Iowa Learning Farms Hits the Road with New Conservation Station

July 16, 2018

The Conservation Station On the Edge brings conservation methodologies, facts, and support to farmers across Iowa.

Iowa Learning Farms (ILF), a hands-on education and outreach program providing farmers throughout Iowa with information and best practices in soil, water, and nutrient management solutions, has launched its latest traveling educational trailer. The Conservation Station On the Edge features saturated buffer and bioreactor models to demonstrate how these edge of field practices are installed and how the natural nitrate removal process works.

 “The conservation methods being demonstrated are actually under ground and hidden from view once implemented,” said Matt Helmers, professor of agriculture and biosystems engineering at Iowa State University and faculty advisor to ILF. “The working scale models allow farmers to visualize how these systems work, reduces uncertainty, and helps them grasp the low level of maintenance required to maintain the benefits. We are very excited to bring these new solutions to farmers and address any questions or concerns that might crop up.”

The new graphics and updated demonstrations incorporate research validating the advantages of these practices to reduce nitrates in our waterways. In addition, the ILF team is prepared to consult with farmers about individual requirements, potential cost-sharing resources, and best practices in preparing and implementing a conservation plan.

The On the Edge platform will be on display at the following locations throughout the summer. Please stop by to see these important solutions in action. Field day details can be found at

Date                              Event                                                                                                          Location

July 11                          NW Research Farm Field Day                                                                    Sutherland

July 17                          Prairie Rivers Field Day at FEEL                                                                Boone

July 18                          5th Annual Borlaug Ag Institute                                                                  Cresco

July 21                          Linn County Conservation Tour                                                                  Center Point

August 4                      Mitchell County Fair                                                                                     Osage

August 7                      Saturated Buffer, Cover Crops Field Day                                                    Walcott

August 9                      Dickinson County Edge of Field Practice Field Day                                   Spirit Lake

August 22                    Walnut Creek Watershed Edge of Field Practice Field Day                       Polk County

August 23                    Poweshiek County Bioreactor Field Day                                                    Brooklyn

August 28 to 30         Farm Progress Show                                                                                   Boone

September 5              Dordt College Edge of Field Practice Field Day                                          Sioux Center

September 6              PFI Field Day Hosted by Dennis Carney                                                    Marble Rock

September 13           LICA Edge of Field Practice Field Day                                                         Melbourne


To learn more about Iowa Learning Farms outreach and education programs, please visit

About Iowa Learning Farms:

Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms (ILF) is building a Culture of Conservation by 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 include Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA Section 319), ISU’s Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, Conservation Districts of Iowa, Iowa Farm Bureau, and Practical Farmers of Iowa.