Nominations Open for Iowa Conservation Farmer of the Year

2023 statewide winner will receive use of a John Deere tractor

DES MOINES, Iowa (Mar. 6, 2023) - Nominations are now open for the 2023 Iowa Conservation Farmer of the Year. This prestigious annual honor is given to an Iowa farmer who has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to environmental stewardship and leadership.

The statewide award and nine regional awards are co-sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF). The grand prize winner will receive the use of a new John Deere 6E utility tractor for one year.

One nominee will be selected by each of Iowa’s 100 Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) offices. These individuals will be considered for regional conservation awards. Nine regional award winners will compete for the title of “Iowa Conservation Farmer of the Year.”

“We continue to see record conservation engagement within Iowa, and it is important that we recognize the farmers across our state who are leading the way in implementing additional proven practices,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “As we mark the ten-year anniversary of the Nutrient Reduction Strategy, it’s been a decade defined in collaboration, partnerships, innovation, progress, investment and water quality momentum and we are even more optimistic about the great conservation successes that Iowa farmers will achieve in the next decade.”

“Iowa agriculture is well known as a national leader in production, but we’re also leading the way in conservation progress,” said Iowa Farm Bureau President Brent Johnson. “We have a great story to tell when it comes to precision agriculture and our focus on sustainability, and IFBF is honored to co-sponsor this award with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and celebrate our successful statewide conservation efforts.” 

Iowans can nominate a deserving farmer by writing a 100-word letter describing the individual’s long-term commitment to soil conservation and water quality. Nominations are due to the local SWCD by May 12, 2023.

The state winner will be announced at the Iowa State Fair. The winner will receive the keys to their tractor during the Conservation Districts of Iowa’s annual meeting scheduled for August 28-29 in Ames at the Gateway Hotel.

The 2023 Conservation Farmer of the Year winner will receive free use of a John Deere 6E Series utility tractor for up to 12 months or 200 hours of use. The prize is donated by the Van Wall Equipment of Perry and John Deere.            

Dave Lubben of Monticello was named the 2022 Conservation Farmer of the Year.


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

Media Contact:
Don McDowell
Communications Director