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January 23, 2024
One highlight of the Great Lakes Crop Summit is a tribute and awards presentation to three Michigan farmers who are standouts in agriculture — known for exceptional farm management, innovation, conservation and leadership.
Each year for the past 20 years, Michigan Farmer has bestowed the prestigious Master Farmer award on three individuals who have demonstrated how to farm more effectively, efficiently, environmentally and economically.
This year’s winners, who are highly successful and operate and manage their farms with a high level of proficiency, include Gerald (Jerry) Heck of Monroe, Robert (Bob) Schultz of Ypsilanti and Timothy Kruithoff of Kent City.
The award acknowledges a lifetime of achievement and not a single year. Master Farmers are nominated by their peers and chosen by a committee of agriculture industry leaders.
The Master Farmers are honored during a luncheon on the second day of the Great Lakes Crop Summit, which is set for Jan. 26 in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
The winners receive plaques and pins presented by Michigan Farmer magazine. Feature articles on the winners will appear online this week at MichiganFarmer.com and will be printed in the February issue of American Agriculturist.
Sponsors include Brownfield Ag News, which produces the videos, as well as Michigan Agricultural Commodities, Greenstone Farm Credit Services, Wilbur-Ellis, Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee, Michigan Wheat Program and Corn Marketing Program of Michigan.
Past Michigan Master Farmers include:
2005. Fred Tubbs, Mark Huggett and Walter Stafford
2006. Dennis Hasenick, Bob Dykhuis and Dave Morris (honorary)
2007. Pete Clark, Wally Huggett and Armon Southworth
2008. John Crumbaugh, Todd Young and Kurt Ewald
2009. Andy Snider, Dale Weburg, George Weburg and Clark Humrich
2010. Paul Rood, Jeffery Sandborn and Carl Moore
2011. Ken Swanson, Gary Bardenhagen and Bill Irrer
2012. Ronald Helmreich, John Felzke and Frank Lipinski
2013. Earl Barks, John Swanson and Tony Jandernoa
2014. Richard Dobbins, John Schaendorf and Harley Sietsema
2015. Olan and Kent Humm, Robert “Alan” Moore, and Richard Lauwers
2016. Delbert Crumbaugh, Brian Haskin and Andy Welden
2017. Tim Brodbeck, David Williams, and Ken and Ida Wadsworth
2018. Ed Cagney, Tom Braid and Robert Ohse
2019. Bruce Noll, Dean Haubenstricker and Jim Domagalski
2020. Clark Gerstacker and Kevin Winkel
2021. Frank Vyskocil, Wayne Waldron Farms and Jim Wilson
2022. Bill Hunt, Dennis Gardner and Greg McCarthy
2023. Joe Bryant, Dave Milligan and Louis Wierenga
Read more about:Master Farmers
Editor, Michigan Farmer
While Jennifer is not a farmer and did not grow up on a farm, "I think you'd be hard pressed to find someone with more appreciation for the people who grow our food and fiber, live the lifestyles and practice the morals that bind many farm families," she says.
Before taking over as editor of Michigan Farmer in 2003, she served three years as the manager of communications and development for the American Farmland Trust Central Great Lakes Regional Office in Michigan and as director of communications with Michigan Agri-Business Association. Previously, she was the communications manager at Michigan Farm Bureau's state headquarters. She also lists 10 years of experience at six different daily and weekly Michigan newspapers on her impressive resume.
Jennifer lives in St. Johns with her two daughters, Elizabeth, 19, and Emily 16.
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