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Local News

 

Prairie Farmer names 2020 Master Farmers

Tue, 03 Mar 2020 11:06:57 CST

   
The 2020 Master Farmers from left to right: Dale Hadden, Jacksonville; Joe Pickrell, Buffalo; John and Susan Adams, Atlanta; Ted Mottaz, Elmwood. Photo by Holly Spangler

Five Illinois producers will be honored as 2020 Master Farmers at Prairie Farmer magazine’s annual event in Springfield, Ill., on Thursday, March 19. The award recognizes exceptional agricultural production skills, commitment to family and service to community.

The 2020 Master Farmers are:
· John and Susan Adams, Atlanta
· Dale Hadden, Jacksonville
· Ted Mottaz, Elmwood
· Joe Pickrell, Buffalo

Look for profiles of each winner in the March 2020 Prairie Farmer and online at www.PrairieFarmer.com during the week of March 2.

“The Master Farmer award is Illinois agriculture’s lifetime achievement award,” said Holly Spangler, Prairie Farmer editor. “These farmers are at the top of their game, and this award is based on their entire body of work in the field, in the family, and in the community.”

Prairie Farmer first offered the Master Farmer award 95 years ago, in 1925. Editors have continued the tradition annually since 1968, following a pause initially caused by the Depression. When Editor Clifford Gregory established the Master Farmer program, he felt the award would help give farm people a greater sense of “pride and permanence.” Nearly 350 Illinois producers have been inducted as Master Farmers or Honorary Master Farmers over the program’s history.

Candidates are nominated by farmers, neighbors, agribusiness leaders and farm organizations throughout the state. Judges for the 2020 awards were Karen Corrigan, McGillicuddy Corrigan Agronomics; Ed McMillan, University of Illinois Board of Trustees; Linnea Kooistra, 2011 Master Farmer; Steve Myers, Busey Ag Services; Dwight Raab, First Midwest Bank; and Holly Spangler, Prairie Farmer editor.

Some Master Farmers serve in state and national farm leadership positions. Others chair prestigious boards or serve with honor at the highest levels of government. Still others build their farms or businesses to regional or national prominence.

However, all serve their communities – building churches, chairing little-known but important committees, organizing harvest for a stricken neighbor – and continuing the service-minded commitment that earned them the Master Farmer distinction in the first place.

“Every year, we pour through pages and pages of applications that document a lifetime of work. We sift until we find the very best Illinois farmers – the people who raise good crops and even better families, and who build their communities all along the way,” said Spangler. “These Master Farmers are leveraging every ounce of skill they have for the greater good.”

Prairie Farmer is published 12 times a year for Illinois farm families.

Established in 1841, it is the oldest continuously published farm periodical in the United States. GROWMARK, Inc., is a financial sponsor of the award. Like the Master Farmer award, the GROWMARK system was born during the 1920s, when farmer cooperatives first organized the Illinois Farm Supply Co. Today, the brand is known as FS.

 

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