“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
I open this post with this quote because, as we approach the one-year anniversary of the Watershed and Waterways Program at Prairie Rivers of Iowa, I am reminded of the value of partnerships when I talk to folks in the watershed. No single conservation practice is going to tackle our soil health and water quality impairments. No individual farmer, advocate, or citizen can do all of the work. Instead, we can achieve many great things when we work together as a team with the appropriate conservation tools in our toolbox.
We have been working with several partners over the last several weeks to reach out to farmers, landowners, and the watershed community on the value that conservation practices add to our farms and our landscape as a whole. These efforts include a wide range of outreach efforts, such as:
- Making cost-share and program information available in their local offices
- Developing plans to monitor the water quality in the watershed
- Co-sponsor meetings, workshops, and field days to educate the community and to demonstrate how certain conservation practices can work successfully here in the watershed.
By working together, we cannot only improve the natural health of the watershed, but can also support the resiliency of agriculture for future generations of Iowans. Below is a brief highlight of some of the work with our different partners in the watershed. This is not a complete list of the work we have been doing with sponsors and partners in the watershed. Check back throughout the year for updates in how your neighbors, local businesses, and friends are getting involved with Prairie Rivers of Iowa!
Heartland Cooperative and Prairie Rivers of Iowa are co-organizing a luncheon that will focus on cover crops. The lunch will be held March 8th from noon-2PM at the Stanhope Community Building (600 Main St.). Topics that will be covered include soil health benefits, profitability, crop productivity, and troubleshooting challenges with first-time use. Farmers, including Jeremy Gustafson from Boone County, will share their experiences with using cover crops and why they continue doing it on their farm.
Iowa Corn will be supporting our upcoming field days this year in the watershed. We plan on hosting two field days featuring an assortment of practices and local leaders in conservation. Iowa Corn will be providing support in these efforts to co-sponsor the days and to help spread the word about land stewardship and how conservation practices can work to preserve our watershed.
Iowa Corn has also announced their new Stewardship Advocate Program. This is to help Iowa Corn members across the state stay current on news and events related to land stewardship in Iowa. If you’re an Iowa Corn member, you can join here.
City of Ames and Story County Conservation
Story County Conservation along with the City of Ames will be working with Prairie Rivers of Iowa to monitor the water quality in the Squaw Creek Watershed as well as the East Indian Creek Watershed. With their help, we will be able to track trends and document progress towards achieving water quality goals in the watershed.