WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – June 8, 2021 – Megan Kregel of Clayton County, Cordt Holub of Tama County and Michael McEnany of Story County were selected as recipients of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer Leadership Award ( IFBF) for their involvement in Farm Bureau activities, agricultural advocacy efforts and service to their communities.
Through this honor, each will receive a $2,000 grant to be awarded to a nonprofit of their choice, an expense-paid trip to the 2022 AFBF Annual Convention or Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference, an expense-paid trip to the 2022 IFBF Young Farmers Conference, a Choice Hotels certificate for 50,000 points ($500 value), and $1,500 cash from GROWMARK.
Cordt Holub, a seed seller and breeder of corn, soybeans and cow-calf, is passionate about on-farm conservation. “I take real pride in taking care of my land and my goal is to leave this place better than I found it,” he says.
Holub’s leadership also transcends his farm into the local community where he assisted with recovery efforts after the 2020 derecho and helped coordinate a $5,000 grant to the local fire department for rescue tools. He has served on his County Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors as a voting delegate, is a 2018 Ag Leaders Institute graduate, and sits on the IFBF’s Young Farmer Advisory Committee. He has been a leader in legislative and political matters, attending numerous town halls and welcoming Governor Kim Reynolds to his family farm to sign a Young Farmer Aid Bill. Holub is also a member of the local ranchers association, Iowa Soybean Association, Buckingham Cooperative, and Tama-Benton Cooperative. Holub will present his $2,000 grant to the Little Knights Learning Center at Dysart.
As a dairy farmer, Megan Kregel uses her TikTok handle, @megan_dairygirl, to connect with consumers, including 67,000 followers, on issues related to robotic milkers, animal care, food safety and how dairy farmers are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “At least once a week I get a comment or message from someone saying I changed my mind, and they will start buying dairy again after seeing one of my videos. so gratifying of this awareness,” she says.
She has served on the Clayton County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, is involved in Ag in the Classroom, and attends the 2021 IFBF Ag Leaders Institute. Working through various dairy-related organizations in Northeast Iowa, Kregel has helped coordinate milk donations to more than 80 local families monthly and to more than 300 families during the holiday months and hosted more than 10,000 visitors annually at the Iowa Dairy Center. She is also a strong supporter of blood drives, donating her own blood every 8 weeks. Kregel chose Iowa Dairy Historywhich provides agriculture-related curriculum and classroom activities for teachers, as a recipient of its grant dollars.
Michael McEnany has served in several positions on the Story County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, including Chairman, and is also a member of the Story County Cattlemen Board of Directors. He raises a cow-calf herd on his farm, Double M Angus, and works for LongView Pork where he is site manager for three 5,000 head finishing barns.
As consumer demand for local foods has grown, McEnany has capitalized on this opportunity by partnering with local meat lockers to sell its beef directly and aims to expand its cattle herd and customer base. “Direct selling beef interested me because I like being able to provide a product that consumers want and the quality that they want,” he said. “It gives me the opportunity to generate cash flow for my business and increase local demand for beef. McEnany has also worked directly with nonprofits to provide beef to those in need and will provide her grant to Nevada Food at First, a food bank sponsored by Nevada First United Methodist Church.
“The goal of this award is to be a complete leader. This means not only being a leader on your farm, but also being a leader within your local community,” says Mary Foley Balvanz, IFBF’s leadership training manager. “Each of this year’s recipients has invested their time in serving local youth, churches, food banks and connecting with people to show what agriculture is all about: making a positive impact.
The Young Farmer Leadership Award, for farmers under 35, is in honor of former IFBF President Bob Joslin, well known for his support and encouragement of young farmers. This year’s recipients will be honored at the IFBF annual meeting to be held December 7-8 in Des Moines.