Iowa Learning Farms Webinar: Reclaiming Iowa's Abandoned Coal Mines

Presentation to feature state mines and minerals bureau chief

June 22, 2022, 9:52 am | Liz Ripley

AMES, Iowa – The Iowa Learning Farms (ILF) conservation webinar taking place June 29 at noon CDT will feature Vince Sitzmann, mines and minerals bureau chief, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS).

Sitzmann is leading efforts through the IDALS Abandoned Mine Land Program to reclaim some 12,000 acres across 300 abandoned surface coal mine sites in Iowa. Employing mass grading, neutralization and installation of conservation practices, the program is returning these sites to working lands.

Iowa Learning Farms is an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach conservation and water quality education program.

In the webinar, “Iowa’s Abandoned Mine Land Program,” Sitzmann will offer an overview of Iowa’s historic position as a coal-producing state and the legacy left behind after generations of production. He will discuss the hundreds of currently abandoned mines that include hazardous features that continue to impact the environment. He will also provide an in-depth perspective on how these sites are being reclaimed through hazard abatement strategies and the elimination or reduction of negative environmental impacts and the restoration of adversely affected waters and land to beneficial use.

“Iowa’s rich history of coal mining left behind lasting impacts that can still be seen on the landscape,” said Sitzmann. “For those unfamiliar with the coal mining history of Iowa, this session will provide a peek into the past as well as a positive look toward the future. Participants should come away with a better understanding of the scale of the impact the coal industry had on Iowa and how impactful the reclamation process is on the landscape.”

Participants in Iowa Learning Farms Conservation Webinars are encouraged to ask questions of the presenters. People from all backgrounds and areas of interest are encouraged to join.

Webinar Access Instructions

To participate in the live webinar, shortly before noon CDT June 29:

  • Click this URL, or type this web address into your internet browser: Or, go to and enter meeting ID: 364 284 172.
  • Or join from a dial-in phone line by dialing +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923; meeting ID: 364 284 172.
  • The webinar will also be recorded and archived on the ILF website, so that it can be watched at any time.
  • A Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit (CEU) has been applied for. Those who participate in the live webinar are eligible. Information about how to apply to receive the credit will be provided at the end of the live webinar.

Upcoming Webinars in the Series:

7/6: Jane Frankenberger, Purdue University
7/13: Mike Castellano, Iowa State University
7/20: Chuck Burr, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
7/27: Kay Stefanik, Iowa Nutrient Research Center

About the Authors: 

Liz Ripley

Iowa Learning Farms and Water Rocks!