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DES MOINES – Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig and Department of Natural Resources Director Kayla Lyon invite Iowans to nominate individuals or families in their communities for the 2021 Farm Environmental Leader Award. Nominations will be accepted until Monday, May 3, 2021, to be considered for the 2021 awards ceremony held at the Iowa State Fair.
Farmers and landowners who invest in conservation practices, like cover crops or wetlands, and incorporate best management practices into their operations to improve and protect the state’s natural resources are eligible for the award. They must also actively serve as leaders in the agriculture community.
“For generations, Iowa farmers have led in conservation efforts and continue to be excellent stewards of the land,” said Gov. Reynolds. “They go above and beyond improving water quality and soil health, serving as a model for others to follow. The 2021 Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Awards is one way we say thank you, and recognize farmers for all they do.”
“These are the farmers and landowners who are making financial investments to protect their farming legacies and sustainability. As leaders in their own communities, they’re showing others how to do the same,” said Secretary Naig. “This program is a great opportunity to honor these individuals for their hard work. They’re making meaningful, impactful changes to our soil and water and helping the state advance the goals outlined in the Nutrient Reduction Strategy.”
“We always have great joy in honoring and recognizing these leaders in our farming communities throughout our state that put healthy conservation practices on the forefront of their operations,” said Director Lyon. “It’s now more important than ever that we focus on protecting and enhancing our natural resources—especially our water quality and land quality.”
An appointed committee representing both conservation and agricultural groups will review the nominations and select the winners. The recipients will be recognized on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021, at the Iowa State Fair. Gov. Reynolds, Secretary Naig and Director Lyon will present the winners with an Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award and a yard sign donated by Bayer.
Since the creation of the award in 2012, more than 650 farm families have been recognized. The nomination form and a list of previous awardees can be found at iowaagriculture.gov/farm-environmental-leader-awards.