Nominations are open for the 2021 Iowa Conservation Farmer of the Year Award. The statewide award honors an Iowa farmer who has a proven track record of excellence in soil conservation and water quality improvements and is committed to long-term land and water protection. The award has been co-sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) since 1952.

The 2021 winner will receive free use of a John Deere 6E Series utility tractor for up to 12 months or 200 hours of use. The prize, valued at more than $12,000, is sponsored annually by Van Wall Equipment of Perry and John Deere. Last year’s winner was Mark Jackson of Oskaloosa in Mahaska County.

Nominations for the annual award are due May 1. An Iowa farmer can be nominated by an individual or organization, such as a county Farm Bureau. The nominations can be made by sending a brief letter — 100 words or fewer — summarizing the nominee’s conservation efforts to the local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). 

The local SWCD will choose one nomination in each county to develop further and advance for consideration for a regional award. The nine regional award winners will then compete for the overall state award. The state winner will be announced at the Iowa State Fair, and the winner will receive the tractor keys from Van Wall and John Deere at the Conservation Districts of Iowa annual meeting scheduled for Sept. 23-24 in Ames. For more information, contact Rick Robinson, IFBF conservation and natural resources policy advisor, at or 515-225-5432, or contact your county soil and water conservation district office.