Wednesday I got the chance to sit in on the 2014 Iowa Master Farmer Awards luncheon presented by Wallaces Farmer. This will mark my 3rd year in attendance of an event that is dated back to the 1920s.
This year's guest speaker for the luncheon was Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey.
The class of 2014 features Phyllis and Roy Bardole from Rippey; Brian and Cindy Kemp from Sibley; Ann and Marlyn Jorgensen from Garrison; and Gene and Marita Rouse from Huxley. This year's Exceptional Service Awards go to Michael Duffy, an Iowa State University Extension professor of economics, and Williams Edwards, a retired Iowa State University Extension economist.
Read the entire profile bios for the class of 2014 Iowa Master Farmer recipients.
What Makes A Master Farmer?
The concept of a Master Farmer award was initiated in 1925 by Clifford Gregory, editor of Prairie Farmer in Illinois, in an effort to reward and recognize farm citizenship. Henry A. Wallace, editor of Wallaces Farmer, recognized the value of such a program, and in 1926, he launched the Iowa Master Farmer Award.
Deserving Iowa farm families have been recognized every year since — with the exception of 1932-37, during the Great Depression, during World War II in 1942-45, and the year 1962.
Good farming refers to a successful and profitable farm business along with proper stewardship. Operating the farm as a business is only part of the job, however.
Book Tells Tale of the Masters
"The History of the Iowa Master Farmer Award," is a must-read for anyone connected to award winners or interested in the history of Iowa agriculture. The book contains original text and photographs on Iowa Master Farmer award winners since 1926. Plus it includes historical data and insights on Iowa agriculture from Iowa agricultural experts and the Wallaces Farmer staff.
To order contact Wallaces Farmer at 6200 Aurora Ave., Suite 609E, Urbandale, Iowa 50322. For more information call 515-278-7782.
A Brief History of the Iowa Master Farmer Foundation
Roots of the Iowa Master Farmer Association reaches back to 1926. Although no one knew it at the time, the seed for the Iowa Master Farmer Foundation was sown in 1999. Both organizations grew out of the Iowa Master Farmer Awards program.
Henry A. Wallace launched the Iowa Master Farmer Awards program in 1926. Wallace intended for the award to recognize farm families that were outstanding farmers and worked tirelessly to improve Iowa agriculture and their communities.
From 1926 through 2014 Wallaces Farmer magazine has presented Iowa Master Farmer Awards and Expetional Service Awards to 441 Iowa farm families and agricultural supporters.
Award recipients launched the Iowa Master Farmer Club. The club began holding annual metings in the fall, and began sponsoring journalism and agriculture scholarships for ISU students.
Read the entire PDF of The Iowa Master Farmer Foundation: "Born out of Financial Necessity"
Do you know someone who should be an Iowa Master Farmer? Fill out a nomination form and get their name in the running.