The National Young Farmers Educational Association (NYFEA), along with Montana State University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, awarded the first-ever Environmental Leaders Award to Peter Juergens of Lidderdale, Iowa.

Juergens and his brother own and operate Ranch Creek Farm, a hog finishing operation where they finish approximately 7,500 swine annually. The Juergens brothers have owned and operated Ranch Creek Farm since 2002. Juergens is a graduate of Loras College with a degree in business.

On being selected the first recipient of the national award, Juergens said, “Being an environmental leader is something I am very passionate about. Currently, I have a two year-old, with one on the way this spring. When I work, every day I look for ways to make their future better than what we work with today. With the need for food and the population growth, our children face the biggest task at being environmentally sound agriculture producers.”

New award recognized young and beginning producers
The Environmental Leaders Award is designed to educate and recognize young and beginning producers who integrate environmental management into their overall business and production plans. It is sponsored by the National Young Farmers Educational Association (NYFEA), Montana State University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is supported by USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Juergens was presented the award before addressing young agricultural leaders from across the nation during Agriculture’s Promise in Washington on April 11.

The award is a component of the Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture program, or BELAA. BELAA is a USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program that aims to educate young and beginning producers on environmental management resources while developing their leadership potential.

Learn about applying for the award
The Environmental Leaders Award is an annual recognition. Young or beginning ag producers are invited to learn more about receiving the award. Information is on eXtension at http://www.extension.org/pages/32896/environmental-leaders-award-program.