In Search Of An Original Ohio Master Farmer

Buckeye Farm Beat

The first Master Farmer winners were awarded gold medallions. Today’s winners get bronze plaques.

Published on: February 5, 2014
 

I get a lot of calls and emails asking about past issues of Ohio Farmer. Someone wants to know if they can get a copy of the 1957 issue that had their grandfather on the cover taken during Auglaize County Farm and City Tour. I no longer have the bound volume issues in the office, so I steer them to the Ohio Historical Society or the Ohio Department of Agriculture or the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Science at Ohio State.

Once I got a request from a lady in Arizona who wanted to use the 1949 cover of her family and their prize dairy heifer for a post card. 1949? Have at it.

This week I got a new request in a phone call from Jamie Black from Lancaster. Jamie told me he had an Ohio Farmer Master Farmer medallion from 1926. He says it is 10 karat gold. He had it appraised and the gold value was about $340. Would I like to see it?

GOLD ANTIQUE: Jamie Black would like to find the original owners of this 1927 Ohio Master Farmer medallion. He bought it a few years ago, maybe at a garage sale.
GOLD ANTIQUE: Jamie Black would like to find the original owners of this 1927 Ohio Master Farmer medallion. He bought it a few years ago, maybe at a garage sale.

I have seen a couple of the original Ohio Master Farmer medallions. They are the size of an old silver dollar. John Stevenson from Circleville has one from an ancestor. So does organic dairyman Perry Clutts.  Our current Master Farmer bronze plaques are made from a cast of the medallion. It is the same image that is used for all of the Master Farmer programs that Farm Progress Co. manages in states from the Northeast to the Dakotas.

In Ohio the metal medals like Jamie’s were presented for the first two years of the program. Around 40 farmers were recognized with the award in those years.  With the arrival of the Depression the program was quickly discontinued. So not many Master Farmer medallions exist.

DAIRYMAN HONORED: This 1927 Master Farmer medallion has the name Dan Schaaf stamped on it along with the date. It was purchased with a pair of ribbons with pins and engraved plates.
DAIRYMAN HONORED: This 1927 Master Farmer medallion has the name Dan Schaaf stamped on it along with the date. It was purchased with a pair of ribbons with pins and engraved plates.

Still I really doubted they were gold.

Jamie brought his medallion to the office. He said he might have bought it a garage sale or it might have been in box he bid on at an auction. He collects glass bottles and antiques. He used to be a buyer for a metallurgy company. He could tell the gold Master Farmer medal was special. It includes a watch fob. It has the name Dan Schaaf stamped into the back with 1927. And sure enough there is a tiny imprint of 10K.

Jamie also brought some other medals he had bought with the Master Farmer medallion. One had a faded ribbon and pin with a metal engraved plate saying “National Dairy Show Chicago 1919” and “Ohio Market Milk Raw John Schaaf Dairy.” The other one says “Ohio State Dairyman’s Association 1910 OSU Columbus.”

Jamie asked if I knew of any collectors who would be interested in buying the pieces. I told him to give me the last bid. Then he said what he would really like is to get the medals back to the family whose ancestors won them. I told him I might be able to help make that happen. If you can tell Jamie anything about Schaaf Dairy, you can email him at sliceblack@hotmail.com.

Look for the 2014 Ohio Master Farmer winners in the March issue of Ohio Farmer. The awards will be presented at the Conservation Tillage Conference in Ada March 4 at 10.30 a.m.