Nominate conservation leaders for the 2020 Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Awards

DES MOINES, Iowa (Jan. 7, 2020) – Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig and Department of Natural Resources Director Kayla Lyon invite Iowans to nominate farm families for the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award. Farmers who voluntarily take action towards improving soil health and water quality are eligible. Nominations will be accepted until Monday, May 4, 2020, to be considered for the 2020 awards ceremony held at the Iowa State Fair. The application is open earlier than past years to allow additional time to nominate outstanding farmers.

To qualify, individuals must take action toward improving water quality and soil health. These farmers incorporate best management practices into their operation because they know that sustainable practices extend beyond the fields and impact those in our state and downstream. They must also actively serve as leaders in the farm community.

“Iowa farmers have been feeding and fueling the world for generations, and are leaders in conservation,” said Gov. Reynolds. “They go above and beyond improving water quality and soil health, serving as a model for others to follow. The 2020 Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Awards is one way we say thank you, and recognize farmers for all they do.” 

“Farmers across the state are investing in practices that positively impact their land and water,” said Secretary Naig. “Conservation practices like cover crops, saturated buffers and wetlands are being implemented at a rate that we’ve never seen before. I look forward to recognizing the farmers who have adopted practices that help achieve the goals outlined in Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy.”

“It is always gratifying to be able to recognize the farmers who are voluntarily leading the way when it comes to protecting our land and waters,” said DNR Director Lyon. “Being conscientious of our natural resources will ensure a rich legacy for future generations.”

An appointed committee of representatives from both conservation and agricultural groups will review the nominations and select the winners. The recipients will be recognized on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, at the Iowa State Fair.

Since the creation of the award in 2012, more than 600 farm families have been recognized. Winners are presented a certificate as well as a yard sign donated by Bayer. The nomination form, a list of previous awardees and other information can be found at


About the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Led by Secretary Mike Naig, the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship serves the rural and urban residents that call Iowa home. Through its 14 diverse bureaus, the Department ensures animal health, food safety and consumer protection. It also promotes conservation efforts to preserve our land and enhance water quality for the next generation. Learn more at

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