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Cedar Rapids Today

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Iowa Ag Dept. builds upon conservation projects by hiring new staff

Local Government

By Joe Chen | Feb 27, 2020

Floyd River | Wikimedia Commons

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship hired three more watershed coordinators to support soil conservation and water quality projects in three priority areas across the state. 

The three new faces are Rose Danaher, who works on the Middle Cedar River watershed, Colton Meyer, who works on the Floyd River watershed and Carrie Tolzin, who works on the North Raccoon River watershed. 

“These new coordinators will build upon successful projects happening in these watersheds and help accelerate the adoption of practices that benefit their communities and downstream," Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture, said, according to agprofessional.com. "We’re engaging more farmers and landowners than ever before, and the Department is committed to supporting their efforts with local resources."

The new coordinators are responsible for providing technical support to local farmers and landowners who want to reduce phosphorous and nitrogen losses. The new coordinators are joining a team of three other coordinators who were hired in 2018 and 2019. 

"TJ Lynn has been working in the North Raccoon and Sean McCoy has been serving the Boone River watershed since September 2019, and Clark Porter has been assisting residents in the Middle Cedar watershed since September 2018," the statement cites.

The new staff hirings have been made possible by additional funding awarded to the department as a way to build upon early success. For example, the coordinators have already helped double the number of cover crop acres planted in the Miller Creek area, part of the Middle Cedar River watershed and Headwaters of the North Raccoon watersheds, the statement cites.

In the past 18 months, the field staff has also helped farmers and landowners complete multiple saturated buffer and bioreactor projects and expect 42 more to be built in the next two years, the statement cites.

The department, which has funding, planning and technical resources available, encourages individuals and groups to contact their county's Soil and Water Conservation District office if they need assistance with conservation projects. 

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Iowa Department of Agriculture

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