We’ve spent much of the past few months preparing for next week. That’s when we’ll unveil the 2009 Prairie Farmer Master Farmers, both in the March issue and at a March 4 banquet in Springfield.
It’s been a labor of love, as it always is. For 12 years, I’ve had the privilege of meeting Master Farmers, visiting their farms and meeting their families. We shoot pictures and shoot the breeze. And as honored as they are to be selected and recognized for their life’s work, I’ve been equally honored to count them as friends. Through the course of interviewing a Master Farmer, I’ve had the chance to learn so much – the kind of stuff I can bring back to our farm and to our family. We’ve gotten tips on passing the farm to the next generation, on depreciation, on grain storage and perhaps most importantly, on raising our farm family. Of all the Master Farmers I’ve met over the years, not a one has said he wished he spent more time away from home. These are folks who’ve learned to couple the many demands of the farm with long lists of community service groups, and then to balance it all with their family – and always put family first. It’s not an easy feat, but it’s one worth learning.
Next week will be a homecoming of sorts. A fun day of visiting, catching up and renewing old friendships. And a chance to recognize five more families who’ve done it all and done it right. If you don’t have your March issue by March 4, check back here on our website, where we’ll announce the new class. You won’t want to miss this one.
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