Prairie Farmer is now accepting applications for the 2022 Master Farmer award.
Do you know someone who has made an impact in Illinois agriculture? The individual may be a sibling, neighbor, friend, your parents or even yourself. Regardless, do not hesitate to complete an application and send it in prior to the Sept. 24 deadline!
Farmers can nominate themselves; many farmers submit their own names each year. Feel free to nominate or apply as an individual, a farm couple, or siblings. Nominations for couples and sibling partnerships are not uncommon. In 2016, four farm couples received the award. Siblings, Doug and Tom Block, who farm in partnership, were named Master Farmers in 2009, joining a list of names that’s grown past 350.
The 2022 application form is available online. Download it, fill it out and send it in, complete with letters of support, by Sept. 24. For more information or to have an application sent to you, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will need at least eight recommendation letters to support your nomination, and the selection committee focuses on growth of the operation over time, agriculture productivity and community involvement.
The selection committee will be comprised of Illinois agricultural leaders, including experts in agronomy and agricultural finance, past Master Farmers, agricultural research or university authorities, and Prairie Farmer editorial staff.
Who’s eligible? Here’s a look:
- Candidates must farm in Illinois, deriving the majority of their income from agricultural production.
- Successful nominees will have proven ag production records, be recognized as leaders in their community, and will have given back to the community in substantive ways.
- Candidates may be individuals, couples or siblings; judging is equally weighted.
- Each nominee should be actively engaged in production agriculture.
The Master Farmer award was founded in 1925 to recognize farmers for their achievements within production agriculture and within their communities. Today, with sponsorship help from Growmark, Prairie Farmer continues to honor the work and values of Master Farmers, both on and off the farm.
Those selected for the 2022 award will receive a plaque and coverage in the March 2022 magazine, along with recognition at the annual Master Farmer awards banquet, which hopefully will return to its regularly scheduled time frame in March.
The 2020 and 2021 banquets were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and staff will instead recognize both those classes of Master Farmers on Sept. 2 at 1:30 p.m. during the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill. The public is invited to attend, and the 2021 Master Farmers will be featured in the September issue of Prairie Farmer.