Posted on May 29, 2014 at 8:00 AM by Iowa Corn
Each year, the Governor, Lt. Governor, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources recognize farmers with an environmental leader award. The nominees are true stewards of the land and recognize that improving water quality and soil sustainability reaps benefits that extend beyond their fields to citizens of Iowa and residents even further downstream.
In 2013, there were 63 winners of this award. Fred Abels was one of the winners who farms near Holland and grows corn, silage corn, soybeans, hay, pasture and has a cow/calf operation. He uses a number of conservation practices including no-till, strip till, spring and summer sidedress of nitrogen, Conservation Resource Program (CRP) buffer strips along streams, grass waterways, grass filter strips in the fields, rotational grazing, CRP windbreaks and CRP quail and pheasant habitat.
|Fred and Vicki Abels, Grundy County|
“Recognizing Iowa farmers who are doing a good job of conservation is important because they are being role models for their industry,” said Abels. As a winner, Fred was able to attend the Iowa Water Conference in Ames on behalf of Iowa Corn Growers Association. Fred enjoyed the conference and remembers one speaker specifically because his presentation showed small stream improvements using trees to help anchor the creek banks, a stream bed improvement in the Las Vegas area that if all involved would have settled differences at the start and could have fixed the dry run creek for just over a million but now the cost has escalated to $25 million.
Nominations for the 2014 Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Awards are due June 15th. Recognize the hard work of an environmental leader that you know by going to www.iowaagriculture.gov/EnvironmentalLeader.asp
The Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award was created in 2012. Winners were presented a certificate as well as a yard sign donated by Monsanto. Hagie Manufacturing also sponsored a recognition luncheon following the ceremony. Last year, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy spoke at the luncheon and recognized the efforts of the winners.