Outstanding Alumni Award
Owner, Couser Cattle Co.
(Diesel Mechanic Diploma 1975) – Ankeny Campus
Whether it is working cattle on his family farm or spearheading one of the largest renewable energy projects Iowa has ever seen, Bill Couser has earned a reputation for doing the right things for the right reasons. A 1973 graduate of Nevada High School and a 1975 graduate of the DMACC Diesel and Heavy Equipment Repair program on the Ankeny Campus, Bill owns Couser Cattle Company and has been instrumental in the establishment of Lincoln Way Energy, a 50 million gallon ethanol plant owned by local investors.
Bill’s list of accomplishments is long, including induction into the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association Hall of Fame alongside his wife Nancy, a winner of the National Beef Quality Assurance Award, and recognition as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Environmental Stewardship Award. Much of Bill’s recognition is centered on his love for the land.
“The core concept of their combined business ventures is simple,” says Dwayne Faidley, Professor and Program Co-Chair of DMACC’s Agribusiness program. Dwayne nominated Bill for the Outstanding Alumni Award. “They want to add value to what they have, replace what they use and waste as little as possible while fulfilling basic human needs.”
In supporting his nomination, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association CEO Matt Deppe lauded Bill’s impact on agriculture in Iowa.
“Bill has always been on the forefront of issues in agriculture,” Matt says, “and has used his own farm to demonstrate innovations that have a positive impact on animal welfare, water quality, soil health, and sustainability. From his involvement in the ethanol industry to Beef Quality Assurance research projects, there is no aspect of the crop/cattle cycle that Bill has not positively influenced.”
Despite such a rich background in agriculture – in 2010 Bill was named one of “10 People Who Matter” by Time Magazine – Bill’s proudest accomplishment has little to do with the farm.
“My family!” Bill says when asked about what he is most proud of. He and his wife have two adult children, Casey and Tim. “I’m proud to have a mom and dad who supported me and a family that has been a true blessing, especially my wife. To think that she picked me is still unbelievable. I am so blessed.”
Recently, the Couser’s launched the Modern Ag Experience Farm, designed to provide an immersive experience for students and farmers. Bill sees it as his opportunity to pay back all the wonderful experiences he has had in his career.
“We have been so lucky to open up our farm to students and guests from around the world,” he says. “To be able to teach the ag story and bring people into the 21st century is a true gift.”