Farm Progress is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Serving: IL

Nominate a 2020 Master Farmer today

Jim Robbins, Boyd Schaufelberger, Bill Sahs, Marty Marr
CLASS OF 2019: Illinois Master Farmers now include Jim Robbins of Peotone (left), Boyd Schaufelberger of Greenville, Bill Sahs of Lincoln, and Marty Marr of Jacksonville.
Applications are available for the 2020 Master Farmer award, which recognizes a lifetime of achievement in Illinois agriculture.

Have you considered nominating someone as a Master Farmer?

The Master Farmer program run by Prairie Farmer since 1925 wouldn’t take place every year without the help of readers who make nominations.

The program is grassroots, which means it relies on those who live and work around Illinois husbandry to recognize producers who set an example, not only by producing impressive crops and livestock, but also by building their communities and families.

Prairie Farmer is now accepting nominations for the 2020 Master Farmer class. Farmers can also nominate themselves — many farmers submit their own names each year. You can nominate or apply as an individual, as a husband and wife, or even as siblings.

The application form to nominate a 2020 Master Farmer is available online. Download it, fill it out and send it in, complete with letters of support, by Sept. 9.

The 2019 class

As the 2019 Master Farmers, four farmers from across Illinois were awarded plaques and stacks of magazines featuring their Prairie Farmer Master Farmer profile articles at a March 13 banquet in Springfield.

In his speech at the event, Master Farmer Bill Sahs, Lincoln, reflected on the deep appreciation he and his cohorts feel for their profession.

“It is quite an honor to get an award for doing things that you love,” Sahs said.

2019 Master Farmer Marty Marr, Jacksonville, noted the award rewards stewardship.

“My fellow honorees have demonstrated that they’re not only good stewards of the farms they operate, but also good stewards of the communities that they live in,” said Marr, reflecting on the nature of the award. “I will always strive to preserve the integrity of this honor.”

Boyd Schaufelberger, Greenville, and Jim Robbins, Peotone, were also named 2019 Master Farmers. As part of the Master Farmer program, all four men have been inducted into a group that can be called on to advise and mentor Cultivating Master Farmers program participants — young farmers who are just starting their career and attend classes alongside their mentors.

If you have any questions about this once-in-a-lifetime award, email for more information or to have an application form sent to you.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.