Things We Learned in Iowa

Want to learn more? Click for the first in a series we wrote based on our talk at NatGLC’s 2016 National Grazinglands Conference.

This past week, Rachel and I were in Iowa presenting at the Iowa Forage and Grassland Council and the Practical Farmers of Iowa conferences. We got to talk about separating science from pseudoscience; on cows as guardians of pastures, habitat and good soils; and about teaching livestock to eat weeds so they can do even more for your pastures. We had a great time and we learned a lot! We’ll share a few examples here, and we’ll be sharing a lot more in future issues of On Pasture.

1. Iowa Loves Its Farms and Farmers!

When I’m in an airport, I play this game where I try to find evidence of agriculture awareness. I look for books about it in the bookstore, or just some sign that a regular person might know that they wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for farmers. The Des Moines Airport is the first place I’ve ever been where farmers were front and center. Our hotels got into the act too with some beautiful artwork. And at Iowa State University we saw our first ever mosaic ag murals.

From the airport…
This was the wall behind the check in desk at our Des Moines hotel
The Best Western in Ames had great farm art, and really helpful and friendly staff.
One of the many beautiful photos in the Ames Best Western
Ames Best Western
One of the murals in the Hanson Agriculture Student Learning Center at Iowa State University.
Here’s part of the mosaic beef mural.

2. The team at Iowa State University has lots of great resources for new and beginning graziers

Friday morning we got to spend time with the Iowa Beef Center Team to talk about how we can work together to share information with On Pasture readers and with folks in Iowa. They’ve got a wealth of resources for new and beginning graziers as well as folks wanting to improve their operations and we’ll be working with them to share information with the On Pasture community. In the meantime, if you’re in Iowa, we highly recommend their educational events that you can find here.

We also got some great information on silage production, interseeding alfalfa in corn, some new techniques for getting water to stock in pasture, and so much more. Stay tuned!

Finally, thanks to our hosts in Iowa! We appreciate you including us in your conferences and we look forward to working with you in the future.

Thanks for reading!

Kathy and Rachel

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