Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig recognized Hands On Excavating of Hardin County and Ruth McCabe, a conservation agronomist with Heartland Co-op, with the Secretary’s Iowa Ag Leader Award for Conservation last week during the Iowa Agribusiness Showcase and Conference. 

Hands On Excavating, formed by Jacob, David, Brett and Brian Handsaker, installed 52 water quality projects in Polk and Dallas Counties last year under the state ag department's new “batch and build” model. 

McCabe successfully worked with farmers and landowners to identify sites and help implement saturated buffers and bioreactors as part of the Central Iowa Water Quality Infrastructure Project.