Master Farmers live everywhere. Perhaps there is one living down the road form you, or perhaps it is you. Maybe you've already received the award, or maybe you know somebody that should receive it but hasn't. Here is your chance to change that, and help shine the spotlight on a farmer and his or her family that not only do a good job of farming and caring for the land, but that also are active in organizations and the community, perhaps even at the state and national level.
Indiana Prairie Farmer and the Purdue University College of Agriculture sponsor the award each year. Typically, four Master Farmers and one Honorary Master Farmer are named each year. Nominations for Master Farmer must come from someone outside of Indiana Prairie Farmer. That's why if you know of someone who meets the qualifications, it's so important that you agree to take time to put together a nomination on their behalf.
The nomination form itself is only a page long. You can obtain one by emailing : [email protected] or writing to: Indiana Prairie Farmer, P.O. Box 247, Franklin, IN 46131. However, most of the questions require additional information that can't be explained on one page. Most of the questions relate to how the nominee you would like to be considered operates their farm, what measures they have taken to care for their land and resources, and what types of leadership activities they have been involved in during their career.
The modern version of the program started in 1968. Master Farmers have been named to join the group every year since then. The original version started in 1925, but was discontinued during the Great Depression in the mid-1930s.
Beginning last year, the Master Farmer Awards Program was held in conjunction with the Indiana Farm Management Tour. The highest attendance on record, well over 200, attended the banquet and honored last year's new inductees. The same format will be used this year. The tour will be in late June in northern Indiana. Watch for an announcement on dates and exact locations.Meanwhile, circle Feb. 15 as a target date on your calendar, and start the process of nominating someone you look up o for the award. Nominators of successful candidates are also invited to attend the ceremony.