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Iowa farm families receive Environmental Leader Award

IARN — Forty-two Iowa farmers have been selected to receive the 2020 Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, and Department of Natural Resources Director Kayla Lyon recognize these Iowa farm families for taking an active role in the state’s ongoing conservation efforts, which rely on farmers, landowners, and businesses working together to make a difference. Gov. Reynolds, Secretary Naig, and Director Lyon will present the awards to the farm families during the 2021 Iowa State Fair.

The award recognizes farmers who take voluntary actions to improve or protect the environment and our state’s natural resources. These practices enable farmers to maintain their operational productivity while being good stewards of the land and assisting the state in making progress towards the goals outlined in Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy. Additionally, these farmers are leaders in their local communities, encouraging others to adopt more conservation practices.

“Conservation and agriculture go hand-in-hand, and Iowa farmers play a vital role in protecting our environment and preserving our state’s natural resources,” said Gov. Reynolds. “The 2020 Environmental Leader Award recognizes these family farmers for their outstanding stewardship and dedication to improving the land for future generations of Iowans. Congratulations and thank you for leading by example for your community and our entire state.”

“I want to thank these farmers for their commitment to improving soil health and water quality,” said Secretary Naig. “The state of Iowa continues to be a conservation leader and it’s because of farmers, like these award recipients, who are implementing practices on their land and encouraging their friends and neighbors to do the same.”

“Every year we look forward to recognizing these leaders in agriculture that have implemented innovative conservation measures,” said Director Lyon. “Their steadfast leadership is pushing the envelope and showcasing their care for our natural resources through conservation practices and paves the way for other farmers.”

The award winners are chosen by a committee representing both agricultural and conservation groups. Since this program was launched in 2012, more than 650 Iowa farm families have been recognized with an Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award.

2020 Award Recipients: (Listed alphabetically by last name)

Eric Andersen, Grundy County
Sam and Danielle Bennett, Ida County
Thomas and Linda Bindner, Cherokee County
Kirk and Diane Den Herder, Sioux County
Trent Dight, Floyd County
Ra Ra Farms: Becky Dorale, Crawford County
Rodger Fullenkamp, Lee County
Jacob and Dellisa Geisler, Webster County
Chris Henning, Greene County
Jamie Hostetler, Jackson County
Ben and Amy Johnson, Andy and Abbie Johnson, Floyd County
Brent and LuAnn Johnson, Calhoun County
Darin Goodman, Pottawattamie County
Jim Kadner, Grundy County
John Kerkove, Buchanan County
Jim and Jody Kerns, Delaware County
Glenn and Michelle Kreuder, Decatur County
Rodger and Karen Krogmeier, Jefferson County
Daryl Landsgard, Clayton County
Lance Lillibridge, Benton County
Loutsch Brothers, Inc., Plymouth County
Jeff and Shelly Monck and Family, Jones County
Scott and Mary Beth Neff, Stan and Marianne Neff, Marshall County
Brad Ohrt, Grundy County
John and Jill O’Neal, Montgomery County
Craig D. Pfantz, Marshall County
David and Julie Rice, Jerry and Georgia Rice, Keokuk County
Dan and Darlene Roth, Black Hawk County
Greg and Aimee Shepherd, Henry County
Charles (Phil) Short, Buchanan County
Jeremy Sills, Tama County
Adam and Lindsay Smith, Davis County
Dennis and Patty Staudt, Floyd County
Dennis Strother, Franklin County
Steve and Tracy Pickhinke, Sac County
Stanley Eric Price, Pocahontas County
Austin Schulte, Benton County
Stuart Swanson, Wright County
Arvin and Carolyn Vander Wilt, Mahaska County
Roger and Louise Van Ersvelde, Poweshiek County
Kirk and Lynell Vorthmann, Kelby and Jennifer Vorthmann, Pottawattamie County
Steve Wright, Taylor County

Submissions for the 2021 Farm Environmental Leader Awards are now open. Nominate a deserving farmer at data.iowaagriculture.gov/ifela/ before June 2021.

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network

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