SfL NetworkThe Iowa Smart Agriculture Work Group
Iowa Smart Agriculture Work Group
Solutions from the Land and Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences are supporting a special self-directed Work Group, composed of Iowa agricultural thought leaders and value chain partners, who together are exploring and assessing the impacts that extreme weather events and changing climatic conditions are having and are expected to have on the state’s number one industry. Farmers, agribusinesses and rural communities across the state are already experiencing the impacts of climate change and know that the threats to their livelihood are increasing. The overarching goal of this project is to inspire and empower agricultural leaders to become leaders in the broader discussion of climate smart agriculture (CSA), including adaptation and mitigation strategies.
Through the Iowa Smart Agriculture Initiative, agricultural, business, academic, government and conservation leaders are examining ways to keep Iowa agriculture profitable while providing nutritious food, clean energy, and ecosystem services such as water filtration and carbon sequestration.
Assist Iowa agriculture leaders
with the tools and knowledge they need to make informed decisions and manage new risks under changing conditions; and
Mobilize thought leaders
Work Group Activities
Work Group Meetings
The inaugural meeting of the Iowa Smart Agriculture Work Group was held July 9, 2018, in Corning, Iowa. This exploratory effort approached questions such as “What conditions are you experiencing on your farm or in your operation?” “What is the state of knowledge about the conditions producers will encounter going forward?” “Are adequate adaptation strategies/plans in place to meet the challenges producers are facing?”
As producers agreed that there was a need for more discussion of these topics, a second Work Group meeting was held at the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment on August 29, 2019. Presenters such as Dennis Todey, Midwest Regional Climate Hub and Jerry Hatfield, USDA, ARS presented and facilitated conversations between farmers on climate mitigation, adaptation, and what science tells us to expect for current and future conditions in Iowa. A vision for the future of Iowa’s agriculture and its role in a changing climate emerged.
Anaerobic Digester Project
A pilot project currently being designed, developed and undertaken by the IASA Work Group in partnership with the Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and C-CHANGE brings agricultural thought leaders and value chain partners from around the state together to explore and assess the impacts that extreme weather events and changing climatic conditions are having and are expected to have on the state’s top industry.
Among the work group’s first orders of business is developing a potential research/demonstration project to explore the synergistic relationship between commodity crop growers and livestock producers using cover crops as a supplemental feedstock for anaerobic digesters. Looking into integrated cover crop-digester technologies from Missouri to Germany, the group searches for ways to make digesters profitable through co-products like fertilizer as well as renewable energy. Read more…
Vision of Iowa White Paper
A drafting team of volunteer leaders is currently constructing a white paper outlining a future vision for Iowa agriculture and pathways for how it can be attained. Meeting each Tuesday morning, the team has forged consensus around a draft vision statement, outlined goals and desired outcomes, and is now working on constructing enabling policy, research, finance, infrastructure and other recommendations to achieve them. Key pathways the group are focusing on are diversification and the application of circular economy principles to agriculture in the state.
In the Press
Stories from Iowa Leaders
Agriculture in a Changing Climate: What the Future Holds for Iowa--- To continue the task of the Work Group and open the conversation to more stakeholders, the Iowa Smart Agriculture Initiative hosted a special forum on climate change in partnership with the Iowa...
IASA Project News
Check out SfL updates related to the Iowa Smart Agriculture Work Group.