The Iowa State University exhibit at the Farm Progress Show is again located at the corner of Central Avenue and Seventh Street. New this year are a speaker’s stage and plaza filled with planters, seating, picnic tables and Cy statues along Central Avenue. This area also features the University Bookstore trailer.
Inside the exhibit tent, Iowa State University students, faculty and extension specialists will engage visitors in demonstrations and conversations to connect them with current research applicable to individual agricultural operations.
Iowa State faculty and Extension specialists at the show lead applied research, demonstrations and education on the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, monarch and pollinator habitat revival, soil health, herbicide resistance management, and producing biomass crops. They will host interactive displays, make presentations and recognize outstanding producers. They also will be available for one-on-one conversations.
“Stewardship of our land, water and environment is a major theme of the Iowa State exhibit again this year,” said John Lawrence, associate dean for extension and outreach in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension. “The care of these natural resources comes from farmer management decisions rather than products bought and applied. Throughout the show we feature Iowa women impacting the land through decisions about how their land is farmed. We also have interactive displays, a speaker’s stage, and experts to discuss and demonstrate the latest research.”
ISU has plenty to explore
Hear speakers and talk to experts – Producers face complex and at times critical issues; it is vital they have reliable information on which to base their management decisions. ISU speakers discuss nutrient reduction, insect and pest management, climate, soil organic matter, farm management, ag market outlook and incorporating new technologies from the speaker’s stage during the Farm Progress Show. Each day two speakers make presentations in the morning and three speak in the afternoon.
WATER QUALITY: Matt Helmers, contributing researcher to development of Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, speaks Tuesday morning on reducing nutrient export from ag land and the scale of implementation that is needed.
Iowa State experts are on hand throughout the show to talk with and learn from visitors. Stop by the Ask an Expert area – visitors can meet the new ISU faculty and extension specialists as well as reconnect with the experts they already know. Speaker and expert schedules will be posted in the exhibit and made available on the Iowa State Farm Progress Show webpage register.extension.iastate.edu/2016fps.
Honoring women impacting the land – The shifting, growing role of women in production agriculture has signaled the need for a new ISU Extension and Outreach program focus – Women in Agriculture. In addition to providing research-based educational programs specifically designed for women, the Women in Agriculture program created a Women Impacting the Land recognition and will introduce eight women and their agricultural achievements during the Farm Progress Show. Honorees will be introduced at noon each day.
Get an overhead view with digital ag – Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and Agronomy specialists will demonstrate uses of aerial imagery, including that provided by small unmanned aerial vehicles, to aid in making operational decisions in farming operations. They will also discuss experiences with crop modeling tools as well as other precision ag tools available to analyze on-farm trials and other cropping system logistics.
Explore healthy soil – Hosting the first Iowa soil health conference was a prelude to bringing interactive soil displays to the 2016 Farm Progress Show for one group of agronomists. They are ready to guide visitors in non-traditional explorations of the biological, chemical and physical properties of soil, and point out conservation agricultural systems that benefit soil health.
Make a splash with quality water - Table-top models, interactive online landscapes, a conservation station, and researchers with a wealth of experience bring the practices outlined in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy to life for visitors. Research being demonstrated looks at the performance of current and emerging nutrient management practices, provides recommendations on implementing the practices and shares the development of new practices. The possibility of splashing about in water adds a playful feature to learning about bioreactors and saturated buffers.
Discover the beauty of Monarch habitat – Using scientific and practical approaches to adding monarch breeding habitat to the Midwest landscape is the goal of a partnership between ISU Research and Demonstration Farms and Iowa State researchers. A display containing native milkweeds and forbs that support the four life stages of the Monarch butterfly sets the stage for robust Farm Progress Show discussions. Learn about the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium and how to apply recent research findings.
Get a closer look – Who better to answer parent and student questions about being a student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences than those currently enrolled? Recruitment and alumni relations representatives from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences also will be on hand to provide admissions information, college news and event updates, and keep alumni and prospective students connected with the college.
Order from Extension Store – The Extension Store, a direct source to ISU Extension and Outreach publications and other educational materials, has a kiosk in the Iowa State exhibit for visitors wanting to know more about any of the topic areas. Online ordering is available as well as previews of popular publications.
Add conservation and biomass to landscape – The Iowa Learning Farms mobile learning center demonstrates various aspects related to conservation. Located outside the north end of the Iowa State tent, it leads to the biomass planting and serves as a conversation starter around several practices outlined in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
Visitors will be drawn to the high grasses in the biomass planting north of the Iowa State tent and may inquire about the growth and productivity of dedicated biomass crops. Spend a little time and learn how biomass crops are managed to provide multiple ecosystem services.
Klein is an advancement specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.