Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture invites 2023 Spencer Award nominations

July 20, 2023

AMES, Iowa — The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture requests nominations for the 2023 Spencer Award, which honors deserving Iowans working for a more environmentally sound agriculture. Nominations for the award are due by Aug. 25, 2023.

The purpose of the Spencer Award is to recognize significant contributions to the advancement of ecological and economic practices that will make agriculture more sustainable and the family farm secure for the future. The award serves as a lasting memorial to Norman and Margaretha Spencer, who believed it is the obligation of each generation to leave the world a better and healthier place for the next generation.

The Spencer family established the award in 2001 through an endowment, which will provide up to $2,000 in cash prize funding in 2023.

Past recipients have made significant contributions to improving Iowa’s landscape, albeit in very different ways. Many have been farmers and landowners who were wonderful examples of how to use conservation practices to make their land and operations more sustainable to pass on to future generations. Other Spencer Award winners included ISU professors, extension educators, farm managers and USDA scientists who have been pioneers in sustainable research and promotion.

In consultation with the Spencer Family, eligibility for the award is now open to graduate students at Iowa State University or from any Iowa educational institution who have demonstrated commitment to furthering sustainable, agroecologically sound agricultural practices, above and beyond routine studies.

Review the Award Nomination Form for additional background and details.

The Spencer Award honors Norman and Margaretha Spencer, who farmed in Woodbury County for 40 years. Graduates of Iowa State, the Spencer’s maintained an active relationship with the university and several professors who encouraged them to conduct research on sustainable practices and family farming. Learn more about the Spencer family and past award-winners at  www.leopold.iastate.edu/spencer-award.