When the CEO of a major commodity group takes time to write a page and a half letter of support for someone nominated for the Master Farmer award, you know the nominees are well-respected. The letter from Indiana Soybean Alliance’s Courtney Kingery was just one of several that helped illuminate how efficiently and productively Craig and Kim Williams operate not only their farm and seed sales business, but also their entire lives.
Craig and Kim will be honored as recipients of the Master Farmer award in 2021. It’s sponsored by Indiana Prairie Farmer and the Purdue University College of Agriculture.
Related: Williams farm relies on efficiency
“Craig has been a tireless advocate for farmers by investing time and work on the ISA board of directors and our partner, the American Soybean Association, specifically on the board of directors of the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health, or WISHH program,” Kingery begins.
“Craig has successfully developed a diversified farming operation that supports his family and allows the members of his family to become involved in activities that suit their skills on and off the farm. Craig has long been a pillar of his community, sought after for his advice and guidance in agricultural matters.
“Craig is an ‘all-in’ farmer who manages his many roles with professionalism and dedication,” she concludes.
“The Williams farm is a model of economic and environmental efficiency,” says Mike Brocksmith, a farmer himself. “The farm is always one of the first to try new things such as equipment technology or genetic traits. If a trial or an experiment fails, they regroup and try again. If it succeeds, they build upon it. Either way, the results are shared with others.”
However, perhaps it was more than farming efficiency that prompted Mike and Susan Brocksmith to nominate Craig and Kim for the Master Farmer award.
“The Williamses are family people,” Susan says. “They truly value time spent with loved ones. … But the Williams family goes beyond blood relatives.
“If you are a farm employee, buy seed from Craig, are a farmer or live in Knox County, you are treated as his family. If you work with Kim in the Emmaus movement, CASA or the Micah 6:8 Project, you are part of her family. Whether you are a lifelong friend or a perfect stranger, Craig and Kim will be sincere, genuine, nonjudgmental and loving in the way you are treated.”
Around the globe
Christy Farhar founded the Micah 6:8 Project to improve conditions in Ghana in West Africa in 2011. Kim became treasurer in 2012, and both Kim and Craig have supported the group in many ways.
“Jacob, Kim and Craig’s son, was a lively, vibrant young man who made his presence known everywhere he went,” Farhar says. He died in a swimming accident in 2017. “To honor his memory, Jacob’s Wells was established. Kim has made many trips to Ghana.
“Jacob loved playing with and mentoring young kids, so it only seemed right that we build water wells in Ghana to bring life-sustaining water to villages full of children. Since 2017, there have been 15 clean water wells put in throughout Ghana, all made possible because of the testimony of Craig and Kim. I can’t begin to say how many lives have been changed because of these water wells.”