Iowans are encouraged to nominate farm families for the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award. Farmers who voluntarily take action and use farming practices to improve soil health and water quality are eligible for this recognition. The award is sponsored by the Iowa Governor’s office, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Nominations will be accepted from now until May 4 to be considered for the 2020 awards, which will be presented at a ceremony held at the Iowa State Fair in August. The application for 2020 is open earlier than in past years to allow additional time to nominate farmers. Visit the IDALS website for information and the nomination form.
To qualify, individuals must be using conservation practices that are improving water quality and soil health. “These farmers incorporate best management practices into their farming operation because they know that sustainable practices extend beyond the fields, and they impact people, the land and the water in our state and downstream,” says Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds. Farmers who are nominated for this award must also actively serve as leaders in the farm community.
Farmers making extra effort
“Iowa farmers have been feeding and fueling the world for generations, and are leaders in conservation,” Reynolds says. “They go above and beyond in their work improving water quality and soil health, serving as a model for others to follow. The 2020 Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Awards is one way we say thank you and recognize farmers for all they do.”
“Farmers across the state are investing in farming practices and conservation practices that positively impact their land and water,” Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig says. “Conservation practices like cover crops, saturated buffers and wetlands are being implemented at a rate we’ve never seen before. I look forward to recognizing the farmers who have adopted such practices that help achieve the goals outlined in Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy.”
“It’s always gratifying to be able to recognize farmers who are voluntarily leading the way when it comes to protecting our land and waters,” says Kayla Lyon, director of the Iowa DNR. “Being conscientious of our natural resources will ensure a rich legacy for future generations.”
Recognized at Iowa State Fair
An appointed committee of representatives from both conservation and ag groups will review the nominations and select the winners. The recipients will be recognized on Aug. 19 at the 2020 Iowa State Fair.
As environmental leaders, these farmers have adopted best management practices and incorporated environmental stewardship throughout their farming operations, Naig says. They are encouraging other farmers to follow in their footsteps by building success upon success.