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Master Farmer Nominations Due February 15

Still time to nominate an outstanding person in your community. By Tom J. Bechman 

The clock is ticking toward the Feb. 15 deadline for nominating someone to be recognized as a Master Farmer in 2012. The Indiana Master Farmer Program is sponsored by Indiana Prairie Farmer and the Purdue University College of Agriculture.   

The nomination from is a one-page document, and can be obtained on the Website at : www.farmprogress.com., click on ‘more’ in the upper right corner, then on Master Farmer. Or you can email: tbechman@farmprogress.com or call 317-738-0565 and request a form.  

Even though it’s only a page, you may need to add pages to completely fill out the information requested. You will also want to solicit and submit up to six letters of support for your nominee. Choose people that know your nominee well and can attest to his skills not only as a farmer, but as a leader in the ag community, a steward of his resources, and a family man. The judges find these letters extremely helpful in helping get a clear picture of the individual behind the farming operation.     

There is no scorecard that judges use to make selections. The award is based upon an outstanding ag production program, plus leadership and community service activities. Size of operation is not a requirement. Farmers with as few as 300 and as many as several thousand acres have been named to the Master Farmer class. 

Four Master Farmers will be added as the class of 2012. In addition, an Honorary Master Farmer will be inducted. This is someone who may not farm, but who has contributed to the well-being of farmers and agriculture throughout their career. Honorary Master Farmers can be nominated, or selected by the judges,. If you’re nominating someone for the honorary Master Farmer award, some questions on the application may not apply. However, the six letters of support are still suggested. 

The award ceremony will be held as part of the evening program of the 2012 Indiana Farm Management Tour. The tour is scheduled for late June in northern Indiana. Persons receiving the award must be present to win.