The Smokey Bear campaign with the slogan “Only you can prevent forest fires” withstood the test of time because it’s true and because it gets people’s attention. Here’s a new twist: Only you can nominate a Master Farmer candidate!
No one at Indiana Prairie Farmer can do it. Nominations come from other farmers, neighbors, business associates, Extension educators, spouses, relatives and even ag teachers.
Here is how you can nominate someone step by step. Don’t wait — nominations are due Feb 18.
• Choose someone to nominate. Perhaps it’s your dad, uncle or spouse. Maybe it’s a neighbor, or maybe it’s someone you know and respect who farms halfway across the state. Select someone people look up to for advice, who operates a successful farm and who is a leader in his or her community and beyond.
• Obtain a nomination form. The easiest way is to call Indiana Prairie Farmer at 317-431-8766 or write to: P.O. Box 247, Franklin, IN 46131 and request a Master Farmer nomination form.
• Decide to nominate one person or a couple. Some couples operate the farm together and it’s impossible not to recognize both. In other cases, the spouse may not be directly involved in the operation. The form will ask you to choose if you want to nominate an individual or couple. Joint nominations outside the immediate couple aren’t encouraged.
• Collect information. You may want to keep the nomination a surprise. If so, ask a relative or employee to help you gather information about the operation and the nominee’s leadership activities, which you will need to fill out the form. Judges rely on this information when making selections.
• Obtain letters of support. Judges also like to know what others think about the nominee. Ask six people to write letters of support. Many seek letters from relatives, partners, business associates, farm group leaders, Extension educators and pastors.
• Submit the nomination. Mail the completed nomination form with six letters of support to: P.O. Box 247, Franklin, IN 46131. If you prefer to submit the nomination form and/or letters electronically, contact Tom Bechman for details at 317-431-8766.
Remember, whether someone is recognized may depend upon your willingness to nominate them. Good luck! Successful nominees will be recognized in June. The Master Farmer award is co-sponsored by Indiana Prairie Farmer and the Purdue University College of Agriculture.
For more tips on nominating someone and to see a list of previous winners, check out Nominate a 2019 Master Farmer.