Friday, October 31, 2008

Gulf Guardian Award

I feel privileged that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship was nominated along with the Iowa Farm Service Agency and Iowa Farm Bureau to receive the “Gulf Guardian Award”.

We partnered to addressing Gulf hypoxia and enhance local water quality by reducing nitrate and phosphorus transport to water resources from cropped landscapes. The Department’s work is done through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, or CREP, which is designed specifically to reduce the nutrients from leaving Iowa and having and impact down stream. Clearly there is more work to be done, but we are making progress. Iowa farmers are committed to protecting the air, soil and water that has made our state so productive.
Perhaps the greatest experience was going to New Orleans to accept the award, tour the hypoxic zone and seeing all the work of Iowa farmers, landowners, and conservation agencies firsthand.