The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture presented a 2019 Public-Private Partnership Award to the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance Business Council at NASDA’s annual meeting.
This award recognizes private organizations that partner with a state department of agriculture to implement a program, project or service that positively impacts its residents. Iowa Secretary of Ag Mike Naig nominated IAWA for collaborating with 14 businesses and organizations to improve Iowa’s water quality.
“Collaboration among public and private partners is key to implementing scientifically proven solutions that improve water quality locally and downstream,” Naig says. “IAWA is taking a leadership role in increasing private funding, to accelerate implementation of conservation practices that support the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.”
Making progress toward goals
The Regional Conservation Partnership Program by the Midwest Agriculture Water Quality Partnership is one success story. The program is led by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and IAWA. The $11 million contract has aligned 48 partners (including 19 agribusinesses) and $39 million in non-federal match funding to improve water quality. MAWQP has improved conservation on more than 3.5 million acres of private lands in less than three years.
The partnership has also created a Conservation Infrastructure Initiative that has accelerated demand for conservation practices. This group is made of up more than 100 representatives from the public and private sector; it works toward implementing and securing support to increase conservation practices. Three working groups have been created — strategy, cover crops and conservation drainage — that develop recommendations to make substantial progress toward Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy goals.
“The IAWA Business Council has been instrumental to the success of our public-private partnerships,” says IAWA Executive Director Sean McMahon. “Our business council members are investing substantial resources to make a real and meaningful, positive impact on Iowa’s water quality.”
About Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance
IAWA is increasing the pace and scale of farmer-led efforts to improve water quality in Iowa. Founded in 2014 by Iowa Corn, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association, IAWA is building public-private partnerships focused on implementing water quality solutions.
These companies are members of the IAWA Business Council: Agri Drain Corp., The Context Network, Corteva Agriscience, EFC Systems, Ecosystem Services Exchange, Farm Nutrients, Hagie Manufacturing, Iowa Select Farms, Land O’Lakes Sustain, LaCrosse Seed, Montag Manufacturing, The Mosaic Company, Nutrien, and Verdesian Life Sciences.