Photo Credit: Iowa Soybean Association

Ruth McCabe, a conservation agronomist with Heartland Co-op, is a 2022 Nuffield International Scholar. (Photo Credit: Iowa Soybean Association)

Conservation agronomist named 2022 Nuffield International Scholar

December 22, 2021 | Brock Johnston

A conservation agronomist working directly with Iowa soybean farmers has been recognized with the prestigious 2022 Nuffield International Scholar recognition. 

Ruth McCabe, a conservation agronomist with Heartland Co-op, is one of nine agri-professionals worldwide to be awarded a 2022 Nuffield International Scholarship.

The distinction is a nomination-based program for agricultural leaders shaping the future of local communities and whose insights are sought around the world. Funded in part by the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), McCabe will study voluntary stakeholder adoption of conservation agronomy practices and how existing support efforts impact the perception of conservation. 

“The opportunity to have a direct hand in this level of conservation agronomy program development has long been a professional goal of mine, and I see myself leading and expanding current initiatives in the agricultural retail sector – always with a strong farmer focus,” said McCabe. 

McCabe belongs to a network of conservation agronomists across Iowa working with farmers and landowners interested in funding opportunities for conservation practice implementation. 

Among the many unique opportunities of the Nuffield Scholarship, scholars plan eight weeks of self-organized travel around their research topic and participate in a multi-week Global Focus Program travel experience. Ruth plans to visit countries where regenerative practices are common, including Canada, South America, Australia and New Zealand. 

According to Ed Kee, president of Nuffield USA, the body relies on the contributions of in-kind partners, including ISA, to support the work of its annual recipients. 

"Nuffield USA is truly appreciative of the support the Iowa Soybean Association provides as part of a coalition of Iowa farm organizations to fund a Nuffield Scholar from Iowa,” said Kee. "With ISA's support, we are pleased to award a Nuffield Scholarship to such a talented and dedicated person as Ruth.” 

Robb Ewoldt, ISA president and soybean farmer near Davenport said Iowa soybean producers recognize the value-added investment agri-professional opportunities like Nuffield provide. 

“The Iowa Soybean Association is a proud supporter of the Nuffield Scholar program and its role in equipping today’s ag leaders with the resources necessary to face future agricultural challenges and assist farmers in the process,” added Ewoldt. 

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