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A Call for Conservation Leaders!

Posted on April 28, 2014 at 8:00 AM by Iowa Corn

April 27th through May 5th marks Iowa’s 72nd Soil and Water Conservation Week, a celebration of the resources that allow Iowa to be the number one corn producing state in the nation, our fertile soil and abundance of water.  Since 1940, Iowa’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts & Commissioners have been celebrating and protecting these invaluable resources.

Soil and Water Conservation Districts were formed across the nation in response to the devastation of the 1930’s Dust Bowl, which brought ecological, economic, and social misery to tens of thousands of Americans as a result of farming the land without conservation followed by extreme drought conditions. Districts were charged with restoring and protecting the soil to ensure continued productivity, and they did so by encouraging the use of an array of conservation practices.

Today, there are 3,000 Soil and Water Conservation Districts and 17,000 commissioners across the nation. In Iowa alone, there are 100 Soil and Water Conservation Districts and 500 commissioners. Every county has a Soil and Water Conservation District, and all Iowans, urban as well as rural, are served by them.
Soil and Water Conservation Districts provide Iowans with education, technical assistance and funding to put conservation on agricultural and urban land. They work with many partners to accomplish this: federal, state and local governments; private industry; commodity, hunting and environmental organizations and most importantly, landowners and operators!

Commissioners in Iowa are leading by example! 

Bob Lynch_EnvironmentalLeaderAward
Bob Lynch and his family accept an Iowa Farm
Environmental Leader Award at the Iowa State Fair.
Robert Lynch, a Humboldt County Commissioner, Vice President of Conservation Districts of Iowa and member of the Iowa Corn Growers Association uses grassed waterways, terraces, CRP, strip-till, no-till, cover crops, nutrient management, split application of nitrogen, nitrogen stabilizers, stalk nitrate tests and grid soil sampling to protect the soil on his farm and his communities’ water resources.  He has also implemented wellhead protection projects and was part of a large Ag Drainage Well closure project that closed two wells on his farm.

“We have the opportunity to use these practices that not only make us better stewards of the land, but also improve crop production. It's very important to me that I continue to improve my farm for my kids and grandkids.” Robert Lynch

Jerry Crew_Environmental Leader Award
Jerry Crew and his family accept an Iowa Farm
Environmental Leader Award at the Iowa State Fair.
Jerry Crew is a Commissioner in Clay County Commissioner, CDI Board Member and a member of the Iowa Corn Growers Association. Jerry uses terraces, waterways and buffer strips on his farm and has been practicing no-till for 35 years!

“I believe no-tillage is giving me better yields and reducing my costs. Conservation doesn’t cost, conservation pays.” Jerry Crew

In 2013, Bob Lynch and Jerry Crew were both recipients of the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Awards!

With Iowa’s nutrient reduction goals, we need conservation leaders now more than ever.  For practical conservation solutions, contact your Soil and Water Conservation District. To nominate a neighbor for their conservation work, click here.

Clare Lindahl, Executive Director, Conservation Districts of Iowa

Clare Lindahl started as Executive Director of Conservation Districts of Iowa in October, 2012. Conservation Districts of Iowa is a not for profit organization that  implements its mission of soil conservation and clean water by providing support to the 500 elected Commissioners in 100 Soil and Water Conservation Districts, appointed assistant commissioners and district employees as they serve the farmers and residents of Iowa.
Prior to this position Lindahl was a district employee with the Scott County Soil and Water Conservation District in Davenport, Iowa where she implemented soil and water conservation on agricultural and urban land uses. Lindahl graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture and has received her Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Environmental Geographic Information Systems from Western Illinois University.

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