Members of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF), the state’s largest grassroots farm organization, applauded the passage of Senate File 512 in the Iowa House of Representatives.  The passage of this long-term water quality funding bill received bipartisan support in both chambers and will be sent to the desk of Governor Kim Reynolds for her signature.

The bill was originally passed by the Iowa House in 2016, and the bill was slightly modified and passed the Senate in 2017 before garnering bipartisan support and passage on the House floor, marking the first piece of legislation sent to the Governor Reynolds’ desk during the 2018 legislative session. 

“Iowans agree that water quality improvement is a shared goal, and this legislation is a historic milestone that will help enhance efforts and continue the positive momentum of water quality improvement and soil conservation,” says IFBF President Craig Hill.  “The long-term dedicated funding from the bill over the next 12 years, coupled with the significant farmer investments in conservation, will allow Iowa to continue making big strides toward advancing water quality and soil health.” 

“Iowa Farm Bureau members have been clear that long-term, dedicated funding for conservation and water quality improvement is a top legislative priority for our organization,” Hill continued.  “We want to thank the leadership in the House and the Representatives for their strong support of this historic legislation, and we’d also like to thank Governor Reynolds for her strong desire to sign this legislation into law and for showing a strong commitment to advancing water quality as her first legislative achievement.”   

The dedicated conservation funding will allow Iowa farmers and landowners to continue to grow statewide water quality efforts, provide opportunities for farmers to implement new conservation practices on their farms, and expand opportunities for communities to work together to develop and expand collaborative conservation projects.  In addition to funding locally-led water quality projects, the dedicated funds will allow farmers to scale-up investments in edge-of-field and in-field conservation practices such as wetlands, saturated buffers, and bioreactors to improve water quality. 

“Farmers are taking on the challenge of improving water quality, and we are excited to have the support of the governor and Legislature as we continue this important conversation and work with all Iowans to protect our water quality and soil health,” says Hill.