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Nominate Master Farmers now to be recognized in 2016

Nominate Master Farmers now to be recognized in 2016
Make it your turn to nominate an Indiana Prairie Farmer Master Farmer.

There is more to November than a Thanksgiving turkey and football. It's time to get started on nominating someone you look up to as a Master Farmer for 2016. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 15.

Related: Indiana Prairie Farmer names 2015 Master Farmers

The award is co-sponsored by Indiana Prairie Farmer and the Purdue University College of Agriculture. Four Master Farmer or Master Farmer couples are selected each year. Since the modern version of the program began in 1968, more than 200 farmers have been honored. However, many outstanding farmers have not been recognized.

Honorary Master Farmer: Chris Hurt, the Purdue University Extension ag economist, was recognized as an honorary Master Farmer in 2015.

The nomination form and important information is posted on a special Master Farmer section of this website. If you want a hard copy of the form, please request it by mail or email. You can mail to: P.O. Box 247, Franklin, IN 46131, or email: tbechman@farmprogress.com. Once the nomination form is completed, mail a hard copy to this address. The completed form will include extra pages answering some of the questions, plus letters of support.

The Master Farmer nomination form was changed for this year. You're encouraged to consider whether you want to nominate a farmer by themselves, or nominate a couple together so that both are recognized as Master Farmers. In situations where both spouses are involved in various facets of the operation, we encourage you to consider nominating both. However, it may not be appropriate in all cases.

Every year we get questions about nominating someone who isn't a full-time farmer as an Honorary Master Farmer. An honorary Master Farmer is not named every year, but several have been named recently. Chris Hurt was the 2015 Honorary Master Farmer.

It is not necessary to fill out a form to nominate someone for this honor. Simply drop an email or letter to Tom Bechman at the contact points listed here. Explain why you feel this person would be a good candidate. The judging committee has final say on selecting someone or not naming one. The committee indicated in 2015 that it prefers to honor someone who has contributed to Indiana agriculture as a whole, and who is recognized as an ag leader statewide.

We look forward to receiving lots of nominations this year. Good luck!

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