All of this year’s Iowa Master Farmers have strong connections to Iowa State University Extension, from 4-H participation and volunteering to assistance with conservation efforts and beef marketing. In late March, Wallaces Farmer presented the awards to Mike, Nick and Alyse Hunter, Chariton; and also to Leland and Kris Boyd, Charles City; Don and Linda Friederichsen, Holstein; and Glenn and Bev Rowe, Lorimor. But Mike Hunter, in particular, emphasized his ISU Extension connections when he received the award.
“Extension was key in getting me involved in rotational grazing,” the Chariton farmer said. He uses this forage management method in about a dozen different pastures.
He learned about grid marketing from ISU Extension, Hunter continued. “Extension gave me enough confidence to try marketing cattle that way.”
Research from ISU Extension convinced him to put up a hoop building, he added.
“Mike was very gracious to ISU Extension in the acceptance speech,” according to ISU Extension livestock field specialist Joe Sellers. “We have helped with the Hunters’ feedlot operation, grid marketing and the start-up of Chariton Valley Beef LLC, a group that is direct marketing locally produced beef. We helped them with starting rotational grazing in their cow-calf operation, developing rations for the cow herd, etc. Extension has been a sounding board for many questions over the years.”
According to Wallaces Farmer, as a high school senior Leland Boyd used money earned from showing 4-H calves to buy his own feeder calf herd. The Friederichsens, Hunters and Rowes are long-time 4-H volunteers.
Wallaces Farmer has given the Iowa Master Farmer awards since 1926, recognizing a few Iowa farmers each year for giving their time and energy to building stronger communities and a better agriculture.