More than 92,000 crop and livestock farms dot Iowa with the farm families who own and manage them providing stewardship of nearly 31 million acres. Leading up to Earth Day April 22, the Iowa Food & Family Project (www.iowafoodandfamily.com) is showcasing how Iowa's farm families are covering Iowa (literally!) with practices dedicated to improving soil and water quality.
The photo project is called #FarmersCoverIowa and depicts environmental improvements used by farmers. They include reduced tillage, cover crops, the proper application of livestock nutrients, grassed waterways and water retention ponds, to name a few.
Farmers are encouraged to snap a photo and send it in to post
"Iowa's landscape is being transformed with the construction of modern livestock barns and the implementation of more soil conservation practices in more locations," points out Aaron Putze, coordinator of Iowa Food & Family and communications director for the Iowa Soybean Association. "With the added interest in the topic of water quality this spring, providing a forum for farmers to showcase the many practices they're using to cover Iowa takes on added importance."
Wayne Fredericks grows corn and soybean near Osage in northeast Iowa. The Mitchell County farmer uses conservation tillage, restores wildlife habitat and plants cover crops. He encourages farmers to participate in the photo project as they take to the fields this spring.
More farmer participation needed in soil and water protection
Farmers are being encouraged to put more soil and water conservation practices to work on their farms. "Farmers are stewards of the land and are always striving to leave it better than they found it," says Fredericks. "Many engage in numerous conservation practices and have for years. Together, we're increasing the pace and scale of soil and water conservation practices that are proven to work."
To participate in the photo project, you need to snap a photo of the conservation practice or landscape you observe and post to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with #FarmersCoverIowa. Participants are encouraged to identify the practice and the county in which it's located. An ongoing album of photographs of how farmers are covering Iowa will be featured on the Iowa Food and Family Project Facebook Page.
The Iowa FFP champions the continuous improvement of Iowa's farm families and their dedication to providing wholesome food for everyone. It involves nearly 40 farm and foodservice partners and proudly serves as presenting sponsor of the Iowa Games and supporter of Live Healthy Iowa. The FFP is funded in part by the Iowa soybean, pork, dairy, beef, egg, corn and turkey checkoffs.