Center Update Nov. 10, 2017

The Drake University Agricultural Law Center continues our commitment to lead efforts to improve Iowa’s water quality.

In July, the Center hosted “Sustaining Our Iowa Land (SOIL) 2017: Cultivating Your Investment—Landowners and Stewardship.”  The conference included over 120 speakers and land owners from nearly half the counties in Iowa interested in protecting land, caring for soil and water, and developing the value of Iowa farmland.

“We were excited to partner with Iowa leaders to put more conservation on Iowa farms,” said Neil Hamilton, director emeritus of the Drake Agricultural Law Center. “There is growing concern that Iowa’s commitment to protecting soil and water resources has waned. Our goal is to help landowners re-focus their efforts to not only improve their own farms, but to help Iowa again become a leader in protecting our state’s greatest resource.”

“We help landowners develop the natural resource that is their farm,” said Mark Gannon, owner of Farmland Stewardship Solutions. “This conference was a great way for our company to partner with the Drake Agricultural Law Center and other Iowa groups to empower Iowa farmland owners to combine agricultural productivity and environmental stewardship.”

Agricultural Law Center hosted the event in cooperation with Farmland Stewardship Solutions, the Iowa Water Center, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, and The Nature Conservancy.  Videos are available of all of the presentations from the conference.

Hamilton is also working on two related projects.  “Our Water” is a series of short radio clips.  Listeners can hear the first six commentaries from our website.

The second project is “Iowa Landowner’s Legal Guide”  The guide is still in editing but 10 companion videos are available.

The Agricultural Law Center will continue to partner with organizations and funders to advance the role Iowa agriculture must play in cleaning up our state’s water and protecting our state’s soil.