Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today encouraged Iowans to nominate deserving farmers for the 2016 Iowa Conservation Farmer of the Year Award. The award is given out each year to one statewide winner who is making outstanding contributions towards soil conservation and water quality. The award is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.
“The award recognizes a farmer who has gone above and beyond in their conservation efforts. It is important that we recognize the continuous voluntary improvements made by all Iowa farmers and help raise awareness about the efforts by farmers to conserve our valuable soil and protect water quality,” Northey said.
The statewide winner again this year will have free use of a John Deere 6D series utility tractor or its equivalent for up to 12 months (or up to 200 hours). The Van Wall Group and John Deere are providing the use of the tractor to the state winner.
To nominate a deserving farmer, the nominator needs to write a brief letter (100 words or less) and submit it to their local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) office. Nominations must be submitted by June 5. Upon receipt of the nomination letter, the District will then help complete the full application.
The local SWCD will select one nomination to advance for consideration for the Conservation Districts of Iowa (CDI) Regional Conservation Award.
“Conservation of our land and water is something that all Iowans believe in, and through the Conservation Farmer of the Year award, more Iowans can learn about the continuous conservation progress being made by so many farmers today,” said IFBF President Craig Hill.
The nine regional award winners will then be considered for the statewide Conservation Farmer of the Year award. Representatives from the Department, ISU Extension and Outreach, CDI, State Soil Conservation Committee, USDA NRCS and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation serve on the award selection committee.
Farmers, farm managers, Certified Crop Advisors (CCAs), agribusiness and financial professionals, ag organizations, and other interested Iowans are encouraged to nominate deserving farmers.
The local SWCD office will have all the nomination details. A SWCD directory is available on the Department’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov under “Hot Topics.”
The winner will be honored August 30 at the Conservation Districts of Iowa Annual meeting in Altoona.