By Duane Dailey & Jerilyn Johnson
Missouri Ruralist and the University of Missouri Extension will recognize four 2008 Master Farmers at ceremonies Feb. 7 in the state capital, reviving an award that has been dormant for more than 50 years.
The 2008 Master Farmers are Scot Shively, Shelbyville; David Vote, Phillipsburg; Steve and Sharon Oetting, Concordia; and Alvin Crooks, Leeton. Each will receive $1,000 and a plaque. The winners will be honored at a Saturday evening banquet during the 2009 Missouri Young Farmers/Young Farm Wives Convention at the Doubletree Hotel in Jefferson City. Gold sponsor FCS Financial funds the award program.
On Sunday, Feb. 8, at 9:30 a.m., the Master Farmers will share management and marketing tips in a roundtable talk with younger farmers. Young farmer panelists will include Tom Fenner, president of Missouri Young Farmers; Derek Lowrey, 2008 FFA American Star; and Dan Devlin, 2008 Agricultural Leaders of Tomorrow class graduate.
"The program recognizes farmers who have not only been successful in farming, but who are also assets to their communities and agriculture," says Ron Plain, MU Extension agricultural economist. "This is not meant to be a lifetime-achievement award, but to recognize active farmers."
In the early years of the last century, Missouri Ruralist recognized Master Farmers annually. Those awards were replaced by MU Extension Balanced Farming Awards and later by Farm Management Awards.
All of the Master Farmer families have long ties to the land," says Jerilyn Johnson, editor of Missouri Ruralist. Both the Crooks and Oetting operations are Missouri Century Farms and have fifth and sixth generations working on them. Shively is a fourth-generation farmer. Vote is third-generation farmer.
For more details on the 2008 Missouri Master Farmers, see the January issue of Missouri Ruralist, or check out the "Master Farmer" link under the "More Missouri Ruralist" tab on this Web site.