One of the key pieces in improving Iowa’s water quality fell into place yesterday, as Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed her first bill into law, providing nearly $300 million of dedicated funding for water quality efforts in Iowa over the next 12 years. Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) farmer-leaders joined Governor Reynolds as she recognized them and many others for helping to champion water quality funding legislation through the statehouse.
“We thank Iowa lawmakers and Governor Reynolds for ensuring this stable funding source as it is absolutely critical in encouraging continued collaboration across the state,” said Iowa Corn Growers Association President Mark Recker, a farmer from Arlington. “State grants and loans for water-related projects will spur even greater private investment by farmers. These dollars will provide additional resources, education, and outreach helping farmers scale up conservation practices on their farms and in their communities.”
ICGA also hosted this week two farmer-to-farmer seminars focused on the importance of soil health and conservation at the Iowa Power Farming Show. These represent farmer-led discussions happening across Iowa. “As farmers, we want to do our part,” said Recker. “I see it at every farmer event I attend, a strong desire by farmers to want to adopt conservation practices and to share with one another technical knowledge and key learnings. We are working with experts and scientists to use the latest technology and data in determining best practices. We’re taking on the challenge of making continuous improvements in preserving the water and soil on our farms. As we go forward together, we will take what we learn and adapt what we do to the conditions on our farms.”
Current Iowa Corn efforts include:
Investing in the Soil Health Partnership (SHP), a farmer lead initiative of the National Corn Growers Association working to quantify the benefits of practices that support soil health from an economic as well as an environmental standpoint. With more than 100 working farms enrolled in the program, including almost 30 in Iowa, SHP tests and measures farm management practices that improve soil health and benefit farmers.
Creating the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance (IAWA), along with our partners at the Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa Pork Producers Association, which works in priority watersheds in the state providing funding, outreach guidance, watershed planning and conservation expertise.
Supporting the Iowa Nutrient Research & Education Council (INREC) which proactively supports the adoption of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy by bringing together nearly every segment of Iowa’s agriculture industry to help lead environmental efforts related to water quality. INREC is leveraging private investments to work with Iowa State University on multiple efforts to measure progress in conservation adoption and water quality improvement.
Proactively communicating the positive steps farmers are taking to implement practices on their farms.
For more information on how Iowa Corn is leading the way on water quality, go to www.iowacorn.org/water.
The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) is a 7,500-member strong grassroots-driven organization, headquartered in Johnston, Iowa, serving members across the state, and lobbying on agricultural issues on behalf of its farmer members to create opportunities for long-term Iowa corn grower profitability. For more information, visit iowacorn.org.