Iowa's Conservation Partnership Day Includes WFAN Programs

WFAN collaborator Jean Eells represented the Women Caring for the Land program at Iowa's Conservation Partnership Day at the Iowa Capitol on January 17. Susan Kozak, Mines and Minerals Bureau Chief of IDALS Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality represented Women, Land and Legacy. This was the first time the Women, Food and Agriculture Network, Women Caring for the Land and Women, Land and Legacy were included as partners. The Lt. Governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds (who will become Iowa’s first female Governor due to the impending appointment of our current Governor to US Ambassador to China) toured soil and water conservation displays set up in the Capitol building rotunda area. There were displays from DNR, IDALS, Conservation Districts of Iowa, NRCS, Iowa Learning Farms, and others.

Eells did a soil health demonstration with canning jars and soil chunks to demonstrate how healthy soils hold together and poor soils dissolve. She told Reynolds about our efforts to bring conservation information to women landowners.  She explained her work as STEM education for women over 60 because "science wasn't a vocational option for most women back then.

"That definitely made her smile since she’s a proponent of STEM education. Although there’s hardly more time to talk to her than a photo op on these days, it was nice to have an opportunity to show that WFAN and Women, Land and Legacy are helping to carry the water with our conservation agency partners for conservation outreach for women," Eells said.

Other highlights from the event included:

  • 40 Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners from 27 Soil and Water Conservation Districts were in attendance. 50 legislators were spoken to over the course of the day.
  • Lt. Governor Reynolds toured the rotunda as did Secretary Northey. Deputy Secretary Mike Naig, NRCS State Conservationist Kurt Simon, DNR Director Chuck Gipp, DNR Deputy Director Bruce Trautman and ISU Extension and Outreach Director John Lawrence were in attendance as well.
  • 9 displays featured a Commissioner, Private Sector Partners, Women Landowner, Farmer with CREP Wetland, Conservation Assistant, Soil Conservation Technician, Watershed Coordinators and a Monitoring Booth.
  • Partner displays included the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship – Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Learning Farms and Land Improvement Contractors of America.