Quick, how many of the 2007 Master Farmers can you name? Here's a refresher- Bruce Buchanan, Fowler; Scott Beck, Atlanta; Jim Douglas, Flat Rock; and David Miers, Greensburg. That was the 2007 class of the prestigious Indiana Prairie Farmer/ Purdue University College of Agriculture Master Farmer award.
The Master Farmer program honors Indiana farmers who excel at production, protecting resources, providing leadership to their communities, and devoting themselves to their families. If that describes someone you know, or even yourself, now is the time to help bring recognition to a deserving person and his or her family. Deadline for nominations for the 2008 Master Farmer award is April 15. Not everything that happens on April 15 is painful!
That sounds like light years away, but it's not! Before you know it, the planter will be out of the shed, and with any luck, it will be running or nearly ready to run by April 15. While the cold wind and snow are still blowing, now is the time to nominate that person you look up to- the 'go to' guy or gal in your community.
To nominate someone, simply call 317-738-0565, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Indiana Prairie Farmer, PO Box 247, Franklin, IN 46131. We'll return a one page nomination form with helpful tips for preparing a successful nomination. Most nominations do include up to six letters of support from family, friends, local businessmen and local or ag group leaders who have worked with the nominee. Allow plenty of time to put a strong set of supporting letters together for your nominee.
Successful awardees will be notified by June 1, with the official ceremony this year slated for July 30 at the Beck Ag Center at the Purdue Agronomy Research Center near West Lafayette. Purdue University School of Agriculture Dean Randy Woodson will open the doors of the beautiful new facility and welcome guests for this event. The best way to earn a free spot at the ceremony is to successfully nominate a Master Farmer award winner!
If you couldn't remember any of last year's winners, refresh your memory by looking up the August issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer. Check out: www.indianaprairiefarmer.com. This year's winners will again be featured in the August issue, due out about the time the actual ceremony will take place.
And if you didn't do so well on the first question, try this one: When did the program start, and where? Answer- 1925, with the first ceremony held at Purdue University. It was discontinued from the mid-30's until 1968.
"It's nice to have the Master Farmer award program coming back to Purdue University, where it all began," Dean Woodson says.