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Serving: United States
2018 Master Farmers Darell Sarff, Fred Reichert, Jim Rapp and Tom Martin
JOIN: Your nominee could join the ranks of more than 300 Illinois farmers who’ve earned the designation of Master Farmer, including 2018 class members Darell Sarff (left), Fred Reichert, Jim Rapp and Tom Martin.

Master Farmer nominations due soon

Just a few weeks remain to nominate a winning candidate for Prairie Farmer’s 2019 Master Farmer award.

What does it take to be a Master Farmer?

Think about the person in your community who shows up, who volunteers, who makes the community better, all while raising a family and producing the best crops and livestock around. That’s a Master Farmer, and Prairie Farmer is looking to honor a new class of Master Farmers in 2019 — but your help is needed.

Every nomination received is a grassroots effort, born from readers and farm groups that see someone and know they deserve the honor.

Take a look around. Do you see someone doing great work in producing food and fiber while also serving their community and raising their family? If so, nominate them today.

And don’t forget: You can also apply on your own, effectively nominating yourself. Many farmers submit their own names each year.

Plus, you can nominate or apply as an individual or a husband and wife.

Here are some tips for the nomination process:

 Be thorough. Especially in the sections regarding farm history and growth, more information is better than less. Judges want to see how the operation has progressed through time.

 Get letters. Ask for at least eight letters of recommendation supporting your nominee. Encourage letter writers to give insight into character and reputation, not simply rehash what’s already in the nomination application.

Don’t forget to think small. Consider the nominee’s entire body of work, especially community and industry service, and include all of their activities and efforts.

 Start now. The Master Farmer nomination is deep and wide, and it takes time to fill it out well. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime award, and the application reflects an entire career.

 Find the application. You can find the 2019 application online. Download it, fill it out and send it in, complete with letters of support, by Sept. 10.

Email holly.spangler@farmprogress.com for more information or to have an application sent to you.

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