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Serving: IL

Master Farmer highlight: Dale Hadden

Sierra Day Holly Spangler presents Dale Hadden and wife Amy the Master Farmer award
EXCEPTIONAL FARMER: Dale Hadden received the 2020 Master Farmer award. He and wife Amy (right) were recognized at the 2021 Farm Progress Show due to the 2020 awards program being canceled because of the pandemic. They are pictured with Prairie Farmer editor Holly Spangler.
This 2020 Prairie Farmer Master Farmer sees family, education and conservation as top priorities.

Dale Hadden of Jacksonville, Ill., is a 2020 Prairie Farmer Master Farmer award winner. Dale and seven other Master Farmers were recognized for their accomplishments at the Farm Progress Show on Sept. 2.

Today, Dale, wife Amy and their two children raise 6,800 acres of corn, soybeans, oats, wheat, hay and pasture, plus 280 head of beef cattle, with Dale’s parents and brothers. Dale was nominated by 2001 Master Farmer Philip Nelson.

He admits coming back to the farm and expanding has not been easy, but diversification has helped.

“While we have been growing at a steady pace, there have been setbacks, like losing a 50-50 crop share farm when the landlord switched to cash rent,” Dale says. “While these bumps in the operation are usually very upsetting to the cash flow, the good Lord has provided other opportunities.”

Dale, as well as the other 2020 Master Farmers, were unable to be recognized at the annual Master Farmer awards luncheon due to the pandemic. Therefore, a combined 2020 and 2021 awards program emceed by farm broadcaster Max Armstrong was held during the recent Farm Progress Show.

To learn more about what makes Dale an exceptional farmer, read his story. Also, be sure to watch his video below:

 

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