Three Iowa farm families with direct ties to the Iowa Pork Producers Association were among the 94 farmers receiving the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award during a ceremony at the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 17.
Curtis and Brenda Meier of Clarinda, the Schmidt family of Garner and the Sutter family of Pleasantville each received a certificate, a yard sign and a commemorative program provided by the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance. A recognition luncheon followed the ceremony.
All three families have diversified farming operations and are heavily involved in pork production.
IPPA Past-president Curtis Meier is currently IPPA president-elect and is preparing for a second run as president in 2017.
The Schmidt family includes Luverne and Mary Ann Schmidt, Lonnie and Chris Schmidt, Jamie and Beth Schmidt, Mark and Leah Reinert and Adam and Victoria Schmidt. Jamie Schmidt served as IPPA president in 2014.
The winning Sutter family consists of Kenny and Leanne Sutter, Tyler and Megan Sutter and Jacob and Kelsey Sutter. Kelsey Sutter is the marketing and programs director at IPPA.
Gov. Terry E. Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, Iowa Sec. of Agriculture Bill Northey and Iowa Department of Natural Resources Director Chuck Gipp presented the awards, which are a joint effort between the governor, lt. governor, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the 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.
This was the fifth year for the award program and more than 400 families have now received the environmental recognition.
All winners were chosen by a selection group representing both conservation and agricultural groups.