Conservation leader Jim Winn honored at Sustainable Agriculture Summit

Jim Winn 2023 Farmer of the Year

Jim Winn, president of Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance and a member of Farmers for Sustainable Food, was selected as the Field to Market 2023 Farmer of the Year. Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture® is a diverse group of grower organizations; agribusinesses; food, feed, beverage, restaurant and retail companies; conservation groups; universities and public sector partners that focus on defining, measuring and advancing the sustainability of food; feed, fiber and fuel production. This award recognizes outstanding leadership and continuous improvement in sustainability of U.S. commodity crop production.

Winn is the co-owner and operator of Cottonwood Dairy in South Wayne, Wis., farming approximately 2,500 acres of corn and alfalfa with approximately 2,900 dairy cattle. Winn and his partners have a whole-farm approach to sustainability involving numerous conservation practices such as no-till, contour strips, cover crops, and a comprehensive nutrient management plan.

Among his exceptional work in sustainability leadership, Winn serves as a valuable member of Farmers for Sustainable Food and current board president of the Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance. He has been actively involved in the partnership formed between the two organizations to complete a four-year pilot sustainability project. The project analyzed data from 15 farms and measured the local impact on conservation and farm finances. The project helped demonstrate the Framework for Farm-level Sustainability Projects and is now used to help other farmers make data-driven decisions based on their individual practices on their farms.

“We are so proud to work alongside leaders like Jim, who not only do the right things on their farms but encourage others along the way,” said Farmers for Sustainable Food Managing Director Lauren Brey. “His leadership and passion for connecting and inspiring other farmers in conservation is contagious, and he has truly made an impact on his farm and his community. Jim was instrumental in the ongoing success of the Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance pilot sustainability project, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with him and his fellow LASA members.”

In addition to Winn, two other award recipients were honored by Field to Market. Stearns County Conservation Planning Team Manager Mark Lefebvre of Minn. took home the 2023 Trusted Adviser of the Year award, and the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol: Collaborating for a Smarter Cotton Future Project received the 2023 Collaboration of the Year award.

Learn more about Field to Market and the 2023 Sustainability Leadership Awards at