ANKENY — Iowa soybean farmers were well represented today at the second annual Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award ceremony at the Iowa State Fair.
Sixty-two Iowa farmers and farm families — more than two-thirds were Iowa Soybean Association members — were recognized for their commitment to healthy soils and improved water quality. The awards are sponsored by the Iowa Governor’s office, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
The awards recognize farmers who serve as local leaders in environmental stewardship by utilizing a variety of techniques and best management practices. Examples include conservation tillage, restoring wetlands, installing grass waterways and using precision agriculture, among other things.
Award winners received a signed certificate from Gov. Terry Branstad and a metal sign donated by Monsanto commemorating the honor. Hagie Manufacturing, based in Clarion, hosted a catered lunch in honor of the winners, as well.
Gov. Terry Branstad said the awards highlight agriculture and the great progress family farmers are making to improve the environment.
“Farmers are taking steps to protect soil and water, while increasing crop production to feed us,” Branstad said.
ISA’s Environmental Program and Services and On-Farm Network teams assist members in their environmental efforts, while helping them be as productive and profitable as possible. ISA board member Jim Andrew of rural Jefferson served on the award selection committee.