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Help select Iowa’s Conservation Farmer of the Year

By Staff | Mar 4, 2016

Iowa’s farm families have long understood the importance of state-of-the-art conservation practices. Our state’s farmers pay close attention to the preservation of soil and water quality. They understand that the protection and enhancement of these crucial resources is absolutely vital to the future of agriculture in the Hawkeye State.

Each year the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation sponsor a statewide effort to identify a farmer who is making conservation efforts that are especially worthy of note. That individual is honored with the Iowa Conservation Farmer of the Year Award.

“The award recognizes a farmer who has gone above and beyond in their conservation efforts,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey in a call for nominations in mid-February. “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.”

Anyone wishing to nominate a candidate for this prestigious award is being invited to submit a short letter – 100 words or less – to the Soil and Water Conservation office in their locale. Each SWCD office will then choose one candidate to forward to the regional level. There will be nine regional winners who will be in contention for the state-level honor. That award will be presented in Altoona Aug. 30 at the Conservation Districts of Iowa annual meeting.

According to information provided by IDALS, the statewide winner 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. That’s a nice benefit, but having important conservation efforts recognized and publicized so they can be emulated is the real reward for the winner.

More information about the award and the selection process can be obtained at local SWCD offices. A SWCD directory is available on the IDALS website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov under “Hot Topics.”

This competition helps educate Iowans about the importance of conservation and publicizes especially significant successes by innovative farmers. Farm News urges readers to consider nominating worthy candidates for this important award.

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