Field Days & Events

Field Days & Events Check out upcoming field days and other events that you can attend to learn about the conservation techniques.

Union County Pollinator Field Day
August 26 (12 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.)
O’Riley Center
417 Wyoming Ave
Creston, IA 50801 

Event details: Landowners and families who want to learn more about planting monarch and pollinator habitat should attend this pollinator habitat field day. 

Lunch will be provided by Iowa Corn followed by a field tour of pollinator habitat. The event is being hosted by Iowa State University Extension, Pheasants Forever, USDA-NRCS, and Union Soil and Water Conservation District. 

Dana Schweitzer, coordinator for the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium, will give an overview of monarch biology. Kelsey Fleming, farm bill biologist with Iowa Pheasants Forever, will share information about habitat assistance and cost share programs to establish habitat on private land. Click here for more information.

Contact Union Soil and Water Conservation District at 641-782-4218 Ext 3 with any questions.
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Ag Engineering and Agronomy Farm Field Day
August 28 (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
Iowa State’s Ag Engineering Agronomy Farm
1308 U Ave
Boone, IA 50036

Event details:  Farmers who are wondering what the wet spring will mean for the rest of the growing season and fall harvest will get some professional insight during Iowa State University’s Ag Engineering and Agronomy Farm Field Day Aug. 28 in Boone.

This year’s event will feature topics related to the challenging growing season, with opportunities for visitors to see equipment in action, and learn about different ways to mitigate soil compaction.

The wet weather issue is much bigger than the events Iowans experienced this spring, according to Meaghan Anderson, field agronomist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

“We have been absolutely hounded with horrible weather issues, not just this spring, but also last fall, and in some cases, last spring as well,” Anderson said.

Farmers are often faced with the challenge of having to enter fields under less than ideal conditions, risking compaction and long-term damage.

Mark Hanna, retired agricultural and biosystems engineering specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, will discuss the different options for limiting compaction from farm equipment. His presentation will include demonstrations of equipment with different tire inflations, tracks and new technology.

Dennis Todey, director of the Midwest Climate Hub at the United States Department of Agriculture, will lead a discussion on the short-term weather outlook for harvest and the kinds of long-term weather trends Iowans are facing.

The field day will include a welcome by Daniel Robison, holder of the Endowed Dean's Chair in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State. Robison officially began his position in January, and is traveling the state to meet Iowans.

The event begins at 8:30 a.m., with on-site registration, and the program runs from 9 a.m. to noon, with a free lunch included.

Attendees can receive 2.5 soil and water Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) continuing education units (CEUs) for attending.

Iowa State’s Ag Engineering and Agronomy Farm is located at 1308 U Ave. Boone, IA 50036. For more information, visit the research farm online, or contact Meaghan Anderson at 515-382-6551 or mjanders@iastate.edu.
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Bioreactor and Monarch Habitat Field Day
August 29 (5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.)
Rob Stout Farm
2449 Hemlock Ave
Washington, IA 52353

Event details: Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and National Wildlife Foundation, will host a bioreactor and monarch habitat field day on Thursday, August 29th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Rob Stout’s farm near Washington. The event is free, open to the whole family and includes a complimentary meal sponsored by Iowa Corn.

Edge of field practices like bioreactors, wetlands and saturated buffers are key to reducing nitrate loss from agricultural land in Iowa. Through a natural biological process microorganisms living in the systems use the incoming nitrate for respiration and reduce the nitrate levels from incoming tile drainage, helping reach the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy goals. In addition to water quality benefits, these practices also provide wildlife opportunities for monarch butterflies, pheasants, quail, and much more!

The agenda will begin with a demonstration of the Iowa Learning Farms Conservation Station On The Edge trailer highlighting what occurs underground in a bioreactor and saturated buffer. Washington County farmer Rob Stout, will lead attendees to one of the first bioreactors in the area that was installed in 2014 and discuss the installation process and results of the first five years of water monitoring.  Taylor Shirley, graduate research assistant at Iowa State University Department of Natural Resources and Ecology Management, will share information about ongoing research on pheasants and quail being conducted on Rob’s farm. Holly Schutt, Pheasants Forever wildlife biologist, will be providing information on establishing and maintaining monarch habitat and how to find areas on your farm that can help provide habitat.

The field day will be held at Rob Stout’s farm, 2449 Hemlock Avenue, Washington, IA 52353. From Washington, head west on 250th St/County Rd G38 for 5 miles. Turn north on Hemlock Avenue for 0.6 miles and the farm will be located on the west side of the road. The bioreactor is located 1.5 miles north of the Stout Farm. The event is free and open to the whole family, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. Please RSVP to Liz Juchems at 515-294-5429 or ilf@iastate.edu.
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Establishing Pollinator Habitat at Scattergood Friends School Farm

September 17 (4 p.m. – 7 p.m.)
258 290 th St
West Branch, IA 52358

Event details: Come learn from Scattergood staff and students, as well as Xerces Society biologist Sarah Foltz Jordan, about the why, when, where and how of pollinator habitat design and installation. Mark and Sarah will address farmer concerns about weed control using organic methods. They will also discuss plugs versus seeds and habitat management. Sarah Nizzi, the Natural Resources Conservation Service partner biologist for Xerces Society, will join to offer insights about cost-share opportunities available through farm bill programs.

SPEAKERS: From Xerces Society – Sarah Foltz Jordan & Sarah Nizzi, Farm Bill Pollinator Conservation Planner and NRCS Partner Biologist in Iowa

Scattergood Friends Farm is part of Scattergood Friends School, a small Quaker boarding school about 15 miles east of Iowa City. The farm includes 8 acres of organic gardens and orchards certified organic by Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and about 30 acres of pasture used to grass-finish beef and lamb. Scattergood also raises a few heritage-breed Guinea hogs, a small flock of turkeys and occasional broiler and laying chicken flocks.

Scattergood primarily grows food for the school, but has in the past produced for farmers markets, New Pioneer Co-op and a small CSA. The school has been an example of an extreme farm-to-school program since 1890, but more recently since 2003, when a decision was made to raise much of the food consumed at Scattergood. Field day host Mark Quee has been the farm manager at Scattergood for 16 years.

Topics:

  • Beneficial insect habitat placement and design
  • Weed control and site preparation using organic methods
  • Insectary strip planting from plugs versus seed
  • Short- and long-term management
  • Ecological benefits of habitat
  • Native-plant tea garden

Dinner will be served following the field day in the Scattergood Friends School cafeteria. Please RSVP here.