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Jasper County farmer awarded for on-farm innovation

Article cover photo
From left: ISA President Tim Bardole, award winner Dan De Vries, Scott Schadler of John Deere. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

By Lauren Houska, ISA digital media manager

Dan De Vries of Prairie City was presented the Innovator in Production Research Award by the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) during its annual Leadership Awards Banquet held Jan. 27 in Des Moines.

Sponsored by John Deere, the award recognized De Vries for his commitment to utilizing data and research to improve the productivity of his farm and the soybean industry.

De Vries is a third-generation soybean, corn and cattle producer and farms with his brother, his wife, Sarah, and their four children.

He’s collaborated extensively with the ISA research team for the last five years. A sample of the work includes participation in soybean variable rate population trials, fertilizer, seed treatments and soybean cyst nematode trials.

“I want to improve my farm each year and what better way than to partner with the Iowa Soybean Association,” says De Vries. “They use scientific trials to prove new ideas and products that work.”

He also plants cover crops and has been involved in a long-term cover crop study with ISA.

“Cover crops have become part of the complete farm program I implement for grazing livestock as well as protecting the soil and recycling the nutrients which otherwise might leave my farm,” says De Vries.

Not only has De Vries contributed to the advancement of production research at ISA, he has been a spokesperson for technology and conservation.

He showcased the power of cover crops when it comes to soil health and water quality during a December 2018 Food U event through the Iowa Food & Family Project. He also was a guest presenter at a 2019 RAGBRAI Dream Team training event. The Dream Team assists about 30 Iowa youth in developing a positive approach to life’s challenges through participation in RAGBRAI.

“I know it is my responsibility as a farmer to reach out to those who don’t have access to farm life to educate them about what I do on the farm, why I do it, and how I do it,” says De Vries. “Working with RAGBRAI and the Iowa Food & Family Project gives a farmer like me a platform I otherwise wouldn’t have.”

Meet Dan

Contact Lauren Houska about ISA Leadership Awards at Please direct media requests to Kaite James at

For media inquiries, permission to republish articles or to request high-res photos, please contact Katie James, ISA Public Relations Manager at © 2020 Iowa Soybean Association. All rights reserved.