Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, Department of Natural Resources Director Kayla Lyon and other state officials honored 89 farm families at the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award ceremony Wednesday at the Iowa State Fair.
Recipients were from the last two years (42 from 2020; 47 from 2021) were honored since last year’s event was cancelled due to COVID. The award acknowledges farmers who take voluntary actions to improve and protect the environment and natural resources and serve as leaders in their farming communities. Including these from north Iowa:
- Trent and Jerri Dight Family, Floyd County
- Ben and Amy Johnson, Andy and Abbie Johnson, Floyd County
- Jóia Food Farm and Center View Farms; Wendy Johnson and John Rafkin, Erwin and Yoshiko Johnson, Floyd County
- Dennis and Patty Staudt, Floyd County
- Dan, Annette, Drew, and Shannon Dietz, Chickasaw County
- Hawkeye Buffalo and Cattle Ranch, Martha McFarland, Chickasaw County
- James and Stacie Wendel, Howard County
- Tim and Darla Recker, Fayette County
- Genesus Farms, Fayette County
- April Hemmes, Franklin County
- Dennis J. Strother, Franklin County
These farm families use scientifically-proven practices like cover crops, wetlands, bioreactors and saturated buffers that support the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. The recipients recognize the benefits of conservation practices extend beyond their fields to residents downstream, and their leadership encourages others to adopt similar conservation practices. The winners were chosen by a committee representing both conservation and agricultural groups.