First Iowa Farm Environmental Leader awards presented

First Iowa Farm Environmental Leader awards presented

Posted Aug. 28, 2012

Hog farmers are some of the best environmental stewards in Iowa and several of them were honored during the 2012 Iowa State Fair.

Fourteen families who raise hogs were among 67 farm families who were presented with the first Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award by Gov. Terry Branstad, Iowa Sec. of Agriculture Bill Northey and Iowa Department of Natural Resources Director Chuck Gipp during a ceremony Aug. 17. Karl Brooks, EPA Region 7 administrator, also attended and recognized the winners.

“The agricultural industry is a vital part of the state’s economy, and a vital part in feeding a growing world population. I know farmers take great pride for the work they do and the commodities they produce. Farmers also take pride in their environmental stewardship, by protecting topsoil from erosion and keeping our waterways clean. This award is thanks for their efforts,” Branstad said.

The award is a joint effort between the governor, lt. governor, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa DNR to recognize the efforts of Iowa’s farmers as environmental leaders committed to healthy soils and improved water quality. It seeks to recognize the exemplary voluntary actions of farmers that improve or protect the environment and natural resources of our state while also encouraging other farmers to follow in their footsteps by building success upon success.

“Iowa has tremendous farmers who are not only the most productive in the world, but who also understand that we must care for the soil and water and preserve it for the next generation,” Northey said. “By highlighting farmers that have taken steps on their farm to better protect the environment, we also want the award to bring attention to local leaders in environmental stewardship and serve as an encouragement to others to incorporate additional conservation practices.”

Winners were presented a certificate as well as a yard sign donated by Monsanto.

All winners were chosen by a selection group representing both conservation and agricultural groups, including Dave Moody of the Iowa Pork Producers Association.