When someone is nominated for a Master Farmer award, the person submitting the nomination seeks letters of support. Often comments within those letters underscore why the farmer, or in this case, the couple, is worthy of being named a Master Farmer.
Here are comments from people who supported John and Kristi Kretzmeiers’ nomination. The Master Farmer program is sponsored by Indiana Prairie Farmer and the Purdue University College of Agriculture.
“John and Kristi Kretzmeier continue to seek innovative ways to balance farm productivity with stewardship of our natural resources. Far beyond this, their leadership, hard work and compassion help make our community a better place.”
Jon Charlesworth, Benton County Extension educator
“There are four words that immediately come to mind to describe this family, and the order of the words is very important. They are faith, family, friends and farming. This family’s faith in God is the most important thing in their lives, and they wear it out for all to see. … Family is their second priority. Making time for and supporting their children is a huge part of their lives. … Friends of the Kretzmeier family literally stretch clear across the country. Their network of friends and loyalty is a two-way street. One example of their willingness and scope of helping is their assistance to the family of a wheelchair-bound high school student. … They are never too busy to take a phone call, lend a listening ear or a word of advice to a friend, or the shirt off their back if you need it. … Last but certainly not least is their love for farming. … With practically no family help, [John] was able to get started with help from a friend, and has grown from there into one of the most respected farmers in the area.”
Dave Bechman, accredited farm manager, Farm First LLC, Otterbein
“Their three children — Kenzie, Clayton and Carson — are mirror images of their parents. Kenzie was the 2015-16 Indiana state FFA president. Clayton is flashing the qualities possessed by his parents. Carson is an accomplished pianist and is an ardent observer of her parents’ and siblings’ capabilities.”
Dale Butcher, retired Benton Central vo-ag teacher