WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Feb. 16, 2021 – Nominations are now being sought to recognize the 2021 Iowa Conservation Farmer of the Year. This is the 69th year this prestigious honor has been awarded to celebrate Iowa farmers who are committed to exceptional environmental stewardship and conservation efforts.
The statewide and regional awards, co-sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF), honor Iowa farmers who have distinguished track records of continuous commitments to soil conservation and water quality improvements. The grand prize winner will receive the use of a new John Deere 6E utility tractor for one year. Last year’s Iowa Conservation Farmer of the Year award winner, Mark Jackson, who farms in Mahaska County, was recognized for embracing innovation in conservation as he takes on the challenge of improving Iowa’s soil health and water quality, while sharing his experiences and successes with fellow farmers.
To nominate a farmer for the award, send a brief letter, 100 words or less, summarizing the nominee’s conservation efforts and commitment to improving soil and water to your local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) office. Nominations are due May 1, 2021.
“This award is a great opportunity to recognize farmers and landowners who are investing in conservation practices to protect our soil and water quality and their families’ farming legacies,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “I encourage all Iowans to nominate someone in their community who has embraced environmental stewardship and more sustainable farming practices.”
“All Iowans have a role to play in protecting our soil and water quality, and this award showcases the exemplary efforts of farmers who are leading by example when it comes to conservation,” says IFBF President Craig Hill. “Recognizing and celebrating farmers’ conservation efforts and success stories from innovative conservation practices helps encourage others to follow in their footsteps.”
One nominee will be selected by each of Iowa’s 99 county SWCD offices. These individuals will be considered for regional conservation awards. Nine regional award winners will compete for the title of “Iowa’s Conservation Farmer of the Year.”
The winner will be announced during the Iowa State Fair and will receive the keys to their tractor during the Conservation Districts of Iowa annual meeting, September 23-24, in Ames. The 2021 Conservation Farmer of the Year winner will receive free use of a John Deere 6E Series utility tractor for up to 12 months or 200 hours of use. The prize, valued at more than $12,000, is once again donated by the Farm Bureau partner Van Wall Equipment of Perry and John Deere.