill Field, Chris Hurt, Bret Marsh, Lonnie Mason, Carl Eiche 

Download the application: Use the orange button below to download the application. Due by Feb. 18. 

About the Author(s)

Tom J Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer

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