Winner to Receive a Year of Free Use of a John Deere 6D Tractor

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA - December 10, 2013 - For the first time the winner of the 2014 Conservation Farmer of the Year award, sponsored by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), will have the free use of a John Deere 6D Series utility tractor for 12 months (up to a maximum of 200 hours), courtesy of Van Wall Equipment.

With increased attention on efforts to remove nutrients from Iowa's watersheds, IFBF and IDALS are proud to announce the addition of Van Wall as a new partner in an award which highlights the 'best of the best' in conservation.

"For more than 30 years, IFBF and IDALS have encouraged and celebrated conservation efforts through the annual Conservation Farmer of the Year Award.  While more work must continue to make progress in conservation, we are always looking for ways to show how today's responsible farmers are making improvements on their farm to protect the soil and water.  Van Wall's support will significantly raise the visibility of the Conservation Farmer of the Year Award and all the conservation efforts of Iowa farmers.  We also believe it will increase farmer participation in the award application process because we know there are many farmers out there with great examples to share," says Craig Hill, Iowa Farm Bureau president.

"We are so proud to be a part of this effort to encourage conservation, because Van Wall believes in farmers and believes in doing the right thing.   Our mission statement has common values with responsible farmers of today, to support Iowa families and communities," says Mark See, Territory Manager of Van Wall Group, Nevada. The Van Wall Group is comprised of 13 dealer locations in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska.

"In the last 30 years, voluntary conservation measures have reduced soil erosion in the U.S. by 43 percent, according to the USDA's National Resources Inventory report.  Iowa's erosion rate was down 33 percent, thanks to a combination of practices being put in place, such as buffer strips, terraces, no-till, cover crops, restoring wetlands, installing bio-filters and grassy waterways in fields," says Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. "We believe Iowa farmers will just continue that positive trend through the Iowa Water Quality Initiative."

Learn more about how today's responsible farmers embrace new conservation methods, by visiting the Conservation Counts website (www.iowafarmbureau.com/conservationcounts).  The website is an online resource where consumers can see how farmers use conservation practices on their farm and the progress that statewide voluntary measures have brought in the last 30 years and where farmers can learn more about the latest conservation practices.

Next year's Iowa Conservation Farmer of the Year winner will be presented an award plaque and keys to their tractor at a luncheon during the Conservation Districts of Iowa annual meeting in the Des Moines area September 3 & 4, 2014.

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