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Serving: IL
2020 Prairie Farmer Master Farmer winners Holly Spangler
2020 MASTERS: The most recent class of Master Farmers includes Dale Hadden (left), Joe Pickrell, John and Susan Adams, and Ted Mottaz.

Nominate 2021 Master Farmers by Sept. 7

Prairie Farmer is fielding nominations for its annual Master Farmer award until Sept. 7. Nominate a lifetime achiever in Illinois ag today.

Prairie Farmer is now accepting nominations for Illinois’ premier lifetime achievement award for farmers.

The Master Farmer program has been run by the magazine since 1925, and relies on those who live and work around Illinois agriculture to nominate producers who set an example — not only by producing impressive crops and livestock, but also by being good stewards of the soil, their families and their communities.

Now’s the time to send in that nomination for the 2021 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 2021 Master Farmer is available online. Download it, fill it out and send it in, complete with letters of support, by Sept. 7.

You will need at least 10 recommendation letters to support your nomination, and the selection committee also will want to talk with the nominee’s lender — not to share accounting, but to talk generally about the nominee’s career. Letters and testimonies tell the story of your nominee’s character and are incredibly helpful to the judges.

In 2020, three farmers and one farming couple were inducted into the Master Farmer group. Master Farmers are also called on to advise and mentor Cultivating Master Farmers program participants — young farmers who are just starting their careers and attend classes alongside their mentors.

Those selected for the 2021 award will receive a plaque and coverage in the March magazine, and recognition at the annual Master Farmer awards banquet. There, previous winners, agricultural leaders, family and friends celebrate Illinois’ leading industry and share insights from a lifetime of experience.

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

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