A new award sponsored by the state of Iowa was recently presented to 67 farmers, recognizing their efforts in taking care of the environment. The first-ever Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award was presented by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and Iowa Department of Natural Resources director Chuck Gipp at the 2012 Iowa State Fair.
"Environmental stewardship is an important aspect in Iowa's agriculture industry and our state's economic climate. The Lt. Governor and I are excited to be able to honor Iowa farmers who are true stewards of the land," said Branstad.
The award was created to recognize the environmental efforts of Iowa's farmers. The farmers who were recognized were nominated for the award because of the significant steps they have taken to serve as local leaders in environmental stewardship on their farms using a variety of conservation techniques and best management practices.
Winners of this award are chosen for their stewardship in farming practices
"The award recipients are recognized by this award for their responsible farming choices. Iowa farmers take great pride in their land and work and are truly making an impact towards conservation of farmland for future generations," said Reynolds.
All winners were chosen by a selection group representing both conservation organizations and agricultural groups. "I appreciate the work of the selection committee to review the nominations and I'm excited to help recognize these deserving individuals," Northey said. "This award is a great opportunity to acknowledge and thank farmers who are doing a great job caring for the land and protecting Iowa's waters, but also to encourage other farmers to follow in their footsteps."
"Conservation is a legacy that benefits not only our citizens today, but the generations that follow. There's no better place than the Iowa State Fair to celebrate the success stories of farmers in helping conserve our precious natural resources," said Gipp.
The committee selecting the 2012 winners included Jim Gillespie of the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, Bruce Trautman of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Jim Frederick of the Conservation Districts of Iowa, John Lawrence of Iowa State University Extension, Sean McMahon of The Nature Conservancy, Jeff Pape of Iowa Farm Bureau, Jay Lynch of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Jim Andrew of the Iowa Soybean Association, Pat Daufeldt of the Iowa Turkey Federation, and Dave Moody of the Iowa Pork Producers Association.