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Applications Open For 2020 Iowa Watershed Awards

Statewide Iowa — (IARN) — Do you know an outstanding watershed coordinator in Iowa? These dedicated professionals are key players in advancing and implementing Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy (NRS) and Water Quality Initiative (WQI). The Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance (IAWA) wants your help in recognizing these individuals.

For the third year, IAWA will give a boost to outstanding coordinators and is seeking nominees for the 2020 Iowa Watershed Awards program. The program is a partnership among IAWA, Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and Conservation Districts of Iowa (CDI).

“It’s inspiring each year to discover and share the highly effective and unique ways that Iowa’s watershed coordinators work with local stakeholders to improve water quality,” says Sean McMahon, Executive Director of IAWA.

Watershed coordinators play a vital role in implementing conservation practices that lead to improved water quality and soil health. This is crucial to meeting the goals of the Iowa NRS.

“The awards program recognizes this key role and elevates watershed coordinators’ achievements in their communities and statewide,” says Jamie Benning, Water Quality Program Manager with ISU Extension and Outreach.

Recipients of the Iowa Watershed Awards will be announced at the 2020 Iowa Water Conference, hosted by the Iowa Water Center, in Ames. Up to five honorees will be recognized and each will receive funding for their local watershed program and for their own professional development.

Applications are being accepted at until January 21, 2020. They will be evaluated by a panel of judges from each of the five partners. “We are delighted to work with these leading organizations to recognize Iowa’s watershed coordinators for the important work they do every day to improve water quality,” says McMahon.

Last year, Colton Meyer was honored as the 2019 Iowa Watershed Coordinator of the Year. Meyer was recognized for his successful work for the West Branch of the Floyd River Water Quality Initiative (WQI) with a broad range of watershed stakeholders. Under his leadership, the WQI surpassed goals for cover crop and no-till acres.

The Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance (IAWA) is increasing the pace and scale of farmer-led efforts to improve water quality in Iowa. Founded in 2014 by Iowa Corn, the Iowa Soybean Association, and the Iowa Pork Producers Association, IAWA is building public-private partnerships focused on implementing water quality solutions. Learn more at

Story and photo courtesy of Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network