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Serving: IN
Mike Beard
STILL LEADING: Mike Beard was named a Master Farmer in 2002, in part because he was engaged in community and state affairs to help agriculture. He is still engaged, recently being named the new president of the Indiana Corn Growers Association.

Master Farmers give of themselves to help others

Who should you nominate as an Indiana Master Farmer this year?

Mike Beard’s list of service to agriculture in his local community and beyond was long when he was selected as an Indiana Master Farmer in 2002. Nearly 20 years later, his record of service is still growing. He was recently elected president of the Indiana Corn Growers Association for 2020.

Beard, Frankfort, farms with his son, and has been involved in hog production in various forms for a long time. As president of the Indiana Corn Growers Association, he will head up the executive committee.

Serving with him on the executive committee of ICGA for 2020 are Ronnie Mohr, vice president, Greenfield; Mike Nichols, secretary, Rockport; Sarah Delbecq, Auburn, treasurer; and Mike Flock, head of the Governance Committee, Ramsey.

Scott Smith, Windfall, was elected as a director in District 5. He replaces Ralph Kauffman, Atlanta, who retired from his seat on the board. Smith and his wife, Terri, entered farming in 1974. An avid supporter of ethanol, he’s also a longtime tomato grower, growing tomatoes for Red Gold, Elwood.

Master farmer link

Beard isn’t the only Master Farmer now in a leadership position with the Indiana Corn Growers Association. Mohr was just recognized as a Master Farmer in 2019, along with his wife, Sarah. Flock, a former dairyman, earned the Master Farmer award in 2015.

The Master Farmer award program was restarted by Prairie Farmer in 1968. Since then, more than 200 farmers have been recognized. Roughly a dozen individuals have received the honorary Master Farmer award for contributions to agriculture.

The award is co-sponsored today by Indiana Prairie Farmer and the Purdue University College of Agriculture. Awards are presented during a banquet held in conjunction with the Purdue Farm Management Tour in June each year.

However, nominations are due by Feb. 17. To earn the award, one must be nominated by another farmer, an Extension educator, landowner or someone else in agriculture who respects the individual. A couple can be nominated together to receive the Master Farmer award.

Completing the nomination form requires information about the nominees’ farming operation and leadership activities. A key part of the nomination are six letters of support from people who also believe the individual is deserving of recognition.

To obtain a nomination form, email:, call 317-431-8766, or write to P.O. Box 247, Franklin, IN 46131.

The completed form with letters of support should be submitted to the above postal address by Feb 17. They can also be submitted to the email address listed above.

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