Cover crop, saturated buffer, soil health and more field day planned for August 1 near Slater

July 11, 2017

Ames, Iowa—Iowa Learning Farms will host a cover crop, saturated buffer, soil health and more field day Tuesday, August 1st. The 6:00-8:30 p.m. field day will be held at Lee Tesdell’s farm, rural Slater.  The field day is free and open to the public and includes a complimentary meal.

Lee Tesdell and his tenants, Mike and Charles Helland, farm a Century Farm that has been in the Tesdell family since 1884.  On Alleman Creek, within the Four Mile Creek Watershed, the farm includes a variety of conservation practices including cover crops, terraces, buffer strips, bioreactor, and waterway. This year that list is expanding to include prairie strips and a saturated buffer. Lee, Mike, and Charles will share how they work together to address soil conservation and water quality issues to advance land stewardship goals.

Also speaking at the field day is Amanda Brown, Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District and Four Mile Creek Watershed Project Coordinator.  She will share information on the saturated buffer installation project starting this summer and how the practice will reduce nitrates entering Alleman Creek.  Tim Youngquist with the Prairie STRIPS Project will discuss the project and the strips planned for the farm. Mark Licht, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Cropping Specialist, will lead a discussion on improving soil health with practices that reduce soil erosion.

The field day will begin at the Tesdell Century Farm, 300 NW 158th Ave, Slater. From Slater, head east on IA-210 for 4 miles. Turn right to go south on US-69 S for 2 miles. Turn right onto NE 158th Ave and go west for about 1 mile. Farm will be on the south side of the road.

The workshop is free and open to the public, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. Contact Liz Juchems at 515-294-5429 or email

For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit the website:

Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation, encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable. Partners of Iowa Learning Farms are the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319), and Conserva­tion Districts of Iowa.