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Take a look: Master Farmers 2018

Slideshow: Four new Master Farmers and one Honorary Master Farmer were recognized at the annual awards luncheon. Here’s a look at how it all went down.

Wonder what the 2018 Master Farmer Awards Luncheon was like? Take a look!

We’ve gathered photos from the day in a slideshow, sharing a slice of the reunions and fellowship that took place as Prairie Farmer recognized the 2018 Master Farmers and Honorary Master Farmer on Wednesday, March 14, in Springfield, Ill.

2018 Master Farmer honorees included Tom Martin, Mount Pulaski; Jim Rapp, Princeton; Fred Reichert, Auburn; and Darell Sarff, Chandlerville. Max Armstrong also received the prestigious Honorary Master Farmer award.

Armstrong addressed the crowd, asking of Illinois agriculture: “Has there ever been a more crowded plate when you think of the issues we’re dealing with right now on farms in this state?”

Armstrong also described three types of people: instigators, pushers and enablers. “I look at this room and I think, OK, we’ve got some instigators. We’ve got some pushers. We’ve got some enablers.

“You look at the stories of these four Master Farmers, and you think, yeah, there had to be some instigator DNA in there somewhere.”

Armstrong went on to suggest that these Master Farmers — and those who came before them — saw something that needed to be addressed in their community and “started stirring the pot” until they got it done.

“They went out to their neighbor’s machine shed, they went down to the school or the rotary club, to keep an idea going. That instigator stirring it up and the pusher that wouldn’t let it lie.

“You would continue calling the lawmakers, you’d serve on the county board, you’d bring together a team, and you wouldn’t stop pushing until you were successful. And the whole community has benefited because of it,” Armstrong said.

Further, he told the crowd they all have the chance to do some enabling of their own — to stand up for someone else and give others the same opportunities they have.

“Master Farmers, there’s still much work to be done. That’s your charge. Pick up the baton and keep running with it,” Armstrong concluded.

The Master Farmer award is a grassroots program, and all nominations come from farmers, farm organizations and community leaders. The 2019 nomination form is available online or by emailing holly.spangler@farmprogress.com. Nominations are due Sept. 10.

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