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Source: Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship news release

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today highlighted four Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Leader Awards that were presented at the Iowa Agricultural Leaders Dinner held on March 7. The winners were recognized for their progress, their innovative solutions and their commitment to serving our communities through collaboration and hard work.

Northey created the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Leader Awards to recognize, honor and promote Iowa citizens, companies and organizations who have made significant contributions to Iowa's agriculture industry. Those recognized have displayed leadership within the categories of Innovation, Conservation, Service, and Collaboration.

"It is a tremendous honor and privilege to recognize these leaders that contribute so much to our state and the agriculture industry," Northey said. "These Ag Leader Award recipients epitomize the values of Iowa agriculture that makes our state a leader nationally and globally."

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Leader Award Winners

Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy Science Team - Leadership in Conservation

In 2010, a partnership was launched between Iowa State University, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to develop the science assessment as part of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, a statewide strategy to reduce nutrients in Iowa waters and the Gulf of Mexico in a scientific, reasonable, and cost-effective manner.

The team working on this effort consisted of 23 individuals representing five agencies or organizations under the leadership of Dr. John Lawrence at Iowa State University. The goals of the science team were to assess nutrient loading from Iowa to the Mississippi River and conduct an extensive review of practices and their ability to ultimately reduce nutrients in surface water.

This assessment is believed to be the first of its kind and has since been replicated by several other states since the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy's initial release. This strategy will continue to improve Iowa water quality and could not have been done without the dedication and expertise of these talented individuals.

Sehgal Foundation - Outstanding Service in Agriculture

Seedsman and agriculturalist Dr. Suri Sehgal and his wife Edda Sehgal established the Sehgal Foundation in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1998, and S M Sehgal Foundation in 1999, in Gurgaon, India.

Their goal was to make a positive difference in the lives of the rural poor and to strengthen relations between Iowa and India by actively encouraging student exchanges in agriculture and social sciences.

Working in partnership with communities, the foundations create and implement programs that increase agricultural productivity, manage water resources, and strengthen rural governance, with strong emphasis on the empowerment of women. Their crop research unit adapts rural technologies to meet local needs, and advocacy for biodiversity and conservation is built into all projects.

The Sehgal Foundation teams in India and Iowa strive to design and promote rural development interventions that create opportunities, build resilience, and provide solutions to some of the most pressing challenges in India's poorest communities so that every person can lead a more secure, prosperous, and dignified life.

The Coalition to Support Iowa Farmers - Leadership in Collaboration

The Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers was established in 2004 by farmers for farmers to help those that raise livestock successfully and responsibly manage changes to their livestock farms.

The Coalition does this by helping farmers navigate regulations, providing a building site analysis, consulting on safeguarding the environment, and enhancing neighbor relations. These services are provided free-of-charge to Iowa livestock farmers.

The Coalition is a joint partnership involving the Iowa Cattlemen's Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Egg Council, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Turkey Federation and Midwest Dairy Association.

Their mission of helping Iowa's farm families grow successfully and responsibly is still as important to the state today as it was thirteen years ago.

Their pre-emptive approach of helping farmers start raising livestock or grow their existing farms has proven to be successful - and in many cases - essential to reaching the farm family's goals.

Sukup Manufacturing - Innovation in Agriculture Manufacturing

Sukup Manufacturing Company was founded in 1963 when Eugene Sukup patented a stirring machine which improved in-bin drying for thousands of farmers in the United States. Since then, innovation has been a company priority.

In the last 20 years alone, Sukup Manufacturing Company has seen exponential growth due to the innovative minds of Charles and Steve Sukup, who emphasized advanced manufacturing methods and the development of new product lines. Today, 80% of sales come from products that didn't exist just two decades ago. These new product lines with patents include Grain Dryers, Grain Bins, Material Handling equipment and Pre-Engineered Steel Buildings.

Sukup Manufacturing now holds 85 patents and has sales in all 50 states and over 80 countries. Headquartered in Sheffield, Iowa, the manufacturing company employs over 500 people, and has global distribution locations in Denmark and Ukraine.

Since the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Sukup Manufacturing has designed and delivered 240 Safe T Homes to the people of Haiti, which provide element-resistant safe housing. Made entirely of metal, they are earthquake-proof, hurricane-proof, and combine innovation with humanitarian need.

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