Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig presented Leader in Conservation Awards to one Iowa individual and one Iowa business making an impact in water quality and conservation. Molly Haub, a certified crop adviser from West Branch, and Iowa Cover Crop, a cover crop retail and application business from Jefferson, were selected for recognition in 2024. The Ag Leader Awards are presented by Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig to individuals, businesses and organizations that make exceptional contributions to Iowa agriculture.

“Iowa has set records for conservation adoption each of the last two years and that takes individuals, partners, businesses, farmers and landowners working together to make that happen. I want to commend Molly Haub with Premier Crop Systems and James Holz and Bill Frederick with Iowa Cover Crop for being leaders in water quality and conservation and I am pleased to present them with the Secretary’s Ag Leader Award for Conservation,” said Secretary Naig. “As we further accelerate our water quality and conservation progress in the years and decades ahead, it will take continued cooperation by public and private partners in both urban and rural areas working together to make even more advancements toward our Nutrient Reduction Strategy goals.”

Molly Haub, Premier Crop Systems

Secretary’s Ag Leader Award - Leader in Conservation

Molly Haub with Premier Crop Systems has been working as a certified crop adviser since she graduated from the University in Iowa in 2013. Molly currently works with growers throughout Iowa and Illinois. By utilizing GIS data and other innovative technology to drive decision-making, she helps them understand what might be limiting production in their fields. She has extensive equipment, software and hardware knowledge on top of her agronomy expertise. In addition to advising her grower and ag retailer accounts, she has also been working on the Iowa Nitrogen Initiative for the past two years to help encourage participation in on-farm nitrogen trials. Molly plays a critical role in recruiting farmers to participate in the trials, including asking her neighbors and existing growers, as well as engaging new growers. She is responsible for writing prescriptions for all Iowa growers east of I-35. The Iowa Nitrogen Initiative relies heavily on Molly's expertise, communication skills, and responsiveness to build trusting relationships. Molly lives with her family in West Branch and gives back to her community by serving on the Cedar County Fair Board.

Iowa Cover Crop 

Secretary’s Ag Leader Award - Leader in Conservation

Before they were business partners, Bill Frederick and James Holz were 4-H buddies and classmates growing up in Greene County near Jefferson. In 2014, they founded Iowa Cover Crop as a way to help a few neighbors and diversify their family farm operations. A decade later, Iowa Cover Crop now has a growing dealer network and offers seed and application services throughout Iowa and the Midwest. Combined, Bill and James have 20 years of experience growing cover crops. They have personally seeded rye grain, rye grass, oats, spring and winter wheat, peas, hairy vetch, common vetch, rapeseed, forage kale, crimson clover, radish, and turnips on their own family farms. Through this diverse first-hand experience, Iowa Cover Crop provides personalized farmer to farmer advice to customers. The latest statewide study shows 3.8 million acres of cover crops were planted statewide, and that kind of growth would not be possible without great retail and application partners like Iowa Cover Crop. When they aren’t selling cover crops, Bill and James can be found raising row crops, cattle, small grains, and kids on their respective family farms in Greene County.

To learn more about the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s soil conservation and water quality programs, visit and