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Honorary Master Farmer Program Highlights Non-Farmers

Honorary Master Farmer Program Highlights Non-Farmers

Some non-farmers are just as important to Indiana agriculture as farmers themselves.

Since the Master Farmer program was reinstated in 1968, several Hoosiers have received the Honorary Master Farmer award. It recognizes people who don't farm directly or for whom farming is not their main source of income, but who have influenced Indiana agriculture and farm families in a positive way during their careers.

The award is given only if the judging committee that selects Master Farmers believes there is someone who deserves the award. Therefore, it is not given every year, and there is no nomination form for the award. However, if you want to throw a name into the hopper, you can write a letter of nomination and send it to tbechman@farmprogress.com.

Gracious winner: Wayne Dillman was honored in 2011. He is the only person who has lobbied for farmers in the legislature for both Indiana Farmers Union and Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc.

Please send your letter of nomination, describing why you think the person is deserving of special recognition, by Feb. 15. You can also mail it to Indiana Prairie Farmer, P.O. Box 347, Franklin IN 46131.

Master Farmers will be recognized in late June during the Indiana Farm Management Tour evening program. The tour this year is in Clinton County.

Here is a rundown of Honorary master Farmers, according to our records. If you know someone who you believe received the award and they are not listed, please let us know. Accurate records of honorary Master Farmers were not kept in the early days. The Master Farmer program is co-sponsored by the Purdue University College of Agriculture. Nominations for regular Master Farmers are also due postmarked Feb. 15. You can find a nomination form on www.IndianaPrairieFarmer.com by looking down the left hand side of the Home page and clicking on 'Master Farmers.'

Past honorary Master Farmers include Mauri Williamson, Economy; Hobe Jones, West Lafayette; Jim Newman, West Lafayette; Howard Doster, West Lafayette; Max Armstrong, Chicago, Ill.; David Petritz, West Lafayette; Tom Turpin; Tippecanoe County; Bruce McKenzie, West Lafayette; Tom Bauman; West Lafayette; and Wayne Dillman, Martinsville.

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