Iowa Learning Farms Special Webinar: A Systems Approach to Soil and Water Conservation

November 11, 2019

AMES, Iowa— Iowa Learning Farms will host a special webinar on Monday, November 18 at 7:00 p.m. about using the systems approach to soil and water conservation with Dr. Benjamin Turner from Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

This lecture will highlight research, grounded in systems thinking, aimed at better understanding the dynamics underpinning contemporary soil and water conservation challenges. This approach synthesizes knowledge across disciplinary boundaries and utilizes methods from social, natural, and computer modeling sciences.

Key learnings include how agricultural producers’ land ethics and the incentives of contemporary agricultural policy shift land transformation towards greater cultivation, the effects of which alter soil ecosystem functions, including delayed soil legacy effects that may alter the dynamics of runoff and stream sediment loading. The trade-offs between alternative agricultural policies, the role of the growing soil health movement, and how the systems approach can be utilized to better understand and prioritize emergent soil and water resource management problems will also be discussed. 

The lecture will be held in 2432 Food Sciences Building at Iowa State University at 7:00pm. To watch remotely, go to and click the link to join the lecture shortly before 7:00 p.m. on November 18, to download the Zoom software and log in option. The webinar will be recorded and archived on the ILF website for watching at any time at

Lecture sponsors include Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Iowa Nutrient Research Center, Iowa Learning Farms, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and Iowa State Departments of Agronomy, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Natural Resource Ecology and Management and Sociology.

Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms 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 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 GROWMARK, Inc.


Liz Juchems                                                    Jacqueline Comito

Conservation and Cover Cop Specialist         ILF Program Director                             

515-294-5429                                                   515-296-0081