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Serving: IA

Meet the Masters, Class of 2019

rows of corn and farm in distance
NOMINATE SOMEONE: Anyone can nominate a Master Farmer. Letters of support from community leaders, pastors, co-op managers, Extension personnel, etc., strengthen a nomination.
This year the 83rd class of Iowa Master Farmers will be honored at the annual awards day in March.

Four winners make up the Iowa Master Farmer Class of 2019. Plus, we have an Exceptional Service Award winner this year. Henry A. Wallace, editor of Wallaces Farmer from 1921 to 1933, initiated the Iowa Master Farmer Award in 1926 to call attention to Iowa farmers who not only demonstrate outstanding management of their farming operations, but also provide leadership in local, state and national organizations. It is the longest-running farmer recognition in the country.

Wallace made it clear the award was for not only farming, but also involvement in family and community. So, in 1926, when Wallaces Farmer began the Iowa Master Farmer Award, it made perfect sense to use the magazine’s motto — “Good Farming, Clear Thinking, Right Living” — as the basis for judging nominations.

The 2019 recipients — Larry and Bunny Buss,Harrison County; Nick and Sue Hunt, Cass County; Joe Rash, Hardin County; and Dan and Lynn Winterhof, Cherokee County — comprise the 83rd class of Iowa Master Farmers. They bring the total to 485 farm families honored since the program began in 1926. Joe Sellers, recently retired Iowa State University Extension beef cattle and forage specialist in southern Iowa, is this year’s winner of the Exceptional Service to Iowa Agriculture Award.

Judges consider operation and management of the farm, how the nominee got started, and how they’ve grown the farming operation while demonstrating sound financial management. Those who are good stewards of the land and give proper care to livestock receive high marks.

An active interest in farm organizations and leadership also is part of the makeup of a Master Farmer. This is a family award. Farming is a true partnership between husband and wife. All family members contribute to the success of the operation.

Anyone can nominate a Master Farmer candidate. Deadline for nomination is Oct. 1. For a form, write to Wallaces Farmer, 6200 Aurora Ave., Suite 203E, Urbandale, IA 50322. Or call the office at 515-505-1540. Forms are also at

Good to hear from Frank Jardon

“A lot has happened since we worked together on the 1990 Farm Progress Hay Expo that was held on my father’s farm in Fremont County,” says Frank Jardon, in a recent letter. 

He shared memories of his father and mother, Robert and Lucille, receiving the Iowa Master Farmer Award in 1993. 

Frank also mentioned the travelogue he gave at Keith Hora’s Master Farmer ceremony hosted by Wallaces Farmer in 1992. Frank’s brother, Carl, is now farming the homeplace near Randolph, where the family hosted the Hay Expo.

Frank recently retired from farming and moved to Kansas City. “I’ve been volunteering as a docent at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City,” he says. “I highly recommend anyone visiting Kansas City to stop in and tour this museum. Located in downtown Kansas City, it’s home to the most comprehensive collection of WWI memorabilia in the world.” 

Learn more at

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