Michigan Farmer Master Farmer Contest
It's time to nominate candidates that will be honored in 2015. Master Farmer nominations are due (postmarked) to Michigan Farmer by November 1, 2015.
The Master Farmer award recognizes the finest farmers in Michigan. It is awarded by Michigan Farmer magazine, Michigan Farm Radio Network and Michigan Agri-Business Association and sponsored by GreenStone Farm Credit Services and Mosiac. Every community has a Master Farmer in its midst. But unless you let us know about a deserving individual and family, they may go unnoticed for what they do.
Send the completed form to Michigan Farmer, 710 W. Park St., St. Johns, MI 48879. Click on the link below for a nomination form.
Meet the Michigan Master Farmer class of 2014
Dobbins Focuses on Forward Progress
One of the best decisions Richard “Dick” Dobbins ever made was moving to the big city. That move influenced the decision he and his young bride, Martha, would make to return home to the country, buy the farm and start a family. “My heart was with the farm,” he says.
What started with 200 acres is now 3,150 acres of corn, soybeans and seed corn at North Concord Farms.
Through calculated decisions, constant reinvestment, strong fiscal responsibility and wise risk management strategies, Dick has developed a strong foothold in agriculture, not only in his hometown of Concord, but also throughout the state in many leadership roles.
Dick is well-known as a forward-thinker, and his marketing savvy keeps advancing the operation. His commitment to the community is multi-faceted, and above all, he’s a family man.
Dick Dobbins has been chosen as a 2014 Michigan Master Farmer.
Schaendorf: A Custom-Made Farmer
John Schaendorf calls himself a “high-speed kind of guy.” Few — if any — would argue that.
John has built two expansive enterprises, a dairy and a custom-farming business from the ground up in about 20 years — something that is more likely to occur over generations in the ag industry.
At age 49, most would consider him a young and beginning farmer, but his path of success defines him a bit differently. He was secretly nominated by daughter, Nicole Heslip, who many know as the voice of Michigan Farm Radio Network
Sietsema Talks Turkey And Then Some
When he was a young boy feeding turkeys on the family farm in west Michigan, Harley Sietsema could never have envisioned the land becoming part of Grand Valley State University, or raising upward of 1.4 million turkeys every year.
Harley also didn’t anticipate helping organize Michigan Turkey Producers, a cooperative that generates more than $200 million annually; having pork operations across Michigan and Ontario, where upward of 35,000 sows and 750,000 market hogs are raised; owning two feed mills with close to a 300,000-ton capacity; or building the nation’s first biomass gasification system, where turkey litter is transformed into 300 kilowatts of electricity and 12,500 pounds of steam per hour.Those and a host of other ag-related accomplishments are cited by Harley’s family, friends and business associates as making him a worthy recipient of the 2014 Master Farmer award.
Michigan Master Farmer History
•Harley Sietsema of Allendale
•Richard Dobbins of Concord
•John Schaendorf of Allegan
•Earl Barks of St. Johns
•Tony Jandernoa of St. Johns
•John Swanson of Ravenna
•John Felzke of DeWitt
•Ron Helmreich of Freeland
•Frank Lipinski of Buckley
•Ken Swanson of Traverse City
•Gary Bardenhagen of Lake Leelanau
•Bill Irrer of Fowler
•Paul Rood of Covert
•Jeffrey Sandborn of Portland
•Carl Moore of Cedar Springs
•Clark Humrich of Webberville
•George Weburg/Dale Weburg of Ithaca and Breckenridge
•Andy Snider of Hart
•Todd Young of Howard City
•Kurt Ewald of Unionville
•John Crumbaugh of Wheeler
•Wallace Huggett of Marlette and Cheboygan
•Leon “Pete” Clark Jr. of Eagle
•Armon Southworth of Grand Ledge
•Dennis Hasenick of Albion
•Bob Dykhuis of Holland
•Dave Morris of Grand Ledge
•Fred Tubbs of Hart
•Mark Huggett of Marlett
•Walter Stafford of Richland