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.”