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Serving: IL
past Prairie Farmer Master Farmers collage
ROLL CALL: The last four Master Farmer classes are (clockwise, top left): 2020’s Ted Mottaz, Joe Pickrell, Susan and John Adams, Dale Hadden; 2019’s Bill Sahs, Boyd Schaufelberger, Jim Robbins, Marty Marr; 2017’s Tracy Jones, Allen Entwistle, Joel Kooistra, Kent Kleinschmidt; 2018’s Darell Sarff, Fred Reichert, Jim Rapp, Tom Martin.

Nominate next Master Farmers

Applications are available for the 2021 Master Farmer award, which recognizes a lifetime of achievement in Illinois agriculture.

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

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 raising impressive crops and livestock, but also by lifting up their communities and families.

Prairie Farmer is now accepting nominations for the 2021 Master Farmer class. Farmers can also nominate themselves; many farmers submit their own names each year. While a lender’s contact information is required in the application, no official accounting information is required. 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.

While their banquet has been temporarily postponed to delay the spread of the coronavirus, the newest class of Prairie Farmer Master Farmers will be recognized in 2020. They are Joe Pickrell of Buffalo, Susan and John Adams of Atlanta, Ted Mottaz of Elmwood and Dale Hadden of Jacksonville.

Find the 2021 Master Farmer application online. 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.

Judging thanks

Prairie Farmer is grateful to the 2020 panel of judges for sorting through and selecting this year’s Master Farmers. They are:

  • Karen Corrigan, McGillicuddy Corrigan Agronomics
  • Ed McMillan, University of Illinois board of trustees
  • Linnea Kooistra, 2011 Master Farmer
  • Steve Myers, Busey Ag Services
  • Dwight Raab, Illinois FBFM (formerly)
  • Holly Spangler, Prairie Farmer editor
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