Virtual Field Day February 18: C-CHANGE - Utilizing Perennial Biomass and Prairie for Renewable Natural Gas

February 2, 2021

AMES, Iowa—Iowa Learning Farms is hosting a free virtual field day discussing the utilization of perennial biomass and prairie for renewable natural gas generation using digesters on Thursday, February 18 at 1 p.m. CST. Join us for a live discussion with Matt Helmers, Iowa Nutrient Research Center Director, and Dan Ciolkosz, Penn State Agricultural and Biological Engineering associate research professor.

The virtual field day is presented in partnership with Consortium for Cultivating Human And Naturally reGenerative Enterprises (C-CHANGE), Penn State University, Iowa Nutrient Research Center, and Conservation Learning Group (CLG). This project is supported by USDA NIFA award 2020-68012-31824.

C-CHANGE is advancing research, education, and extension to support development of a new biobased value chain that is examining production of renewable natural gas through the anaerobic digestion of biomass combined with manure. The project is leveraging successful digestion of manure business models to encompass new agricultural feedstocks, more diverse products, and increased value throughout the supply chain. This virtual field day will provide an introduction for growing perennial vegetation and prairie and how anaerobic digesters produce renewable natural gas.

“Perennials and prairie hold great potential to substantially reduce nitrate-N leaching,” noted Helmers on the additional benefits from increasing perennial vegetation and prairie on the landscape while providing fuel for renewable natural gas production.

"Join us to learn some of the basics of how a farm digester works,” said Ciolkosz. “This field day will help you envision what a biogas digester might look like on your farm.”

To participate in the live virtual field day at 1:00 pm CST on February 18 to learn more about the innovative technology used for site selection, click this URL: or visit and click “Join Live Virtual Field Day”.

 Or, join from a dial-in phone line:

    Dial: +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923

    Meeting ID: 914 1198 4892

The field day will be recorded and archived on the ILF website so that it can be watched at any time. The archive will be available at

Participants may be eligible for a Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit (CEU). Information about how to apply to receive the credit (if approved) will be provided at the end of the live field day.

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, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319) and GROWMARK, Inc.



Liz Ripley

Conservation Outreach Specialist