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Serving: IL
Bill Sahs, Jim Robbins, Marty Marr, Boyd Schaufelberger
RESPECTED: The 2019 Master Farmers are Bill Sahs (left), Jim Robbins, Marty Marr and Boyd Schaufelberger.

Master Farmers: What their friends say

The letters that pour into Prairie Farmer offices in support of Master Farmers always make for uplifting reading. Here’s a slice of the stories they tell.

When the letters of support pour in, accompanying Master Farmer nominations from across Illinois, those letters add personal insight and touching memories about time spent with the honorees — on and off the farm. For many Master Farmers, reading the letters is a humbling and honoring experience. Here’s a look at what the family, friends, landlords, suppliers and others closest to them have to say about each member of the 2019 class of Prairie Farmer Master Farmers.

Marty Marr, Jacksonville
“Marty’s passionate commitment to the agriculture community is something that our company and community have great appreciation for. Marty is a farmer. Plain and simple as that sounds, he epitomizes the standard of devotion to the land and the environment that is crucial to sustain the U.S. family farm and rural communities.”
John Allen, Brandt

“I fully believe the work ethic and sense of teamwork is being passed on by Marty to the next generation. Zeal for agriculture, community and family, and flat-out getting the job done year in and year out, is a mark of a Master Farmer. Marty is an iconic nominee for this award!”
Thomas L. Toohill, Soy Capital Ag Services

“Marty’s infectious grin, his personality, his attitude — you can’t help but instantly like the guy. His farm and family have become a success story.”
John Werries, 2015 Master Farmer

Jim Robbins, Peotone
“On the farm, Jim has always been cutting edge, with being one of the first to try no-till. He has perfected the art of strip till in corn and has always been willing to try new technologies to be more environmentally friendly while feeding a hungry world.”
Tom Nugent, Manhattan, Ill., farmer

“I have personally and professionally known one other Master Farmer [besides Jim]. When I compare the two men, they share a lot of the same qualities. They have been community leaders. They both were way better than average farmers and paid particular attention to their records to guide them for future years. Both were meticulous record keepers. Both were strong in their faith and belief in God.”
Matthew Hickey, retired vice president, First Bank of Manhattan

“Jim is a strong voice for agriculture, never hesitating to explain and promote its importance to individuals and nonfarm groups, and is always happy and willing to do it.”
Mike Perrine, MP Ag Radio

Bill Sahs, Lincoln
“I was 15 years old when Bill returned from the Navy, and he soon became my friend and someone I looked to as an older brother. I graduated from the University of Illinois in 1985 and returned to the farm, renting my first farm a few months later. What has stuck with me all these years: Bill was the first farmer to congratulate me.”
Jeff Elsas, Lincoln, Ill., farmer

“Bill is a hard worker who works long hours to plant, care for and harvest his crops. But Bill is a person who cares and will stop what he’s doing at a moment’s notice to help a neighbor or friend who needs a hand. It is his compassion for his fellow human being that drove him to found the Habitat for Humanity chapter and to remain so involved in it today.”
Hugh Whalen, Mid-Co Commodities

“When it comes to the farmer, I’d never say anyone is the best, but Bill is always one of the top yield producers every year. He’s just a natural. He knows how to take care of different soil types and how to farm them. I have never met anyone like him, with that ability. Bill has spent his life trying to do what’s best for his community and his farm. He’s a good guy, and you want him on your team.”
Scott Noltenmeier, HG&N Hopedale Fertilizer

Boyd Schaufelberger, Greenville
“His farming operation, known as Schaufine Farms Inc., has been extremely successful, and Boyd is greatly respected by his peers. He has the tremendous ability to bring the science and the practical application together for a very successful agriculture enterprise. Boyd has bred a genetically superior herd of registered Holsteins, which are influencing many Holstein breeder herds throughout the United States and other countries.”
Dave Fischer, retired dairy educator, University of Illinois Extension

“The refreshing part about working with Schaufine Farms was Boyd’s commitment to the continuous improvements of the genetics, nutrition, production and health prevention programs. He always had a pulse on the herd.”
Jennifer Ostrom, president, Greenville Veterinary Clinic

“I had the pleasure to visit the farm several years ago and see his tremendous herd of cattle with style and strength, great udders and feet and legs. His interest in breeding great cattle is a passion he shares with his entire family.”
Gordon Cook, Hadley, Mass., dairy farmer

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