Conservation on Tap Event Will Help Connect Iowans with Conservation Experts

Iowa Learning Farms social to focus on conversations about conservation

May 1, 2023, 12:26 pm | Ann Staudt, Elizabeth Ripley

ANKENY, Iowa – Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with Des Moines Water Works and the Conservation Learning Group, will host the first of three “Conservation On Tap” events on Thursday, May 18, from 6-7 p.m. at Firetrucker Brewery in Ankeny, located at 176 SW 3rd St., Ankeny.

The event will provide local farmers, landowners and urban residents with a chance to discuss conservation topics and ask questions. There will also be an opportunity for networking following the event.

Iowa Learning Farms is a conservation program with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The event is free to attend, but prior registration is required. To ensure adequate space and food, register by May 15 by calling 515-294-5429 or email

Prairie flowers.“Our intent with this event is to help build community through encouraging farmers, landowners and urban residents to talk about topics important within the community, what keeps them up at night, what challenges they see with conservation practices and what they want to learn more about,” said Liz Ripley, Iowa Learning Farms conservation and cover crop outreach specialist.

“There will be no formal presentations or agenda, just a chance to talk, ask questions, listen and learn while enjoying a beverage and provided food. We are looking forward to learning alongside everyone else who attends,” she continued.

Hosts will include Ted Corrigan, CEO and general manager of Des Moines Water Works; Mark Licht, associate professor and extension cropping systems specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach; and Liz Ripley, conservation and cover crop outreach specialist with Iowa Learning Farms. Staff from Firetrucker Brewery will also discuss how water quality impacts brewing.

“This is another opportunity for us to partner with like-minded organizations who truly want to see improvements in water quality in our watersheds and want to be part of the solution,” Corrigan said.

“We look forward to this series of discussions and to engaging with attendees about where their water comes from and the water quality challenges we face in our state. We need interested landowners and citizens involved in not only discussing these challenges, but being part of the solution for improved water quality.”

Licht, who will also be joining the discussion, has a background in soil and crop science. His extension, research and teaching program is focused on how to holistically manage Iowa cropping systems to achieve productivity, profitability and environmental goals.

Liz Ripley learned the importance of soil conservation and water quality by growing up on a farm, an experience that propelled her decision to pursue a career in agriculture and conservation. With the Iowa Learning Farms, Ripley works with farmers and landowners to explore which practice options will align with their farming operation and provide best management recommendations for successful implementation of those practices.

To learn more about planned field days, virtual field days, webinars and other conservation events, visit

Upcoming Conservation On Tap events in the area include:

  • Thursday, Aug. 31, 6-7 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 19, 6-7 p.m.
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