A fixture in Purdue University Extension Ag Economics returned to the 2020 Top Farmer workshop, hosted by Purdue Ag Economics and the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture. Howard Doster, now retired and living primarily in Ohio, was in the front row when Jim Mintert stepped to the podium to begin the workshop.
Mintert, director of the Center for Commercial Agriculture, served as master of ceremonies for the day. His first duty was to recognize Doster with a special award from the Purdue Ag Economics Department. Mintert presented Doster with a plaque signifying that he was receiving a Purdue Ag Economics Career Distinguished Service Award. Doster received a standing ovation from the room packed full of farmers and ag specialists as he rose to accept the award.
“He’s done a lot for agriculture and ag economics in his career, and we wanted to recognize his continuing achievements,” Mintert said. Doster was responsible for helping launch the Top Crop Farmer workshop, now called the Top Farmer workshop, decades ago. He was in charge of the program for several decades.
Some in attendance this year commented that they remembered coming to the workshop when Doster headed it up. For many years, they could bring information from their farm and enter data into an early computer program while at the meeting. The results would help them determine such things as whether they should expand and if they should invest in more machinery to increase planting and harvesting efficiency.
Doster continues to promote ag economic principles among farmers. He is working to form a Corn Belt Top Farmer group in Indiana and Ohio.