Registration now open for the April 8th Iowa Local Food Conference

Keynotes and panels will highlight the growing number of opportunities available to food producers in their local networks. Conference attendees can participate in three tracks: food hubs, processing centers, and marketing.   Registration is now open at: www.leopold.iastate.edu/2014-iowa-local-food-conference<http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/2014-iowa-local-food-conference>   Reduced-price early registration ends on March 28. The conference is geared to general audiences, students and vendors, and will be of interest to small growers, business owners and food service personnel, as well as others who are interested in the growing local food system in Iowa.   Contact Lynn Heuss for details, including scholarship application questions, at leheuss@i   Keynote speaker Lucie Amundson is the marketing brainchild behind her family's pasture-raised chicken business, Locally Laid. Her social media savvy led Locally Laid to the final four in a national competition for small businesses to earn a 30-second TV spot at the Super Bowl.   Sponsored by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Local Food and Farm Initiative (LFFI) and the Iowa Food System Working Group with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the...
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Searching for Gold

With St. Patrick's Day right around the corner, many people are turning their attention to all things green. The same is always true here at Prairie Rivers of Iowa. We are all green when it comes to conservation and natural resources. We are also looking for those with some gold or green to partner with us to continue to move our mission forward to help our communities with natural resources and conservation. Are you willing to help us? Giving is easy through Dwolla. Also, if you are on a nature hike this next week and curious about how to find a four-leaf clover, here is a helpful how-to: http://www.wikihow.com/Find-a-Four-Leaf-Clover ...
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First of Two Listening Sessions to be Held to Discuss the Squaw Creek Watershed

Two listening sessions will be held to discuss the Squaw Creek Watershed on March 10th from 3:00-4:30pm at the Stanhope Community Center and then again on March 11th from 3:00-4:30pm at Gilbert City Hall. We are asking people to come and talk about the watershed and to ask questions to our board. There will also be informational material to read on the watershed.   Penny Brown Huber, Executive Director of Prairie Rivers of Iowa and a subconsultant on the project says, “Our focus in the planning project will be to engage and educate the public about the watershed.  We want to hear from all the residents in our watershed in order to create a plan that will lead us over time to make improvements in water quality while we address flooding and water quantity issues. ”   Emmons and Olivier Resources, Inc. (EOR) from Oakdale, Minnesota was hired to facilitate the planning process.  EOR is a water resource-based engineering and environmental consulting firm that...
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Iowa’s “Master River Stewards Program”

With being involved with the Squaw Creek Watershed Management we have been on high alert when it comes to water. In making contact with Story County Conservation District, this great program was brought to our attention and we want to share it with you. Iowa Rivers Revival will bring it's third year of the “Master River Stewards Program” to the Iowa River Watershed in the Spring of 2014. The program will be based out of the Iowa City area. Registration deadline is April 15, 2014.  Please respond to jdreier@iowarivers.org with interest and contact information. 2014 Master River Stewards Schedule-Iowa River Watershed The program will focus on: Watershed awareness Paddling and navigating skills River and stream dynamics Aquatic habitat Water quality and water monitoring Policies related to floodplains River protection and restoration Visit IRR’s website to view an outline of last year’s program:  http://iowarivers.org/education/river-stewards/ Registration Cost: Participants will pay a fee of $50 which will include program materials. Participants will be expected to attend each session and there will be “homework” assignments following...
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Getting Kids Excited About Science

According to a poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, 30 percent of parents with children in kindergarten through fifth grade say that their child's school put too little emphasis on science curricula. There is a need in science education today to "spark learning" and genuine curiosity in young students. Students feel forced to understand and memorize facts instead of figuring out the reason why the answer is that answer. This ignorance of science is one of the main reasons why the Next Generation of Science Standards was developed.  NGSS is a "multi-state effort to create new education standards that are "rich in content and practice, arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education."  Minnesota teacher Mary Colson, a contributor to the development of the new standards, said that the standards aim to get the students thinking more like a scientist.  Other efforts...
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Taking the Next Step For Improving the Squaw Creek Watershed

The Squaw Creek Watershed Management Authority involves a team of people from large and small communities, rural and urban areas in the counties of Boone, Story, Hamilton and Webster who share an interest in Squaw Creek. There has been a great deal of work conducted over the past ten years in this watershed culminating in the formation of the Squaw Creek Watershed Management Authority (SWMA).   Paul Toot, Story County Board of Supervisor and Chair of the Squaw Creek Watershed Management Authority says, “based on feedback we’ve received from public surveys there is a definite interest in improving the quality of Squaw Creek and its tributaries.  With financial support from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the time has come to develop a comprehensive watershed management plan to provide guidance for watershed activities over the next twenty years.”   The Squaw Creek Watershed Management Authority was created in 2012.  With this foundation in place, the next step is to create a watershed management plan. ...
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Iowa Agri Women Policy Conference

A Unique Opportunity for You! Iowa Agri Women Policy Conference Targeting the issues...nutrient management, water quality, effective communication "myth busting", and statistics on women's evolving role in agriculture. This is your chance to visit with state officials and industry leaders on your concerns about current issues. Iowa Agri Women members: $25 to cover meals. We inviting all women to be new members at $55 which includes meal costs. When: FRIDAY November 15 8:45 a.m. - Registration Sessions from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Plenary meetings beginning sharply at 9:00 am. Limited to 35 participants Where: IOWA SOYBEAN ASSOCIATION 1255 SW Prairie Trail Pkwy Ankeny, IA 50023 Registration is open for this unique and informative event today, but registration space is limited to 35, so send your registration and fees today to guarantee your spot. A printable registration form is attached to this post as a jpeg. Send your registration and fees to: Elaine Gaesser 2507 Quince Corning, Iowa 50841 Questions? Comments? Contact Annette Sweeney at 641-373-4899...
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GSA Auctions

Check out this ongoing auction site where you will find a wide variety of personal property for sale, including item descriptions and images. GSA Auctions® provides the services, expertise and systems that will ensure the timely, effective, and efficient disposition of the Federal government's surplus personal property assets yielding the greatest return on investment to the taxpayer. There is a variety of items to buy: • Agriculture and Construction Equipment Vehicles and Machinery • Aircraft, Boats and Related Equipment • Cars, Vans and Trucks • Computer Equipment and Accessories, Copiers and Printers • Jewelry and Collectibles • Office and Household Furniture • and MORE! Check out the Iowa and nationwide Auctions here: http://gsaauctions.gov/gsaauctions/aucindx/...
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Prairie Rivers of Iowa Receives Iowa Tourism Grant for Hamilton County Conservation Board Marketing

Prairie Rivers of Iowa Receives Iowa Tourism Grant for Hamilton County Conservation Board Marketing: Dear Iowa Tourism Grants Program applicants: Thanks to each of you for your application(s) to the Iowa Tourism Grants Program. As you may know, this was the inaugural year for the program, which means we learned lessons and found many areas for improvement along the way. Please know that in FY15, the process will be much smoother and much less hurried. Thanks for your patience. The first year of the program also offered a great opportunity to take your input and craft opportunities for funding in new areas and in areas where you said financial assistance was most needed. The second page of this document shows the members of the Iowa Grant Guidelines Committee. Please thank them for their work to develop the program’s parameters. Additionally, 25 of your tourism industry peers took a great deal of time to review the grant applications and determine the successful applicants. They,...
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23 Mobile Apps Changing the Food System

From Food Tank: The Food Think Tank There are currently more than one billion smartphones in use across the world – and that figure is projected to double by 2015. As the use of mobile devices continues to grow, apps have become an incredibly effective way of providing information and resources to a wide audience. An increase in smartphone use coincides with the growth of a consumer demand for more sustainable food! In the United States alone, annual sales of organic foods and beverages grew from US$6 billion in 2000 to US$26.7 billion in 2010. And there are nearly three times as many farmers markets in the United States today as there were in 2000. It’s no surprise, then, that there are lots of apps for those interested in eating more healthful food, wasting less food, finding sustainable sources of sea food, or buying seasonally. These 23 apps for mobile devices and tablets are helping eaters, producers, advocates, and activists lead less wasteful,...
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