Conservation Station joins Farm Bureau at Iowa State Fair

The Conservation Station and the Farm Bureau are teaming up at the Iowa State Fair, Aug. 7-17, to promote that “Conservation Counts.”
 
The Conservation Station will be at Farm Bureau Park, located between the Administration Building and the Varied Industries Building, during the fair. Iowa Learning Farms (ILF) and Water Rocks! team members and volunteers will be demonstrating the rainfall simulator, Enviroscape, and conducting the “Poo Toss” challenge game.
 
The Conservation Station’s rainfall simulator shows the effects of rainfall on different surfaces including intense tillage, conservation tillage and no-till, and urban surfaces including pervious pavements, sod, and a green roof. The “Poo Toss” challenge game and Enviroscape demonstration are fun, hands-on learning activities for kids and adults alike. Learn why dog poo and other pollutants should be kept out of water bodies, and then participate for prizes in the “Poo Toss” challenge.
 
Everyone can help to improve water quality—whether in a big way or in a small way. Conservation farming practices including no-till or strip-till, cover crops, nutrient management, and structures such as terraces, buffers and grassed waterways all help to reduce nutrients and soil leaving the fields and entering rivers and streams. Urban residents can help by using less herbicides and pesticides on their lawns, installing rain barrels, planting rain gardens and using less water in general.
 
To help promote the message “Conservation Counts,” each day of the fair WHO-Radio AM1040 will air live interviews with farmers who are practicing good conservation methods and with experts who can help people to reduce water pollution and improve soil health. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and Jacqueline Comito, program director for Water Rocks! and Iowa Learning Farms, are scheduled for interviews on Thursday, the opening day of the fair.
 
Since 2010, the Conservation Station has traveled to every Iowa county at least once for demonstrations at fairs, field days, festivals, and farmers markets as well as school visits and outdoor classrooms, all for free. To request the Conservation Station or a visit from the Water Rocks! team, complete the online request form on the website: www.waterrocks.org.
 
Partners of Water Rocks! are Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA Section 319), Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Water Center and Iowa Learning Farms.
 
For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit the website: www.extension.iastate.edu/ilf/. Iowa Learning Farms is a partnership between the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA Section 319); in cooperation with Conserva­tion Districts of Iowa, the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and the Iowa Water Center.
 
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