Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds last week announced that the deadline for nominations for the 2013 Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Awards has been pushed back to July 1, 2013. The previous deadline was June 15.
Iowa has experienced the wettest spring on record, which has significantly delayed planting. Just 92% of Iowa corn and 60% of Iowa soybean crops for this year were planted as of June 9. Normally farmers have completed planting by that date. But this year is far from normal in terms of weather.
"The record-setting wet weather this spring has significantly delayed planting and as a result farmers have understandably been focused on their fields, not award nominations," says Branstad. "Recognizing and encouraging farmers who have taken the lead in incorporating conservation practices into their operations is important to help reinforce their conservation ethic and encourage others to follow their lead."
Award recognizes efforts by Iowa farmers who are committed to healthy soils and improved water quality
The Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award recognizes 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 adopted best management practices throughout their farming operation. "Iowa farmers take their role seriously in preserving our precious natural resources, and we look forward to hearing these stories," says Reynolds. "We are proud to hold up these farmers as examples of environmental stewardship and highlight their practices for others to follow."
Nomination forms can be found on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's website under "Hot Topics."
You are encouraged to nominate someone you know who deserves this award
The award is a joint effort between the Governor, Lt. Governor, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources and it seeks to recognize the exemplary voluntary actions of farmers that improve or protect the environment and natural resources of our state while also encouraging other farmers to follow in their footsteps by building success upon success.
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 on Thursday, August 15 at the Penningroth Center. A lunch for award winners sponsored by Hagie will follow at the Farm Bureau shelter house on the fairgrounds. The award was created in 2012 and 67 Iowa farm families were recognized during the inaugural award ceremony at the Iowa State Fair. Winners receive a certificate as well as a yard sign donated by Monsanto.