Recognizing GFN Kleckner Global Farm Leader Award Recipients


The Global Farmer Network (GFN) is proud to honor German farmer Marcus Holtkoetter as the 2023 recipient of the GFN Kleckner Global Farm Leader award. Holtkoetter will be formally recognized on Tuesday, October 24, 2023 at the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa.

Holtkoetter has a passion for ensuring farmers’ voices are heard and that everyone has an opportunity to be educated on the agriculture industry.  In the above photo, Marcus addresses GFN board and cohort members at the German Embassy in Washington, DC on September 13, 2023, as part of the GFN’s Roundtable and Communication and Training program. “Telling our story to politicians, consumers, and fellow farmers is our best way to educate them on the benefits of technology and how those tools can help us better feed the world. We each tell our own unique story regarding the current state of farming, the technologies we employ, and the reasons why they are used,” he explained.

As the 10th generation to live on the family’s farm, Holtkoetter received his education in agriculture from the University of Osnabrück and returned to manage a herd of 3,000 feeder pigs. In addition to livestock, he oversees 400 acres of winter wheat, winter barley, corn, and canola.

The GFN Kleckner Global Farm Leader Award is given annually since 2007 and recognizes global farmers who exemplify strong leadership, vision and resolve in advancing the rights of all farmers to choose the technology and tools that will improve the quality, quantity and availability of agricultural products around the world. It was established to honor Dean Kleckner, Chairman Emeritus of the organization. Previous award recipients are:

  • Rosalie Ellasus, Philippines (2007)
  • Jeff Bidstrup, Australia (2008)
  • Jim McCarthy, Ireland (2009)
  • Gabriela Cruz, Portugal (2010)
  • Gilbert arap Bor, Kenya (2011)
  • Rajesh Kumar, India (2012)
  • Ravichandran, India (2013)
  • Ian Pigott, United Kingdom (2014)
  • Lydia Sasu, Ghana (2015)
  • Maria “Pilu” Giraudo, Argentina (2016)
  • Motlatsi Musi, South Africa (2017)
  • Gina Gutierrez, Mexico (2018)
  • Patience Koku, Nigeria (2019)
  • Ruramiso Mashumba (2020)
  • Annechien ten Have Mellema, Netherlands (2021)
  • Gabriel Carballal, Uruguay (2021)
  • Joanna Lidback, USA – Vermont (2021)
  • Kornelis “Kees” Huizinga, Ukraine (2022)

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