AMES, Iowa — Mark Hanna, a former extension agricultural engineer at Iowa State University, is the recipient of the 2018 Iowa Master Farmer Exceptional Service Award.
The award, which is sponsored by Wallaces Farmer magazine, is presented to individuals who aren’t farmers but have spent a lifetime helping farmers. Hanna will receive the award at the 2018 Iowa Master Farmer Awards Day on March 22 at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny.
Hanna retired last October after 42 years at Iowa State. His first job with ISU Extension was as a soil, water and waste management specialist in 1975. Hanna’s research and extension efforts were related to tillage, planting and nutrient management.
Hanna’s research focused on using field equipment to enhance productivity and environmental stewardship while interacting with crops and soils. An anhydrous ammonia manifold developed by Hanna and Paul Boyd, a graduate student, was recognized in 2004 as one of the best products in agriculture, food and biological systems industries by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.
Hanna also developed practical guidelines for farmers to reduce energy use while maintaining productivity. He also worked with farmers to reduce soil compaction caused by farm machinery and tillage tools.
Throughout his career Hanna wrote many extension publications and gave numerous presentations. He interacted with farmers and the agriculture industry by participating in field days, conferences and outreach activities. His research has earned him many honors and awards including the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation Editor’s Choice Award and the Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Outstanding Achievement in Extension Award.
Hanna earned his bachelor’s degree in 1973, master’s degree in 1975 and doctorate in 1991, all in agricultural engineering at Iowa State.
Started in 1926, the Iowa Master Farmer program is the longest-running farmer recognition in the country. Henry A. Wallace, editor of Wallaces Farmer from 1921 to 1933, initiated the award to call attention to Iowa farmers who not only demonstrate outstanding management in their farming operations, but also provide leadership in their local community, or in state and national organizations.