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Vision for Sustainability Earns Maulsby 2023 Iowa Conservation Woman of the Year

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Close up of soybean field in Calhoun County, Iowa.

Darcy Maulsby of Calhoun County was named 2023 Iowa Conservation Woman of the Year.

Darcy Maulsby

DES MOINES, IOWA, Aug. 30, 2023 – Darcy Maulsby is inspiring and connecting generations and communities through her decades of conservation stewardship. For her efforts, Maulsby was selected Iowa Conservation Woman of the Year by the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) at the Conservation Districts of Iowa (CDI) Annual Meeting on Aug. 28 in Ames.

Maulsby’s passion for conservation led her to become a commissioner with the Calhoun County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), where she extends her commitment and passion to her community. Maulsby also helps organize events like the Calhoun County Extension and Outreach’s windbreak meeting, attracting participants from across Iowa, allowing her to network and engage in discussions about conservation.

Jeremy Viles, District Conservationist with NRCS in Calhoun County, approached Maulsby about becoming a commissioner. “We probably met about 15 years ago. I would listen to her speak at various events and read her articles,” said Viles. “She is extremely active in promoting conservation in our communities. I knew she would be a good fit.”

Maulsby purchased land close to her families’ and used Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) funds to rejuvenate a windbreak on five acres. She planted native trees, including red cedars and oaks, alongside an array of shrubs, reawakening the ecosystem on her land.

“The resources that organizations, counties and our federal government provide could make all the difference for young people and those just starting out,” said Maulsby. “I have written about NRCS, specifically, for years. It has been great learning more about the resources available and sharing this knowledge with landowners.”

Maulsby utilizes her talents as a journalist and published author to share Iowa’s history about conservation from what she has learned from local farmers and her own research. Her stories, along with those of fellow conservationists, instill a sense of responsibility to protect precious resources for future generations. She envisions a brighter future for rural Iowa, where conservation is a cornerstone.

She says she hopes younger generations see opportunities out there. “I always like to go to Jeremy to get his perspective because I don't know that young people necessarily think about a career within our or conservation as ag related or even an option right here in the county,” said Maulsby.

The Iowa Conservation Woman of the Year is selected annually by the Iowa NRCS Federal Women’s Program Committee. The award recognizes a woman who has made significant contributions to conservation and the improvement of Iowa’s natural resources conservation through achievements on her own land, her career, or voluntary efforts.

If you are interested in nominating a deserving farmer or landowner for an Iowa conservation award, visit