Deadlines loom

CAPITOL LETTERS

BY STATE REPRESENTATIVE DAN A. HUSEMAN

R-District 3, Aurelia

As I mentioned previously, March 8 was the first funnel of the session. If a bill does not pass out of a standing committee in either the House or Senate, it is most likely dead for this session. We will know more this week. We do know that the “big” bills for this session are funnel survivors. Those include sports betting, school infrastructure, mental health services and job training bills. In the meantime, I thought I would use this space this week to relay a couple of upcoming events and deadlines.

Iowa Teacher of the Year nominations due April 1

The Department of Education and the Governor are looking for nominations for 2020’s Iowa Teacher of the Year award. The award provides an opportunity to recognize an Iowa teacher who motivates, challenges, and inspires excellence; who is respected by students and peers; who is a dedicated professional that helps nurture hidden talents and abilities; who is a creative, caring individual; who takes teaching beyond textbooks and blackboards; and who is an exceptional teacher helping to redefine American education. 

Established in 1958, the annual program is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Education through an appropriation from the Iowa Legislature. The Teacher of the Year serves as an ambassador to education and as a liaison to primary and secondary schools, higher education and organizations across the state.

Nominations can come from anyone, including students, parents, school administrators, colleagues, college faculty members and associations. Nomination forms can be found on the Iowa Department of Education’s website: https://www.educateiowa.gov/pk-12/award-exchange-programs/iowa-teacher-y.... They are due April 1, 2019.

The 2019 Teacher of the Year will be announced this fall.

Century and Heritage Farm recognition

On Feb. 7, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship issued a press release in which Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig encouraged eligible farm owners to apply for the 2019 Century and Heritage Farm Program. The program is sponsored by IDALS and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation. It recognizes families that have owned their farm for 100 years in the case of Century Farms and 150 years for Heritage Farms. 

Farm families seeking to qualify for the Century or Heritage Farms Program must submit an application to the Department no later than June 1, 2019. Applications are available on the department’s website by clicking on the Century Farm or Heritage Farm link under “Programs.” The Century Farm program was started in 1976 as part of the nation’s Bicentennial Celebration. To date, more than 19,000 farms from across the state have received this recognition. The Heritage Farm program was started in 2006, on the 30th anniversary of the Century Farm program, and more than 1,000 farms have been recognized. Last year 359 Century Farms and 148 Heritage Farms were recognized. A full list of all past Century Farm recipients is available at www.iowacenturyfarms.com. The ceremony to recognize the 2019 Century and Heritage Farms will be held at the Iowa State Fair on Thursday, Aug. 15 in the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion.

VISITORS AT the Capitol this past week included representatives and students from Northwest Iowa Community College and Western Iowa Tech Community College. Also, Tonya Oolman from Sutherland was here representating the Cherokee Regional Medical Center Hospice program. It was nice visiting with all of them.

You may reach me at the Capitol during the week by phoning me at 515-281-3221, or at home is 712-434-5880. You may write me at the State Capitol, Des Moines, IA 50319. My home address is P.O. Box 398, Aurelia, IA 51005. If you have email, please contact me at dan.huseman@legis.iowa.gov.