Former Iowa Farm Bureau President Craig Hill will receive the Farm Bureau Founders Award at the 2024 American Farm Bureau (AFBF) Convention next week in Salt Lake City. 

First presented in January 2017, the Founders Award is the highest honor presented by AFBF in recognition of outstanding achievements, leadership and work in the interest of Farm Bureau.

Also at the convention, former House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) is being recognized as the recipient of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2024 Distinguished Service Award, which was established in 1928 to honor individuals who have devoted their careers to serving the national interest of American agriculture. 

A long legacy

Hill is the longest-serving member of the Iowa Farm Bureau board of directors, serving for 32 years before retiring as president in December 2021. 

During his tenure, he traveled throughout Iowa, the United States and internationally, visiting 23 countries on trade and diplomacy missions. His experience included sharing information about agriculture with government officials, including six U.S. presidents, and farmers on many continents. 

Throughout his time at Iowa Farm Bureau, Hill carried members’ voices into his conversations with trade officials, lawmakers and the media, sharing the impact trade policies and lack of markets have on family farms. 

A notable example of Hill’s work is his role in helping to create the federal crop insurance Revenue Assurance program, which provides protection to farmers against revenue losses due to low prices and/or low yields. In 1996, this policy was written into the farm bill and continues to be the most popular form of crop insurance used by farmers. 

Hill was also a prominent voice in Farm Bureau’s 2017 campaign for a new Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. He met with Environmental Protection Agency officials, participated in roundtable discussions and provided testimony to Congress about how a new WOTUS would negatively impact farmers in Iowa and across the country.  

“This is a remarkable honor because I know how much so many have given to move this organization forward,” Hill said. “I’m humbled to be included in that category.” 

Although Hill’s list of accomplishments and awards is long, he firmly says that his family has been his greatest joy and source of pride. He and his wife, Patti, have been farming since 1978, raising row crops and pigs. They have two children, Abbie, an attorney, and Adam, who they farm alongside today. Both are married and have blessed the Hills with wonderful grandchildren. 

“I would sum up Craig’s service to Farm Bureau as complete,” said Iowa Farm Bureau President Brent Johnson. “Every step of the way, he spoke up, led where he could and showed up where he needed to. I really appreciate his long-tenured, dedicated experience at Farm Bureau.”