ISA Leadership Awards

These awards are presented annually to individuals and organizations in recognition of outstanding work on behalf of Iowa soybean farmers and the farming profession. If you know a deserving individual, consider nominating them for one of eight ISA Leadership Awards. 

2025 Award Applications

These awards are presented to soybean growers and others who have had a large impact on the soybean industry. Individuals can be nominated by others or they can nominate themselves. Nominations for 2025 will open in the fall of 2024.

Past Award Winners

View past award winners and learn more about them by expanding the information boxes below.

Legacy of Leadership

2024: Wayne Fredericks, Osage

This award is presented to an ISA member who has established a history of leadership and has taken an active role in advancing the goals of ISA. 

Past Recipients

2023: Brian Kemp, Sibley
2022: Rolland Schnell, Newton
2021: Ron Heck, Perry
2020: Dean Coleman, Humboldt
2019: Ed Ulch, Solon
2018: Mark Jackson, Rose Hill
2017: Rick and Martha Kimberley, Bondurant
2016: Roy Bardole, Rippey
2015: Curt Sindergard, Rolfe
2014: Family of Raymond Heck, Perry
2013: William Merschman, Merschman Seeds, West Point
2012: Family of the late Curt Raasch, Odeboldt


Rising Star

2024: Blake Van Der Kamp, Prairie City 

This award and $2,000 education stipend is presented to a high school senior or college student who takes an active role in promoting Iowa agriculture and has plans to remain involved in agriculture through future personal or professional activities.

Past Recipients

2023: Kesley Holdgrafer, Bryant
2022: Nathan Behrends, Wiota
2021: Kollyn Lentz, Plainfield
2020: Samuel Lane, Mediapolis
2019: Erin Chalupa, Keota
2018: Andrey Shirbroun, Farmersburg
2017: Kaleb Miller, Lacona
2016: Vance Ohnemus, Milo
2015: Macy Marek, Washington
2014: Kolton Greiner, Keota
2013: Lexi Marek, Washington
2012: Kendra Wuthrich, Bloomfield


New Leader

2024: Lisa Obrecht, Zearing

This award is presented to an ISA member who has recently grown their involvement in ISA programming and shown outstanding leadership skills in their community and/or state.

Past Recipients

2023: Josh Henik, Mount Vernon
2022: James Hepp, Rockwell City
2021: Ethan Crow, Marshalltown
2020: Reed Burres, Humboldt
2019: Klint and Aimee Bissell, Bedford
2018: Sam Showalter, Hampton
2017: Andrew Lauver, Lake City
2016: Brent Renner, Klemme
2015: Julie Kenney, Nevada
2014: Kellie Blair, Dayton
2013: Tom Wall, Iowa City
2012: Lindsay Greiner, Keota


Innovator in Production Research

2024: Robb Ewoldt, Davenport 

This award recognizes an individual or organization leading the way in the use of precision agriculture technology and worked to discover, validate and manage practices to improve soybean profitability.

Past Recipients

2023: AJ Blair, Dayton
2022: Kevin Prevo, Bloomfield
2021: Mike Coleman, Humboldt
2020: Dan De Vries, Prairie City
2019: Denny Friest, Radcliffe
2018: Lindsay Inc. (Dennis, Barb, Brian, and Jeff Lindsay)
2017: Steve Killpack, Beebeetown
Environmental Leader

2024: Jim O'Connell, Cedar Rapids

This award recognizes an ISA member who is committed to practices that improve environmental performance through work with the ISA Research Center for Farming Innovation (RCFI), Soil and Water Outcomes Fund (SWOF) or Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance (IAWA). 

Past Recipients

2023: Ryan Vavroch, Elberon
2022: Michael Vittetoe, Washington
2021: Mark Schleisman, Lake City
2020: Dean Sponheim, Nora Springs
2019: Brent Larson, Fort Dodge
2018: Nick Meier, LaPorte City
2017: Rob Stout, Washington
2016: Mike Bravard, Jefferson
2015: Tim Smith, Eagle Grove
2014: Steve Berger, Wellman
2013: David Ausberger, Jefferson
2012: Robert Ballou, Monticello


Friend of the Iowa Soybean Farmer

2024: Senator Dan Zumbach, Ryan

This award recognizes an elected leader, reporter or other ISA partner who has shown a deep understanding of the agricultural issues and supported Iowa soybean farmers through their actions.

Past Recipients

2023: Peter Mishek, Omaha
2022: Andy Petersen, Cedar Rapids
2021: Duane Murley, Rockwell City
2020: Steve Hershner, The City of Cedar Rapids
2019: Joel DeJong, Iowa State University Extension & Outreach
2018: Iowa Rep. Helen Miller
2017: Iowa Governor Terry Branstad
2016: Darcy Maulsby, Yetter
2015: Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, Spirit Lake
2014: Dr. John Pesek, Iowa State University
2013: Ken Anderson, Brownfield Radio Network
2012: Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds

Advocate for Iowa Agriculture

2024: Darcy Maulsby, Yetter

This award recognizes an individual, organization or company who effectively and accurately tells the story of modern agriculture and actively builds bridges between Iowa farmers and consumers.

Past Recipients

2023: Secretary Mike Naig
2022: Iowa State Fair
2021: Shannon Latham, Sheffield
2020: Robb and Jennifer Ewoldt, Davenport
2019: Kevin and Julie Van Manen, Kellogg
Policy Champion

2024: Jeff Jorgenson, Sidney
This award recognizes an ISA Advocate Member who actively participated in advocating for policy and regulatory issues benefiting farmers and the soybean industry and has a proven track record of personally engaging elected leaders on these issues.

Past Recipients

2023: Jeff Ellis, Donnellson
2022: Wayne Fredericks, Osage
2021: Hubert Hagemann, Carroll