Iowa couple honored with Citizenship Award

Farm and Food

Johnathan Hladik, Policy Director,, 402.687.2100 ext. 1014; or Rhea Landholm, brand marketing and communications manager,, 402.687.2100 ext 1025

LYONS, NEBRASKA – The Center for Rural Affairs has chosen Mark and Connie Tjemeland, of McCallsburg, Iowa, to receive its 2019 Citizenship Award. They will be recognized at an awards ceremony on Friday, March 13, in York, Nebraska.

The Citizenship Award is given to an individual or individuals who actively participate in the civic process for creating public policy, and who work closely with the Center for Rural Affairs to advance public policies that strengthen family farms, ranches, and rural communities.

Over the past year, the couple has hosted numerous tours of their farm—including their solar panels, extended crop rotation, and prairie. Last summer, the couple hosted Center energy staff to discuss solar panels that power their farm. The information has been used in the Center’s policy writing and work.

“Mark and Connie have supported the Center’s policy work in numerous ways throughout the last seven years,” said Johnathan Hladik, policy program director with the Center for Rural Affairs.

They also hosted a field tour and discussion on Mark’s experience with Conservation Stewardship Program through the Natural Resource Conservation Service.

“Collaboration with local leaders such as Mark and Connie is essential to our work at the Center for Rural Affairs,” Hladik said. “They have helped us advance key priorities through their thoughtful, unwavering, and effective advocacy.”