IOWA’S TOP CONSERVATIONISTS RECOGNIZED BY IOWA FARM BUREAU Print
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Zach Bader   
Monday, 20 September 2010 14:32
WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – Sept. 16, 2010 – Iowa’s farmers have become national leaders in soil conservation practices, reducing field erosion by more than 30 percent over the last 20 years. Recently the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) recognized the top soil-saving farmers in the state for 2010. Ottumwa farmers Emery and Julie Rouw received the 2010 Iowa State Soil Conservation Award.
The Rouws were honored for their usage of as many as 11 on-farm conservation practices, including grassed waterways, terraces, trees, farm ponds, grass filter strips, strip till and phosphate fertilizer injection, at the annual meeting of the Conservation Districts of Iowa in West Des Moines. Eight other regional award winners were also honored for their dedication to the environment: Paula and Larry Schuller of Ireton, Frank and Ellen Seimens of Renwick, Chris Finneman of Clarksville, Ordell and Grace Sorenson of Waterville, the Milton E. Mueller Trust of Walnut, Raymond Smith of Laurel, Dorothy Tesdell and John Donelson of Kalona and Mike and Connie Standley of Lennox.
“We’re grateful, but we didn’t do all this for the recognition,” says Emery Rouw, who has been a county soil commissioner since 2000, in addition to farming. “We’re doing what we feel is necessary to ensure a future for generations of farmers to come. The value of conservation is something my father drilled into me at a young age.” Rouw also credits his son, Nathan, and the employees at his county soil district office, calling the award he and his wife received “a group effort.”
“The Rouws serve as a great example of the pro-active on-farm conservation that’s going on around the state,” says IFBF Environmental Policy Advisor Rick Robinson. “Iowa leads the nation in acres devoted to grass filter and buffer strips, which help reduce erosion and keep sentiment out of our streams. We’re also among the national leaders in no-till, conservation tillage, restored wetlands and many other conservation practices, which is why we’ve been able to reduce erosion on cropland by more than 2.4 tons since the early 1980s.”

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