Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award Winners

DES MOINES, Iowa (Nov. 19, 2020) – Forty-two Iowa farmers have been selected to receive the 2020 Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig and Department of Natural Resources Director Kayla Lyon recognize these Iowa farm families for taking an active role in the state’s ongoing conservation efforts, which rely on farmers, landowners and businesses working together to make a difference. Gov. Reynolds, Secretary Naig and Director Lyon will present the awards to the farm families during the 2021 Iowa State Fair.

The award recognizes farmers who take voluntary actions to improve or protect the environment and our state’s natural resources. These practices enable farmers to maintain their operational productivity while being good stewards of the land, and assisting the state in making progress towards the goals outlined in Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy. Additionally, these farmers are leaders in their local communities, encouraging others to adopt more conservation practices.

“Conservation and agriculture go hand-in-hand, and Iowa farmers play a vital role in protecting our environment and preserving our state’s natural resources,” said Gov. Reynolds. “The 2020 Environmental Leader Award recognizes these family farmers for their outstanding stewardship and dedication to improving the land for future generations of Iowans. Congratulations and thank you for leading by example for your community and our entire state.”

“I want to thank these farmers for their commitment to improving soil health and water quality,” said Secretary Naig. “The state of Iowa continues to be a conservation leader and it’s because of farmers, like these award recipients, who are implementing practices on their land and encouraging their friends and neighbors to do the same.”

“Every year we look forward to recognizing these leaders in agriculture that have implemented innovative conservation measures,” said Director Lyon. “Their steadfast leadership is pushing the envelope and showcasing their care for our natural resources through conservation practices and paves the way for other farmers.”

The award winners are chosen by a committee representing both agricultural and conservation groups. Since this program was launched in 2012, more than 650 Iowa farm families have been recognized with an Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award.

2020 Award Recipients: 

  • Eric Andersen, Grundy County
  • Sam and Danielle Bennett, Ida County
  • Thomas and Linda Bindner, Cherokee County
  • Kirk and Diane Den Herder, Sioux County
  • Trent Dight, Floyd County
  • Ra Ra Farms: Becky Dorale, Crawford County
  • Rodger Fullenkamp, Lee County
  • Jacob and Dellisa Geisler, Webster County
  • Chris Henning, Greene County
  • Jamie Hostetler, Jackson County
  • Ben and Amy Johnson, Andy and Abbie Johnson, Floyd County
  • Brent and LuAnn Johnson, Calhoun County
  • Darin Goodman, Pottawattamie County
  • Jim Kadner, Grundy County
  • John Kerkove, Buchanan County
  • Jim and Jody Kerns, Delaware County
  • Glenn and Michelle Kreuder, Decatur County
  • Rodger and Karen Krogmeier, Jefferson County
  • Daryl Landsgard, Clayton County
  • Lance Lillibridge, Benton County
  • Loutsch Brothers, Inc., Plymouth County
  • Jeff and Shelly Monck and Family, Jones County
  • Scott and Mary Beth Neff, Stan and Marianne Neff, Marshall County
  • Brad Ohrt, Grundy County
  • John and Jill O’Neal, Montgomery County
  • Craig D. Pfantz, Marshall County
  • David and Julie Rice, Jerry and Georgia Rice, Keokuk County
  • Dan and Darlene Roth, Black Hawk County
  • Greg and Aimee Shepherd, Henry County
  • Charles (Phil) Short, Buchanan County
  • Jeremy Sills, Tama County
  • Adam and Lindsay Smith, Davis County
  • Dennis and Patty Staudt, Floyd County
  • Dennis Strother, Franklin County
  • Steve and Tracy Pickhinke, Sac County
  • Stanley Eric Price, Pocahontas County
  • Austin Schulte, Benton County
  • Stuart Swanson, Wright County
  • Arvin and Carolyn Vander Wilt, Mahaska County
  • Roger and Louise Van Ersvelde, Poweshiek County
  • Kirk and Lynell Vorthmann, Kelby and Jennifer Vorthmann, Pottawattamie County
  • Steve Wright, Taylor County

Submissions for the 2021 Farm Environmental Leader Awards are now open. Nominate a deserving farmer at data.iowaagriculture.gov/ifela/ before June 2021.

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