Farm Progress

Nominate an Indiana Prairie Farmer Master Farmer

A selection of outstanding Hoosier farmers and their families will be honored in June 2017. Maybe one of them lives and farms near you!

Tom Bechman 1, Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

December 29, 2016

5 Min Read

It's that time of year when you reflect on the year that's wrapping up and all you are thankful for. And as you do there will probably be certain names that come to mind – people you look up to. Maybe they have served to mentors to you as you grew your farming operation. Maybe they are neighbors. It could even be a relative. Whoever it is, why not nominate them to be a Master Farmer in 2017?

The Indiana Master Farmer program is co-sponsored by Indiana Prairie Farmer and the Purdue University College of Agriculture. The actual awards are presented at the evening program of the Indiana Farm Management Tour, held in late June.

Here's the catch: Nominations must be postmarked by February 15, 2017. They must be mailed to Indiana Prairie Farmer, P.O. Box 347, Franklin, IN 46131. You can also get more information by emailing: [email protected], or just by calling 317-431-8766.

There's also another catch. Only you or someone like you can nominate someone for the award. It cannot come from the Indiana Prairie Farmer staff. You are encouraged to ask six persons who know the candidate and his or her family to write letters of support, but one person should be in charge of filling out the nomination form and making sure it arrives on time.

Related:Honorary Master Farmers include many great Hoosiers


2016 Master Farmers, left to right: Tom and Karen McKinney, Kempton; Nan and John Nidlinger, Decatur; Darci and Don Zolman, Pierceton; Bret Marsh, Indianapolis (honorary) and Dan Gwin, Linden.

2016 Master Farmers, left to right: Tom and Karen McKinney, Kempton; Nan and John Nidlinger, Decatur; Darci and Don Zolman, Pierceton; Bret Marsh, Indianapolis (honorary) and Dan Gwin, Linden.

Last year's program netted a great class of Master Farmers, as is the case every year. Who will it be this year? It's certainly not too early for you to consider someone and decide you will take the time to make sure they are nominated for well-earned recognition.

Download the application: Look for the orange button at the bottom of the page to download your application.

We will be looking for an application form from you for someone who you feel is truly a Master Farmer!

Master Farmers Who Have Already Earned The Award
We often get asked who has won the 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.   

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

Download the application: Use the orange button below to download the application. Due by Feb. 15. 


About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

Tom Bechman is an important cog in the Farm Progress machinery. In addition to serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom is nationally known for his coverage of Midwest agronomy, conservation, no-till farming, farm management, farm safety, high-tech farming and personal property tax relief. His byline appears monthly in many of the 18 state and regional farm magazines published by Farm Progress.

"I consider it my responsibility and opportunity as a farm magazine editor to supply useful information that will help today's farm families survive and thrive," the veteran editor says.

Tom graduated from Whiteland (Ind.) High School, earned his B.S. in animal science and agricultural education from Purdue University in 1975 and an M.S. in dairy nutrition two years later. He first joined the magazine as a field editor in 1981 after four years as a vocational agriculture teacher.

Tom enjoys interacting with farm families, university specialists and industry leaders, gathering and sifting through loads of information available in agriculture today. "Whenever I find a new idea or a new thought that could either improve someone's life or their income, I consider it a personal challenge to discover how to present it in the most useful form, " he says.

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