August 16, 2012


from the
Indiana Association of
Soil and Water
Conservation Districts
Hoosier farmers receive conservation honors at Indiana State Fair ceremony


Indianapolis -- Fifty-five farmers were honored yesterday for the work they do to promote soil health and water quality on their Indiana farms. These special Hoosier producers received the prestigious River Friendly Farmer conservation award during ceremonies at the Indiana State Fair. The award is sponsored by the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (IASWCD) and Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc.


"We have an impressive group of recipients this year" says Ray McCormick, IASWCD president. "The conservation practices these farmers use improve soil health on their farms not just for themselves but for future generations.


RFF 2012
Forty-two of the 55 River Friendly Farmer award winners were able to attend the ceremony yesterday at the Indiana State Fair. High resolution photos and more information on the winners is available here.



"Our River Friendly Farmer winners know soil is a complex living ecosystem and we all have an obligation to sustain and improve it. That's what they are doing to conserve our natural resources every day," adds McCormick. 



The 2012 River Friendly Farmer recipients represent grain, livestock and poultry producers from watersheds in 40 Indiana counties. They join an elite group of 600 winners since the award was first given in 2000 to Hoosier farmers who use exceptional conservation practices to improve soil health and protect water quality.



Additional sponsors of the award include the Indiana State Department of Agriculture Division of Soil Conservation and the the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.  


Recipients were honored by Lt. Governor Becky Skillman and Indiana Farm Bureau President Don Villwock. Also on hand for yesterday's ceremony was USDA NRCS State Conservationist Jane Hardisty and President Abraham Lincoln (played by Wilbur Tague of Brownsburg, IN) who helped celebrate the USDA's 150th anniversary.



Photos of 2012 award winners are available online, as well as more information on their conservation and farming achievements at: 


  1. Adams County
    Michael G. Werling
  2. Clay County
    Joe Edwards
  3. Clay County
    Tim Stearley
  4. Clinton County
    Clint Orr
  5. Daviess County
    Randall Byrer
  6. Dearborn County
    John Seubert
  7. Decatur County
    Fred Fry
  8. DeKalb County
    Douglas and Corinne Houser
  9. Dubois County
    Norbert Begle
  10. Dubois County
    Stan Leinenbach
  11. Elkhart County
    Keith E. Miller
  12. Elkhart County
    Mike Neff
  13. Fayette County
    Steve Wollyung
  14. Franklin County
    Lance Cox
  15. Franklin County
    Calvin Finch
  16. Gibson County
    Jeff, Joe, Mark, Rick, and Stan Ziliak
  17. Hendricks County
    Charles Brown
  18. Hendricks County
    Jack Maloney
  19. Howard County
    Richard Byrum
  20. Howard County
    Stephen Byrum
  21. Huntington County
    Tom Reed
  22. Jay County
    Barry Fennig
  23. Jay County
    Stephen Fennig
  24. Knox County
    Scott Hagemeier
  25. Kosciusko County
    Randy Beer
  26. Kosciusko County
    Darrel Byrer
  27. LaGrange County
    Andy Green
  28. Miami County
    Ronnie, Maxine, Clint, Beth, Ethan, and Brady Manning
  29. Newton County
    Sigmund Boezeman
  30. Newton County
    Douglas Gerbracht
  31. Noble County
    Steve Phares
  32. Owen County
    Steve Worland
  33. Pike County
    Kevin and Kenny Mundy
  34. Posey County
    Robert Fehrenbacher
  35. Pulaski County
    Dale Gudeman
  36. Putnam County
    Ron Alcorn
  37. Putnam County
    Byron Gough
  38. Scott County
    Marvin Rode
  39. Spencer County
    Chad Goldman
  40. St. Joseph County
    Bill Lappin 
  41. St. Joseph County
    Dale and Dorothy Stoner
  42. Starke County
    Bob Coffin
  43. Starke County
    Wayne Emigh
  44. Tippecanoe County
    Brian Buck
  45. Vanderburgh County
    Steve Jackson
  46. Vermillion County
    Robert Ellis
  47. Wabash County
    Clif and Randy Airgood, Airgood Farms
  48. Warren County
    Mark and Carolyn Straw
  49. Washington County
    David Hoar
  50. Washington County
    Jerry Trueblood
  51. Wells County
    Alan Schwartz
  52. Wells County
    Alan Stout (deceased)
  53. White County
    Steve Carlson
  54. Whitley County
    Gary Hoffman
  55. Whitley County
    Peter Rouch
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For additional information contact:

DeeDee Sigler, IASWCD communications manager
317.692.7374 or 317.431.6098

Indiana Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts 


President: Ray McCormick
, Knox Co.

Vice President: Jeff Meinders,, Ripley Co.

Secretary: Paul Cummings, Owen Co.
Treasurer: Jamie Scott, Kosciusko Co. 

Region Directors: 


North-NW: Larry Strole, Newton Co.

South-NW: Mike Starkey, Hendricks Co.

North-NE: Tom Crowe, Allen Co.

South-NE: Bobby Hettmansperger, Wabash Co. 

North-SW: Les Zimmerman, Vermillion Co.

South-SW: Jim Droege, Posey Co.  

North-SE: Mike Schwab, Franklin Co.

South-SE: Brad Ponsler, Jennings Co. 



IASWCD Staff: 


Executive Director: Jennifer Boyle Warner, 317.692.7519

Conservation Development Specialist:
Janice Bullman, 317.692.7514

Project Assistant: Liz Rice, 317.692.7325

Communications Manager: DeeDee Sigler, 317.692.7374