Energy, farmer training, getting local foods online and adoption of a new soil and water conservation practice are part of the latest round of completed projects in the grants program at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, located on the campus of Iowa State University at Ames. As a condition of receiving a Leopold Center grant, investigators submit final reports after projects are finished. The Leopold Center's staff gleans those reports and summarizes the findings in an easy-to-read format and post on them on the website. Find 5 new projects at the Leopold Center website:
Investigating opportunities for enhancing farmer adoption of a strategically targeted prairie strips
Iowa Farm Energy Working Group
Micro-Farming: Reducing rural and urban food deserts through job training
Research and development of an online local foods buying club cooperative
The University of Iowa Biomass Partnership Project
COWS, FISH AND ENERGY: The statewide Farm Energy Working Group has two fascinating programs in November. At noon on November 12, they host a free webinar to hear about vertical energy-efficient LED lights used in an aquaponics system in Minnesota. On November 13 the group will tour a new energy-efficient robotic milking facility at the Northeast Iowa Dairy Foundation. Both programs are open to the public but registration is requested.
ALL THINGS ORGANIC: This year's Iowa Organic Conference will convene at the University of Iowa Memorial Union on November 17-18. The conference begins on Sunday evening with a reception and movie showing, and a full day of workshops on November 18. Keynote speaker is Bob Quinn, a Montana farmer with 4,000 certified acres producing organic grains, alfalfa hay, vegetables and fruits. An all-organic lunch featuring regional foods will be served on Monday.
VETERANS AS FARMERS: The Leopold Center is supporting a new organization, the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Iowa that will host its first annual conference December 14 in Des Moines. Designed for veterans who want to farm, the event offers workshops on business development, talking with lenders, and various assistance programs. See the Leopold Center calendar.
NEW PARTNER: The Leopold Center and the Iowa Water Center are working together on what's been called the challenge of this century—climate change. The Leopold Center is supporting the Iowa Water Center's current Institute Research Grants program that will fund research related to climate variability and how we manage water resources. Proposals are due November 18. Directors of both centers signed the recent Iowa Climate Statement.
CLEAN WATER: Speaking of water, the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship and Iowa Department of Natural Resources have launched a new website that they hope will improve the state's water quality. The site is related to the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy that outlines numerous farming practices that can improve water quality, many of them supported by Leopold Center research. Go to www.cleanwateriowa.org
FREDUCATION: If you've ever visited with our Distinguished Fellow Fred Kirschenmann, you know exactly what a group of Ames High School students meant when they coined this term to explain what they learned from him about sustainability. In Washington, D.C. metro transit train riders will see the work of this group, which is also featured on the Lexicon of Sustainability website. The students explored several topics ("Freducation" among them) and developed multi-media presentations. They also visited the nation's capital to share their experiences.