Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig and Department of Natural Resources Acting Director Bruce Trautman invite Iowans to nominate families in their communities for the 2019 Farm Environmental Leader Award.
Farmers who voluntarily take actions, like planting cover crops or installing conservation infrastructure in their fields, are eligible for this annual award. This year’s deadline to nominate a deserving farmer has been extended to June 25.
To qualify, individuals must make environmental stewardship a priority and incorporate best management practices into their farming operation. As true stewards of the land, they recognize that improved water quality and soil sustainability reaps benefits that extend beyond their fields to residents of Iowa and others even further downstream.
Winners set example
“Iowa farmers do an incredible job feeding and fueling the world in a way that’s sustainable and acknowledges important conservation practices,” Reynolds says. “They go above and beyond improving water quality and soil sustainability, which serves as a model for others to follow.”
Naig adds, “I commend the farmers who are using soil and water conservation practices that help us achieve the goals outlined in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. The award recipients are leading by example and helping preserve Iowa farmland for the next generation.”
Trautman of the DNR says, “It’s always gratifying to be able to recognize the farmers who are voluntarily leading the way when it comes to protecting our land and water. Being conscientious of our natural resources will ensure a rich legacy for future generations.”
Nominate outstanding conservation farmer
An appointed committee of representatives from both conservation and ag groups will review the nominations and select the winners. The recipients will be recognized Aug. 14 at the Iowa State Fair. The number of farmers receiving this award varies year to year, as multiple award winners are recognized annually.
Since the creation of the award in 2012, more than 500 farm families have been recognized. Winners are presented a certificate as well as a yard sign donated by Bayer. The nomination form, a list of previous awardees and other information can be found at IDALS’ website.