Farmers all over Iowa are taking on the challenge of improving water quality and saving soil. In all of our state’s 99 counties, you’ll find farmers planting cover crops, building wetlands and adopting other conservation practices.

But there’s one place, Washington County in southeast Iowa, where farmers’ implementation of conservation practices is especially impressive.

Washington County’s conservation ethic is highlighted in a recent online video produced by Field Work. You can find it at

Mitchell Hora, who farms in Washington County, teams up with Zach Johnson, a Minnesota farmer and YouTube star known as the Millennial Farmer, to produce the Field Work podcasts. They also put together some videos, including one called Zach and Mitchell’s Excellent Conser­vation Adventure. In it, they ex­­plore why some areas of the country, like Washington County, become conservation hot spots.

They traced the county’s strong conservation roots back a few prominent farm families who, decades ago, became dedicated to reducing soil loss. Those farmers experimented with reduced tillage, working with local extension agents. Others developed the equipment needed to use conservation tillage. Importantly, the pioneering farmers shared the knowledge with friends and neighbors.

Now a younger generation in Washington County is building on those decades of work and taking the conservation efforts even further. It’s really an excellent adventure and a showplace of Iowa conservation.