The Michigan Master Farmer award recently was bestowed on two of the state’s finest producers, recognizing their outstanding farm management, innovation, conservation and leadership.
For the past 15 years, Michigan Farmer has presented the award to people who have demonstrated how to farm more effectively, efficiently and economically, and in an environmentally conscious way.
This year’s Master Farmer winners are Clark Gerstacker of Midland and Kevin Winkel of Hartford.
The award acknowledges a lifetime of achievement rather than a single year.
Master Farmers are nominated by peers and chosen by a committee of ag industry leaders. Winners were honored Jan. 30 during an awards luncheon, hosted in conjunction with the 2020 Great Lakes Crop Summit at the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mount Pleasant.
The summit is sponsored by the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee, Michigan Wheat Program and Corn Marketing Program of Michigan. The awards luncheon will show videos of the winners, produced by sponsor Brownfield Ag News.
Master Farmers receive a plaque from Michigan Farmer magazine and a Carhartt jacket, donated by Carhartt. They also receive a $1,000 check, made possible by sponsors Michigan Agricultural Commodities, Greenstone Farm Credit Services and Wilbur-Ellis.
Winkel owns Winkel Orchards, which consists of 150 acres with 96 acres of high-density apples. Gerstacker farms 1,700 acres of corn, soybeans, sugarbeets and dry beans.