Soil 2017: Sustaining our Iowa Land

Plenary Sessions

Role of Landowners in Land Stewardship

Prof. Neil Hamilton

Prof. Neil Hamilton addresses issues facing farmers as they seek to be good stewards of their land and the land they rent. He is the Dwight D. Opperman Chair of Law and Emeritus Director of the Agricultural Law Center at Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa.

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Conservation and Economics Working Together

Dr. Jerry Hatfield

Dr. Hatfield addresses how landowners can base their conservation planning around the return on investment that can benefit their farmland and its value. Dr. Jerry Hatfield is laboratory director of the USDA-ARS National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment.

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The Power of On-Farm Data

Dan Frieberg

Dan Frieberg discusses the growing prominence of the use of "big data" in farming operations. He is CEO of Premier Crop Systems, LLC. Premier Crop is a leading precision ag data processing and analysis company located in Des Moines and is entering their 19th crop year.

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Concurrent Session Workshops

Sustainable and Systematic Leasing

Greg Townsend

Landowners have an obligation to insure their land investment is being taken care of in a responsible manner. What does sustainable mean to a landowner and their farmer, and how do you measure the value it brings? Greg will get you to think about how your current leasing arrangement can be improved to make sure your land will be better than when you started. Greg Townsend, Executive Director, Farmland Stewardship Solutions.

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The Costs of Soil Mismanagement

Stan Buman

Think of your farm asset like a beach home. Under its current management method, will it retain its productivity? Stan will talk about the value of your soil asset and long-term productivity. Stan Buman, Soil & Water Conservation Manager, Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN

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Your Farm as an Ecosystem

Lisa Schulte Moore

Your farm does more than produce crops: it’s pulsing with nature’s processes and teeming with life! Learn the basics of interpreting your farm as an ecosystem and tools for balancing crop production with other goals you may have for your farm. Lisa Schulte Moore, Professor of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Iowa State University

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Having Open Communications with Your Tenant

Mark Gannon

Many times tenant-landowner relationship issues are due to lack of communication. Most of the time this is due to the owner not being clear what the expectations are and then following through. Mark will offer suggestions on setting goals and working with the tenant to accomplish these goals. Mark Gannon is owner Gannon Real Estate & Consulting

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Discovering Solutions for Engaging Non-Operator Landowners

Seth Harden

Adoption of conservation practices is low, especially on rented lands. A TNC and Purdue University collaboration is conducting research and implementing a trial program with nonoperator landowners (NOLS) in order to provide insights into how to provide assistance and services that increase adoption of conservation practices. Seth Harden, Upper Wabash River Project Director for The Nature Conservancy

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Navigating Land Improvement Programs

Matt Russell and Dana Holland

How can landowners use government conservation programs to improve their farms? Matt and Dana provide an overview of available programs and how to use them. Much of this session will be Q&A. Matt Russell, Resilient Agriculture Coordinator, Drake University Agricultural Law Center and Dana Holland, District Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA

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The Benefits of Working with Land Trusts

Joe McGovern

With 97% of Iowa in private ownership, it is imperative that landowners are aware of all the tools available to them to make informed decision for the future of their land. Joe will explain how working with Land Trusts to implement voluntary land protection may also have significant financial benefits. This will include all working lands, like agriculture and forestry, as well as wildlife habitat, water quality, outdoor recreation and open space preservation. Joe McGovern is President, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

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Soil Health Coming of Age

Elyssa McFarland

Learn more about your soil from the day to day management of a business to the larger impact on the global agricultural markets. Everyone is interested in soil and we look forward to having you participate in this discussion, just don’t call it dirt! Elyssa McFarland is Iowa Field Manager, Soil Health Partnership

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Preserving Your Family’s Heritage

Angela Tedesco

What is your family’s farm story and how would you like it remembered? We’ll look at ways others have preserved their legacy and how you might do it. Angela Tedesco is a retired farmer and owner of Turtle Farm.

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Panel Discussions

Landowers Panel

Prof. Neil Hamilton, Moderator

Jack Cavanah, Carole Reichardt, Inez Smith and Kenneth Specht discuss and respond to questions about land and soil management from the perspectives of landowners.

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Producers Panel

Greg Townsend, Moderator

Kellie Blair, Jeff Pape, Bret Pierce, and Elyssa McFarland discuss and respond to questions about land and soil management from perspectives of those who rent land to farm.

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