If you haven't already thought of someone you believe is worthy of the Master Farmer award, now is the time to zero in on someone and begin the nomination process. The nominations for 2013 are due postmarked by Feb. 15, 2013. The honorees will be selected in early March.
If you want to nominate someone, the easiest way to get a nomination form is to click here, or visit 'Master Farmer' under 'More Farm Progress' on the left side of the Indiana Prairie Farmer Web site. The forms there have been updated, with the proper due date – Feb 15, 2013. You will also find a picture of last year's winners.
The form itself is only one page. You'll need to add extra sheets to provide enough information to give the judges a good feel for the candidate's farming operation and strong production efficiencies. Just as important, however, is his or her stewardship of the land and resources, and service to community. The service may be at the local, state or even national level. One of last year's honorees, Gene Schmidt, Hanna, is in the final stages of a two-year term as President of the National Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
That doesn't mean your nominee has to have state or national leadership experience to win. Sometimes all of the leadership is at the local level, such as on Extension boards, soil and water conservation districts, board members for boards of cooperatives or utilities, or members of commodity organizations, such as the Indiana Beef Cattleman's Association or Indiana Soybean Alliance.
Six letters are requested, and are very important to the judges. These letters help them get a better feel for how the nominee is viewed in his community and by his peers. Include the letters with the nomination if possible.
For questions about how to nominate someone, contact Tom Bechman at 317-738-0565 or [email protected].