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DES MOINES — Exhausted may be the best word for the way Iowa farmers are feeling this holiday season, at least according to Iowa Farm Bureau President Craig Hill.

“There’s a fatigue,” Hill says.

After two days of meeting with members during the organization’s annual meeting last week and winning re-election as IFBF President, Hill says farmers have had a challenging year.

They face uncertainties on many issues, ranging from trade to ethanol. They were forced to deal with difficult weather throughout the growing and harvest seasons. They have faced five years of low commodity prices. And they can’t completely understand why commodity prices remain low.

“There is some satisfaction. … They have come in with a harvest that is a little bit better than we anticipated. Yet the battle throughout the year has been exhausting,” he says.

But Iowa farmers see poor harvests in many other Corn Belt states and are disappointed commodity prices haven’t risen to reflect those situations.

And they know they still must keep a close eye on the crop that has been put in storage because much of it was harvested wet and some was air-dried because of propane shortages.

Still, Hill says it was a successful annual meeting. IFBF delegates elected Brent Johnson of Calhoun County, Joe Dierickx of Clinton County and Tim Kaldenberg of Monroe County to the organization’s board of directors.

Among those honored at the meeting were Mike Dickinson of Harrison County, Brian Haeflinger of Howard County and Sarah Rickelman of Grundy County, who were recipients of the young farmer leadership awards.

R.W. Nelson and Mary Nelson of Des Moines and Carol Messer of Yarmouth were also honored with distinguished service to agriculture awards. The Nelsons are co-founders of Kemin Industries, and Nelson serves as chair of the Kemin Charitable Contributions Committee.

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