QUINCY -- Recognizing the importance of farming, and farmers, in West-Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri is a long-standing tradition for The Quincy Herald-Whig.
Nominations for the 28th annual Herald-Whig Farm Family of the Year will be accepted through noon Wednesday, Dec. 18. The winner will be announced in the spring Farm & Field magazine scheduled for publication in February.
"Farm families work hard to produce food, fuel and fiber for customers close to home and around the world," said Ron Wallace, Herald-Whig publisher and vice president of newspapers for Quincy Media Inc.
The contest is open to farm families living within 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.
"The winning family serves as a representative for all farm families in the region," Wallace said.
Nomination letters and forms that supply as much information as possible about the family, and what makes the farm stand out among its neighbors, help the contest judges make their decision.
Eligible farm families 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.
Past winners are the C.B. Keller family of Taylor, Mo., the Marilyn Moore family of Camp Point, the Matthew Starr family of Hamilton, the Todd Knorr family of Golden, the Mike Boylen family of Mount Sterling, the Dean Dedert family of Quincy, the Dave Duncan family of Mendon, 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 Plain-ville.
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.
Nomination forms also are available online at whig.com and at The Quincy Herald-Whig.
More information about the Farm Family of the Year contest is available by calling 217-221-3379 or 800-373-9444, ext. 13379.