Agribusiness
Upcoming Workshop Spotlights Beneficial Insects PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Joy Venhorst   
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 15:31

AMES, Iowa – Farmers, researchers and native plant aficionados are invited to a one-day workshop exploring how to enhance the ecosystem services provided by beneficial insects. Iowa State University’s Departments of Entomology and Natural Resource Ecology and Management, with support from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, will host the workshop on Aug. 4.

Beneficial insects provide services like pollination and the suppression of pests. Farmers and gardeners can encourage these insects by creating a refuge that supplies them a source of pollenand nectar. At the workshop, participants will learn how to identify helpful insects and the native plants that attract them. Experts will discuss how to create resilient landscapes that provide multiple services, and federal and state programs that help support this form of conservation.

Participants will have a chance to examine insect specimens and visit the Field Extension Education Laboratory (FEEL), where researchers are testing the ability of native plants to attract helpful species, like bees and lady beetles.

Speakers include Iowa State’s Lisa Schulte and Mary Harris, natural resource ecology and management, Kelly Seman and Matt O’Neal, entomology, Meghann Jarchow, agronomy and Practical Farmers of Iowa representative, Sarah Carlson.

The workshop will take place at FEEL, five miles west of Ames. Register by July 15 at www.aep.iastate.edu/ent. Reduced hotel rates are available for out-of-town visitors through the ISU Memorial Union. Lunch will be provided.

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Upcoming Workshop Spotlights Beneficial Insects PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Joy Venhorst   
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 15:31

AMES, Iowa – Farmers, researchers and native plant aficionados are invited to a one-day workshop exploring how to enhance the ecosystem services provided by beneficial insects. Iowa State University’s Departments of Entomology and Natural Resource Ecology and Management, with support from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, will host the workshop on Aug. 4.

Beneficial insects provide services like pollination and the suppression of pests. Farmers and gardeners can encourage these insects by creating a refuge that supplies them a source of pollenand nectar. At the workshop, participants will learn how to identify helpful insects and the native plants that attract them. Experts will discuss how to create resilient landscapes that provide multiple services, and federal and state programs that help support this form of conservation.

Participants will have a chance to examine insect specimens and visit the Field Extension Education Laboratory (FEEL), where researchers are testing the ability of native plants to attract helpful species, like bees and lady beetles.

Speakers include Iowa State’s Lisa Schulte and Mary Harris, natural resource ecology and management, Kelly Seman and Matt O’Neal, entomology, Meghann Jarchow, agronomy and Practical Farmers of Iowa representative, Sarah Carlson.

The workshop will take place at FEEL, five miles west of Ames. Register by July 15 at www.aep.iastate.edu/ent. Reduced hotel rates are available for out-of-town visitors through the ISU Memorial Union. Lunch will be provided.

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Iowa Learning Farms Offers June 28 Bus Tour of Kossuth County CREP Wetlands PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Joy Venhorst   
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 15:25

AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms (ILF) and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) are hosting a bus tour of Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) wetlands in Kossuth County on Tuesday, June 28, from 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Registered attendees can park and meet the motor coach at the Kossuth County Fairgrounds in Algona, where the bus will depart from and return to at the end of the tour. The tour is free and is limited to 40 pre-registered participants. To register, call 515-294-5429, or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The fairgrounds are located on the south side of Algona on Highway 169.

The tour will include stops at two completed CREP wetland sites east of Algona. Tour participants are encouraged to bring their hiking boots or waders for an up-close look at these structures. Matt Lechtenberg and Shawn Richmond, CREP specialists with IDALS, Iowa State University Extension water quality engineer Matt Helmers and farmer-landowners who have installed CREP wetlands will lead the tour and talk about the benefits, installation and financial incentives for these structures.

Thirty-seven counties in north-central Iowa are eligible for enrollment in CREP. Research at Iowa State University has demonstrated that strategically sited and designed wetlands can remove 40-90 percent of nitrates and more than 70 percent of herbicides from cropland drainage waters. These areas are as beautiful as they are functional.

Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation, encouraging adoption of residue management and conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF staff are working together to encourage farmers to implement the best in-field management practices that increase water and soil quality while remaining profitable.

Iowa Learning Farms is a partnership between the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the USEPA (section 319); in cooperation with Conservation Districts of Iowa and the Iowa Farm Bureau.

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Grassley Requests that a Farm Bill Field Hearing be Held in Iowa PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Grassley Press   
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 14:51

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley today made a request to the leadership of the Senate Agriculture Committee that Iowa host a field hearing to discuss the next farm bill.

In his letter to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow and Ranking Member Pat Roberts, Grassley said that Iowa is one of the leading states in producing a number of agricultural products and that the state lies in the heart of the farm belt.  Iowa is the number one producer of corn, soybeans, pork, and eggs.

“Iowa agriculture is crucial to the health of the economy of the state, and supports thousands of non-farm jobs around the state,” Grassley said.  “In addition, the committee has a history of conducting field hearings in Iowa as it considers farm bill legislation.”

Here is a copy of the text of the letter.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Honorable Debbie Stabenow
Chairwoman, Committee on Agriculture 
Nutrition and Forestry
Russell Senate Office Building 328A
Washington, D.C. 205 10-6000

The Honorable Pat Roberts
Ranking Member, Committee on Agriculture
Nutrition and Forestry
Russell Senate Office Building 328A
Washington, D.C. 20510-6000

Dear Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Roberts:

I appreciate your leadership in moving the committee forward in considering the upcoming farm bill. The hearings held so far have provided very insightful information, and I am looking forward to upcoming discussions.

As you consider future committee hearings, I urge you to conduct a field hearing in my home state of Iowa.  Iowa is one of the leading states in producing a number of agricultural products.  It lies in the heart of the farm belt and is home to some of the most innovative and dynamic agriculture businesses in the world. In addition, there are countless examples throughout the state which highlight the tremendous work accomplished through rural development programs. Consequently, the committee has a history of conducting field hearings in Iowa as it considers farm bill legislation.

The policies set in the next farm bill have a tremendous impact on not only farmers, but all Iowans, as there are thousands of non-farm jobs supported by agriculture. Conducting a field hearing in Iowa will give the committee a tremendous opportunity to hear from farmers, rural Americans, companies leading the way in agriculture innovation, and other citizens impacted by farm bill programs.

You have recently received a letter from Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey extending an invitation for the committee to have a hearing in Iowa, and they have graciously offered to assist in hosting the hearing. I join them in inviting you to schedule a hearing in Iowa, and I urge you to take them up on their offer to assist in hosting the hearing.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please let me know, or get in touch with my staff.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley
United States Senator

 

 

 
NOMINATIONS SOUGHT FOR THE “MOSES 2012 ORGANIC FARMER OF THE YEAR” AWARD PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Greg Leaf   
Monday, 20 June 2011 12:56
SPRING VALLEY, WI – The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) is seeking nominations for the “MOSES 2012 Organic Farmer of the Year” award which will be presented at the 23nd annual MOSES Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin, February 23-25, 2012.

MOSES will, for the 10th year, recognize an outstanding organic farmer or farm family who are innovators; who excel in managing their farm resources such as soil, water, wildlife, and biodiversity; and who serve as educators and shining examples in their communities and to the next generation of organic farmers.

“The Organic Farmer of the Year award is such a great opportunity to showcase the best in organic farming to a wide audience; farmers of all persuasions in rural and urban communities alike,” said Linda Halley, MOSES board president. “Recognition of an Organic Farmer of the Year allows us all to say a public thanks to a farmer who has been a model and a teacher. It also says to the rest of the agricultural community, ‘Check it out! This is why we’re proud of organic farming!’”

Those who wish to nominate a farmer for the award must complete and return the nomination form which is available by calling the MOSES office at 715-778-5775 or at the MOSES website, www.mosesorganic.org/foy.html. All nominations are due by September 15, 2011.

The MOSES Organic Farmer of the Year award includes a cash gift of $500, full registration to the 2012 Organic Farming Conference, lodging during the conference, and a gift certificate redeemable at the conference book sales booth.

The Vetter Family of The Grain Place in Marquette, Nebraska, received the 2011 Organic Farmer of the Year Award. The Vetters have a diversified farm and affiliated processing company where they grow and process a number of specialty crops including edible soybeans, edible dry beans, blue and white corn, popcorn, heirloom barley, flax, amaranth, lupines, sunflowers and pasture.

The Vetters’ care for their farm, its biodiversity and bounty, is informed by their deep spiritual bond with the land. They are outstanding stewards of its natural resources and shining examples in their community.

MOSES is a non-profit education and outreach organization working to promote organic agriculture in the Upper Midwest. MOSES provides education, resources and training to farmers interested in learning more about organic and sustainable farming practices.

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