On March 4, Prairie Farmer will induct the 2009 Master Farmer class during the annual banquet. The winners will be revealed in the March issue.
I hope you enjoy reading the Master Farmer articles, because they're my favorite to write and photograph. I mean, who wouldn't want to spend a half day with the best Illinois has to offer?
Not only do I get to take photos of a tremendous operation, I also get to pick their brains in the process. Believe me, these conversations have led to some great story ideas. From the looks of things, this year will be no different.
Last week, I saw the inner workings of two completely different farm operations. On Thursday, I got up early (4 a.m.) and drove down to southern Illinois, where I spent about five hours with one of the state's finest river-bottom farmers. Despite the snow cover, I was able to make out the low-lying fields that keep this farmer on his toes.
The next day, I got up a little later (5 a.m.) and headed north, where I toured a crop/dairy operation. Talk about farming extremes. The rolling hills of northern Illinois are quite a departure from the Mississippi River bottoms. Oh, and there was that Central part of the state I drove through, where everything was flat, black and square.
By Saturday, I'd logged nearly 1,000 miles and I'd seen some of the finest Illinois has to offer. By the way, the entire state was under snow from north to south along the Illinois 51 corridor.
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