Farm Progress

Applications for the Master Farmer award are due Feb. 15.

Tom J Bechman 1, Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer

November 3, 2017

5 Min Read

Now is the time to think seriously about nominating someone to be a Master Farmer in 2018. The awards program is sponsored by Indiana Prairie Farmer and the Purdue University College of Agriculture. Nominations are due Feb. 15, and the awards program will be held in conjunction with the 2018 Indiana Farm Management Tour in June.

Here are five reasons why you should strongly consider nominating someone for the award.

  1. This is the 50th anniversary of the modern program! The Master Farmer program was originally started by Prairie Farmer in the 1920s, but was discontinued in the 1930s. The first class of the modern era was named in 1968. Four or more Master Farmers have been added to this prestigious group every year since then.

  2. You get a chance to recognize someone deserving. Not everyone is worthy of even being nominated as a Master Farmer. Judging is based on farming ability, leadership ability and overall family values. If you have a neighbor you look up to, this is the time to help them get the recognition they deserve.

  3. Only you can nominate someone. This is not a top-down program. Editors can’t nominate someone, even though editors meet outstanding individuals yet to be recognized all the time. The nomination must come from a peer in the ag industry.

  4. You can play “I’ve got a secret” if you want to. Some people tell the person who is being nominated. Others keep it a surprise. They work with a family member to get the information needed to fill out the form. The application is not complicated. You need up to six letters of support from other individuals backing your candidate.

  5. You might get a free meal! Successful nominators and their guest are invited to the Master Farmer banquet. Besides good food, it’s always great fun and fellowship


2017 MASTER FARMERS: Purdue University ag economist Jim Mintert (far right) holds a panel discussion with Indiana’s 2017 Master Farmers. They are (from left) Lonnie Mason (honorary), John and Kristi Kretzmeier, Stan Poe, Denny Bell and Larry Holscher.

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.   

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

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 J Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer

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