By DEBORAH GERTZ HUSAR
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
The Quincy Herald-Whig recognizes the contributions of farm families in Northeast Missouri and West-Central Illinois with its Farm Family of the Year Award.
Nominations for the 21st annual award will be accepted through noon Thursday, Jan. 17.
The winner will be announced in the 2013 farm section scheduled for publication on Tuesday, Feb. 12.
"The farming forecast holds several challenges heading into planting season with the lingering effects of the 2012 drought," said Mike Hilfrink, Herald-Whig general manager and executive editor. "Continued dry conditions will impact farming operations and area communities."
The contest is open to farm families living with The Herald-Whig circulation area -- Adams, Brown, Hancock and Pike counties in Illinois and Clark, Knox, Lewis, Marion, Monroe, Pike, Ralls, Scotland and Shelby counties in Missouri.
A panel of judges from The Herald-Whig and area farm offices will review the nominations and select a winner.
Nomination letters that supply as much information as possible about the family help the contest judges make their decision.
"Award winners are good representative families, active on both the farm and in the community," Hilfrink said. "We recognize their dedication to raising crops and livestock for the world and for customers closer to home."
Past winners are the Kenny Lovelace family of Palmyra, Mo., the Terry Pope family of Burnside, the Bill Smithers family of Pittsfield, the Roger Sutter family of Taylor, Mo., the Bob Koch family of Mount Sterling, the Richard Speckhart family of rural Quincy, the Matt Plenge family of Kahoka, Mo., the Marvin Meyer family of Liberty, the Dan Taylor family of Hannibal, Mo., the Stan Frese family of Fowler, the Larry Donley family of Mendon, the Lyle Waner family of Loraine, the Dan Obert family of Liberty, the Lawrence Schreacke family of Burton, the Jim Doane family of Barry, the Don McCleary family of Liberty, the Melvin Genenbacher family of Fowler, the Charles Koch family of Mount Sterling, the Ron Knoche family of Warsaw and the Paul Hildebrand family of Plainville.
Eligible nominees for The Quincy Herald-Whig Farm Family of the Year Award include those who:
º Rent or own grain, livestock or grain-livestock farms within The Herald-Whig circulation area.
º Involve one or more generation in the farm's operation.
º Use conservation practices on the farm.
º Participate in community activities, including churches or local government, or are active in farm-related organizations at the county, state or national level.
Letters of nomination should include a detailed description of the family and farming operation, noting what makes the family a qualified candidate and the farm stand out among its neighbors.
Nomination letters may be mailed to The Quincy Herald-Whig, Attention: Farm Family Contest, 130 S. Fifth, Quincy, IL 62301. Entries also may be faxed to The Herald-Whig at (217) 221-3395 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about the contest is available by calling (217) 221-3379 or (800) 373-9444, ext. 13379.