Ballou family earns environmental award

Posted September 5, 2012 at 10:43 am

William, Andrew and Robert Ballou were among 67 farm families in Iowa presented with the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award, according to a press release from Farm Progress America.

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Outstanding in Their Field

The new award, sponsored by the State of Iowa, recognizes farmers’ efforts in taking care of the environment. It was presented Aug. 17 during the Iowa State Fair by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and Iowa Department of Natural Resources director Chuck Gipp.

“Environmental stewardship is an important aspect in Iowa’s agriculture industry and our state’s economic climate. The Lt. Governor and I are excited to be able to honor Iowa farmers who are true stewards of the land,” said Branstad.

The farmers who were recognized were nominated for the award because of the significant steps they have taken to serve as local leaders in environmental stewardship on their farms using a variety of conservation techniques and best management practices.

“The award recipients are recognized by this award for their responsible farming choices. Iowa farmers take great pride in their land and work and are truly making an impact towards conservation of farmland for future generations,” said Reynolds.

All winners were chosen by a selection group representing both conservation organizations and agricultural groups.

“I appreciate the work of the selection committee to review the nominations and I’m excited to help recognize these deserving individuals,” Northey said. “This award is a great opportunity to acknowledge and thank farmers who are doing a great job caring for the land and protecting Iowa’s waters, but also to encourage other farmers to follow in their footsteps.”

“Conservation is a legacy that benefits not only our citizens today, but the generations that follow. There’s no better place than the Iowa State Fair to celebrate the success stories of farmers in helping conserve our precious natural resources,” said Gipp.

• Topsoil and subsoil moisture levels improved across the state as a result of recent rains, but were still short through Aug. 26, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Topsoil was 79 percent short or very short, and subsoil moisture was 94 percent short or very short.

Despite that, only 36 percent of the soybean crop was reported as very poor or poor. Thirty-nine percent was fair, and 25 percent good or excellent. Only 15 percent of the corn crop was listed as good or excellent.

• State Rep. Lee Hein of Monticello has earned the Iowa Farm Bureau Friend of Agriculture designation, the IFB announced. Hein is one of 13 candidates for Iowa House of Representative who have been selected by the farm organization. Guided by statewide grass roots input from 98 Iowa counties, the selections are based on candidates’ support of Farm Bureau policy, voting record and support for Iowa’s rural communities.

Dan Zumbach of Ryan is one of five candidates for the Iowa Senate who also received the designation.

• Jones County 4-H member Krista Meyer of Stanwood has received a $500 Theisen’s Home and Farm 4-H Scholarship, according to a press release from ISU Extension and Outreach.

A nine-year 4-H member, Meyer has been involved in the dairy cows, dog, horse, food and nutrition and veterinary science project areas. She served as club president, vice president and treasurer. She plans to attend Kirkwood Community College to major in agricultural business.

“Through showing animals in 4-H, I was able to see how much I like the agriculture industry,” Meyer said. “It also showed me to the importance of community service and giving back.”

Meyer, 18, is the daughter of Cindy Meyer.