One of the main economic drivers in Iowa is agriculture. The long-term livelihood of Iowa farmers and the generations that will follow depends on responsible land stewardship, and Iowa farmers have many practices in place to help retain soil, soil nutrients and protect waterways.
Through a voluntary, science-based approach that includes both point (city water treatment plants, etc.) and non-source points (agriculture areas, etc.), we continue to develop innovative solutions to deal with our challenges in nutrient management using the Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
I feel a voluntary program is best suited for us because there is no one size fits all method. We live on the land; we drink the water, as do my children and grandchildren.
Farmers, cities, and industries are working together with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (I-DNR), and the Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and others to develop and implement meaningful and measurable strategies. Progress is being made.
Much information on the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy can be found at www.nutrientstrategy.iastate.edu.
Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy is the first time an integrated approach involving both point and nonpoint pollution/discharge sources has been tried. Iowa’s commitment to responsible land stewardship and original responses to problems will help to keep Iowa’s economy strong.
I feel that we are on the right path but have much more work to do. By continuing to use science as our guide, we will make even more significant water quality improvements. It takes each and every one of us to do something.
Sharyl Bruning, Mapleton
Monona County Farm Bureau President