The state's top agricultural chief, a high school senior preparing to study agricultural business at Iowa State University and a nationally respected leader in soil and water conservation were recognized by the Iowa Soybean Association for their dedication to Iowa's farmers and the soybean industry.
Receiving ISA leadership awards during a banquet held December 17 in Des Moines in conjunction with the ISA's 50th Anniversary Symposium were:
• Friend of the Iowa Soybean Farmer — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, Spirit Lake
• Rising Star — Macy Marek, Washington
• New Leader — Julie Kenney, Nevada
• Environmental Leader — Tim Smith, Eagle Grove
• Legacy of Leadership — Curt Sindergard, Rolfe
The Friend of the Iowa Soybean Farmer Award is sponsored by Cargill. It was presented to Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and a fourth generation farmer from Spirit Lake. Northey's priorities as Iowa Secretary of Agriculture have advanced science and new technologies to better care for our air, soil and water. He also reaches out to Iowans to share the story of Iowa agriculture. Each year, Northey travels the state to better understand the needs of farmers and determine how he can better lead the Agriculture Department and its service to Iowans.
The Rising Star Award is sponsored by Farm Credit Services of America. It recognizes an ISA member's son or daughter who's active at the local, state and national level and preparing to continue ag studies in college. Marek is a senior at Washington High School and is the sixth generation on her family's diversified livestock and grain farm. She is a member of the Washington FFA and has participated in a program that gives students the opportunity to learn firsthand production practices for raising corn and soybeans. Marek is also involved in Business Professionals of America and is employed at Bazooka Farmstar. She will be attending Iowa State University next fall and majoring in agriculture business.
The New Leader Award is sponsored by DuPont Pioneer. It recognizes an ISA member's outstanding involvement and commitment to promoting the soybean industry and agriculture. After a decade of working in communications for DuPont Pioneer, Kenney recently took on a more active role with her husband Mark on their Story County family farm. She's also a volunteer with CommonGround—a group of female farm bloggers across the state—and was a featured panelist for the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance Food Dialogue event at the World Food Prize this fall. She has also hosted farm tours and participated in national media tours to discuss modern farming practices with consumer audiences.
The Environmental Stewardship Award is sponsored by Monsanto. It was awarded to Smith for his commitment to conservation and championing water quality practices. In 2011, Smith became involved with the Mississippi River Basin Initiative program through the Natural Resources Conservation Service. He has implemented cover crops, strip tillage, Prairie STRIPS and nutrient management practices on this farmland and installed a bioreactor to reduce nitrate levels in water moving across his land. Smith is an advocate for implementing practices that improve environmental performance and frequently hosts tours and participates in farm forums to share his personal and practical experiences.
The Legacy of Leadership Award is sponsored by Stine Seed Company. It was presented to Sindergard for 18 years of service on the ISA board. During his tenure, Sindergard served on each of the association's four board committees and held the offices of president, president-elect and treasurer. He was involved in numerous soybean-related boards and committees including the American Soybean Association, Soy for Life Foundation, Environmental Stewardship Foundation and the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. Sindergard provided vital leadership and insight during his years of service on the board and contributed to setting forward thinking objectives to improve the competitiveness of Iowa's soybean farmers.
Iowa Soybean Association recognizes Governor Branstad
The farmer members of the Iowa Soybean Association also recognized Iowa Governor Terry Branstad for his tireless support of Iowa agriculture and the soybean industry during the organization's 50th Anniversary Symposium and Recognition Banquet held December 17 in Des Moines.
ISA board president Tom Oswald presented Governor Branstad with the ISA Distinguished Service Award at the event's opening luncheon. "It is an honor to receive this award from the Iowa Soybean Association," Branstad said. "Agriculture is an important part of our state's economy and I am proud to work so closely with a farmer group that is leading the industry."
Oswald, who farms near Cleghorn in northwest Iowa, acknowledged the support and partnership of the Iowa governor during his tenure. "Governor Branstad is a long-time friend of the Iowa soybean farmer and we are appreciative of his service to agriculture and the positive impact he has had on the industry," said Oswald. To learn more about ISA go to www.iasoybeans.com.