Nominations sought for Iowa Farm Environmental Leader awards

DES MOINES – Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Iowa Sec. of Agriculture Bill Northey on Feb. 24 encouraged Iowans to nominate farmers  who have taken voluntary actions to improve or protect the environment and natural resources of our state for the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award. Nominations are due by June 15, 2015 and the nomination form can be found at www.iowaagriculture.gov/EnvironmentalLeader.asp.

The award is a joint effort between the Governor, Lt. Governor, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources to recognize the efforts of Iowa’s farmers as environmental leaders committed to healthy soils and improved water quality.

Farmers that are nominated should have made environmental stewardship a priority on their farm and incorporated 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 citizens of Iowa and residents even further downstream.

Nominations may be submitted on a year-round basis and are due by June 15th of the year to be considered for the award. Farm owners and operators are eligible for consideration.

“Iowa is leading the way in using voluntary, science-based practices to protect our soil and improve water quality.  This would not be possible without the thousands of farmers who have collectively invested millions in conservation practices on their farms.  This award is an opportunity to highlight those farmers that are leading the way and going above and beyond to adopt conservation practices on their farm,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey.

An appointed committee of representatives from both conservation and agricultural groups will review the nominations and select the winners. The recipients will be recognized at the Iowa State Fair.

Since creation of the award in 2012, 219 farm families have been recognized. Winners are presented a certificate as well as a yard sign donated by Monsanto. Hagie Manufacturing also sponsors a recognition luncheon for award recipients following the ceremony

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