Robert and Marilyn Arndorfer of Humeston received the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award at a special ceremony at the Iowa State Fair on August 16.
Gov. Kim Reynolds, Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and Iowa Department of Natural Resources Director Chuck Gipp presented the Arndorfers with their award along with 80 other Iowa farm families.
The award is a joint effort between the Office of the Governor, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to recognize the efforts of Iowa’s farmers as environmental leaders committed to health soils and improved water quality.
“This award seeks to recognize the exemplary voluntary actions of farmers to improve and protect the environment and natural resources of our state,” Gov. Reynolds said. “It also encourages other farmers to follow in their footsteps by building success upon success.”
“This award program is in its sixth year,” Lt. Gov. Gregg said. “To date, more than 450 families have received recognition. That number is a testament to the hard work our farmers are doing in and for our state.”
“Iowa is a national leader in conservation and water quality efforts,” Sec. Northey said. “These awards are an opportunity to recognize the farmers who are leading the way and highlight the significant investment they are making to better care for our air, soil and water.”
“We are honored to take part in recognizing some of Iowa’s best farmers who instill common practices to protect our natural resources,” Dir. Gipp said. “We hope that by recognizing the great work these farmers are doing, it will encourage others to follow suit and help protect the environment.”
Robert and Marilyn Arndorfer were selected as Rathbun Lake Protectors in 2016 and the Rathbun Land and Water Alliance was happy to nominate the Arndorfers for this award. The Rathbun Lake Protector award recognizes landowners for their stewardship practices that protect the drinking water source for 80,000 people.
The Arndorfers farm 800 acres in southern Iowa and are predominantly hay and soybean farmers.
The couple has cooperated with the Clarke county soil and water conservation district since 1989 and have completed either a state cost share construction project or ACP project each year from 1987 through 1999.
They were one of the first Clarke county landowners to participate with the Rathbun Land and Water Alliance in 2005 to install terraces and basins on their farm. The commitment continues too as the couple has completed additional terrace work on their farm.
The winners of this year’s Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award were presented a certificate as well as a yard sign donated by Monsanto and a commemorative program provided by the Iowa Ag Water Alliance. Hagie Manufacturing sponsored a recognition luncheon following the ceremony. Bob Quinn from WHO served as the Master of Ceremony.
All winners were chosen by a selection group representing both agricultural and conservation groups.
The selection group that approved the 2017 winners included Jim Gillespie, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship; Bruce Trautman, Iowa Department of Natural Resources; Jim Frederick, Conservation Districts of Iowa; Jay Harmon, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach; Sean McMahon, Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance; David De Geus, The Nature Conservancy; Jeff Pape, Iowa Farm Bureau; Dennis Friest, Iowa Corn Growers Association; Wayne Fredericks, Iowa Soybean Association; Shelia Larson, Iowa Turkey Federation; Dan Wetherell, Iowa Pork Producers Association; Katie Oltoff, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.