Iowa is a leader in agriculture, and if we want to maintain our status, it takes farmers and landowners like Tom Manson to put in the extra work to conserve their land.  

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Manson calls himself a small farmer, always growing on 125 acres and custom feeds 2,000 head of hogs over in Bremer County. He is also one of the 40 farmers across Iowa to be recognized with an Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award at the Iowa State Fair.  

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

It's quite an honor. I've worked at this for quite a few years, probably since the 1970s. I have terraces; I have a waterway. I have a biofilter put in a few years ago to filter the tire water before it goes into our creek.  

Having these protective measures helps Manson keep and maintain productive soils for the future.  

I'm very conscious about saving our soil. And so, one thing with the terraces that accomplish that also is that it keeps the ground from washing away. 

Along with his efforts to keep waterways clean, Manson also has a windbreak system on his farm. He uses them to help break up the smells that come from the hog facilities. He then takes the manure from this facility and injects it into the soil so his crops can use it again the next year.  

Tom Manson, 950 KOEL AM Kailey Foster, and Jerry Dove
Tom Manson, 950 KOEL AM Kailey Foster, and Jerry Dove

And his efforts don't end on the farm. Manson is part of the Bremer Soil Water Conservation District, where he serves as one of the county commissioners. He serves alongside Jerry Dove who also received the  Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award.   

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