Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award presented to three Madison County farm families

The Madison County Soil & Water Conservationist District (SWCD) congratulates three farm families who received the 2022 Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award on Wednesday, August 17 at the Iowa State Fair.

The Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award was created in 2012, and since then more than 690 Iowa farm families have been recognized.  The Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Awards recognize landowners and farmers that practice good soil and water conservation and stewardship.

This year the award was presented to 40 families including Bill and Cheryl Adams, Tom and Juanita Beeler, and the James M and Kaye Hochstetler Family Farm from Madison County.  The awards were presented by Governor Kim Reynolds, Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, and Natural Resources Director Kayla Lyon. 

“These families are proving that good conservation improves their land and protects it for the future,” commented Jim Gillespie, Assistant Commissioner with the Madison County SWCD and former Conservation Consultant for Cedar Lake Watershed.  All three families have been applying good conservation practices including terraces (over 10 miles), grassed waterways, and grade stabilization structures.  Other practices used include wetlands, buffers and field borders, cover crops, and seeding down areas to protect fragile areas and promote wildlife habitat. 

“These three recipients also farm land in Cedar Lake Watershed, and what they are doing is protecting Cedar Lake, which provides drinking water for the City of Winterset,” remarked Gillespie.  “That means a lot to everyone that drinks and uses any water in Winterset.  They are true conservationists and stewards, and are very deserving of these awards.”   

Bill & Cheryl Adams
Tom and Juanita Beeler (accepted by son Charlie Beeler)
James M and Kaye Hochstetler Family Farm
(accepted by Russ Hochstetler, Susan Aman, and family)

“Reconnect with WLL” at Trivia Night

Madison County WLL hosts first event since March 2020

WINTERSET, IOWA, July 26, 2022 – Madison County Women, Land & Legacy (WLL) invites women farmers and landowners to Reconnect with WLL on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. at the Madison County Historical Museum for an evening of fellowship, Madison County trivia and stories.

Madison County Women, Land & Legacy started in 2016, and is made up of local women landowners and partners from Madison County Extension and Outreach, the USDA Farm Service Agency, the Iowa Department of Land Stewardship, and the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District. The group endeavors to support and build the community of local women landowners by creating opportunities for learning and networking.  After two years of being on hiatus due to COVID, the Madison County local team is looking forward to hosting this event to reconnect with the community, and to kick off the revival of WLL in Madison County. 

“We have lots of ideas for future learning sessions, but with this event, we just wanted to bring women together to reconnect and have fun,” said Anna Golightly, local team lead.  “We will have Madison County Trivia, so people can test their knowledge, and we’re pleased that Linda Smith will be sharing stories about some of the trivia questions, so we’ll all get to learn something about our county.”

The event is free and open to the public.  The local team will provide a light meal and refreshments, and freewill donations will be collected.  RSVPs are appreciated, but not required.  To RSVP, call 515-462-2961 x 3 or send an email to