One of their landowners nominated Ronnie and Sarah Mohr for the 2019 Master Farmer award. They work with 20 landowners and do whatever needs to be done to suit the needs of each one when it comes to customizing rental agreements.
“I have known Ronnie and Sarah for more than 50 years,” writes Paul Marsh of Marsh Farms LLC. “They have grown their family farm operation from humble beginnings to a successful, robust, modern farming operation today. As neighbors, Ronnie, Sarah and their family members have operated our family farm for nearly three decades.
“During this time, I have come to appreciate their friendship, community service and their management skills. They have achieved above-average, profitable yields on our family farm while caring for the land in a conserving and suitable manner.”
Marsh managed agricultural mortgage portfolios for 27 years for PGIM Real Estate Finance, a division of Prudential Finance Inc., before retiring. It gave him a unique perspective.
“In my humble opinion, Ronnie and Sarah’s management abilities, success and community service put them in the top tier of farm operators that I have known.”
Jane Ade Stevens, CEO of the Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Indiana Corn Growers Association, says, “On behalf of ICMC and ICGA, Ronnie has served for decades as a frequent media source, proving he has a real gift for taking complex agricultural realities and making them easy for others to understand. From trade to ethanol, Ronnie has never backed down from tackling the difficult and controversial issues.”
Ade Stevens also credits Ronnie as being instrumental in helping raise the cap on the Grain Indemnity Fund to $25 million, nearly doubling the fund and guaranteeing that farmers who voluntarily pay the premium are adequately insured.
Steve Middendorf is region manager for Harvest Land Co-op. He has seen Ronnie at work both as a farmer and farmer-businessman. “Ronnie has been on the forefront of technology in agriculture since the 1980s,” Middendorf says. “He was practicing site-specific recommendations to improve soil fertility 30 years ago, before the days of GPS! That placed him ahead of the curve when understanding and utilizing this type of progressive practice.
“In terms of crop protection, Ronnie is always seeking better control and improved products. He’s not afraid to take risks if he understands and believes in the reward. For decades, Ronnie has continuously worked to find a more effective way to control weeds on his farm.”
Beth Ford, president and CEO of Land O’Lakes Inc., appreciates what Ronnie has done on a national scale, and what Sarah did so Ronnie could be at all those meetings of the cooperative.
“Ronnie has been described … as a true ambassador for American agriculture,” Ford says. “It’s no secret that times are tough in agriculture today, and many farmers are having to make tremendous sacrifices to simply keep their operations up and running. I take immense pride in knowing we have members like the Mohrs, who, despite the challenges, continue their commitment to agriculture, day in and day out; prioritize sustainability; and recognize the value of a hard day’s work.
“They are truly making a difference in their community, and in ours. … I firmly believe the strongest component of the agriculture industry’s success is its people. With the estimated world population hitting 10 billion by 2050, we need more people like Ronnie and Sarah — people who are respected leaders and key players in agriculture’s story and future.”