Citizenship Award Recipient Recognized - Center for Rural Affairs Presents Prestigious Award to Jacob Cowgill

Release Date: 

04/08/2009

Contact(s): 

Traci Bruckner, tracib@cfra.org, Center for Rural Affairs, Phone: (402) 687-2103, Ext 1016
Lyons, NE - On the eve of the Center for Rural Affairs' MarketPlace: Opening Doors to Success conference held recently in North Platte, Nebraska, Jacob Cowgill was honored for his efforts, integrity, and leadership. Jacob received the Center for Rural Affairs' Citizenship Award.
Jacob Cowgill is an artist, writer, and farmer born and raised in central Montana. He has a Master's in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana and until recently worked on Quinn Organic Farm in north-central Montana where he managed various dry-land crop experiments and helped out with wheat and oilseed production. Jacob is on the board of the Alternative Energy Resources Organization based in Helena, Montana, and the Western Sustainable Agriculture Working Group. He is starting his own farm this season, called Prairie Heritage Farm, outside of Conrad, Montana, where he will raise heritage turkeys, grow a variety of vegetables, and plant lentils and ancient wheat.

"I am so honored to receive this award. I greatly admire the work of the Center for Rural Affairs and appreciate the chance to be a voice for Montana, beginning farmers, and rural America," said Cowgill. "I feel as though the award is less about past work and more about the work to come, that is extra incentive for me to do what I can for important rural issues."

The Citizenship Award is given annually and recognizes those who actively participate in our democratic system; they might visit elected officials, testify before lawmakers, talk with the media, host tours, and so forth.  It is given to someone who has worked closely with the Center for Rural Affairs to advance policies that strengthen family farms, ranches and rural communities.  

"When Jacob agreed to go with us to Washington D.C. in January 2008 to lobby Montana's Senator Max Baucus, he very effectively added his voice to the farm bill debate," said Traci Bruckner, Center for Rural Affairs. "Jacob was influential in turning Senator Baucus around on a critical policy component that would have made it nearly impossible for beginning farmers and ranchers to benefit from the provisions within conservation programs that were designed specifically for them. This provision indicated that the majority of their income had to be derived from farming or ranching in order to qualify for increased cost-share and beginning farmer set-asides, something practically unheard of for most beginners. Jacob was also influential in getting Senator Baucus to support funding for the larger beginning farmer and rancher initiative we were advocating for in the final farm bill."  

For a picture of Cowgill visit: http://www.cfra.org/files/capitol.jpg
(Picture courtesy of Center for Rural Affairs)

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