Jim Gillespie helped Iowa Learning Farms get started 15 years ago. As field services chief for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, he regularly participated in ILF leadership team discussions and activities over the years. Retiring from IDALS in 2018, he continues to have a strong interest in activities and progress of ILF.
“ILF is a valuable resource for the state of Iowa. The program and its staff provide excellent information garnered from their close work with farmers,” says Gillespie (left). “The ILF approach and success in delivering soil and water conservation information to more Iowa farmers always fit well with our goals at IDALS.”
“The ILF team continues to innovate while maintaining its core approach to delivering information and services and to promote a culture of conservation,” says Gillespie (far right). “ILF has always placed emphasis on establishing and promoting the concept of farmers helping farmers and peers helping peers.”
“The ILF approach and success has melded well with the state’s goals and objectives in advancing soil and water conservation efforts,” says Gillespie (left). “I didn’t have a direct management role in ILF but working for IDALS I found myself reaching out with questions and participating in discussions, as ILF partners with ISU, local conservation districts and other agencies throughout the state.”
LOOK TO THE FUTURE
“The ILF program gives a breath of freshness to services offered by ISU Extension, helping deliver information and education on crop production related to soil and water conservation,” says Gillespie (right). “ILF’s approach to engagement and education through partnering with farmers has strengthened the connection between research and practical application.”