OUTSTANDING IN THEIR FIELD COLUMN – compiled by PETE TEMPLE, SPORTS/AG EDITOR
• The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) is backing the just-released nutrient management strategy that was announced by Gov. Terry Branstad (see story elsewhere in Ag-Rural).
Mark Jackson, ISA president and a farmer from Rose Hill, said the draft strategy is a science and technology-based approach that recognizes the diversity of the state’s topography ad complexities of individual watersheds.
“Every Iowan lives in a watershed,” Jackson said. “Therefore, any effort to improve water quality must be holistic, pragmatic and involve multiple stakeholders including agriculture, industry and municipalities.
“The plan meets those criteria as we work together to make water quality improvements in Iowa and downstream to the Gulf of Mexico.”
Iowans can review the strategy and provide feedback through Jan. 4, 2013. To review the full report, access additional information and offer comments, go to www.nutrientstrategy.iastate.edu.
“Iowa’s soybean farmers look forward to playing a key role in developing the final plan,” Jackson said.
• In other ISA news, the organization will hold its annual meeting and policy conference Wednesday, Dec. 12 in Ankeny.
Among the issues to be discussed are crop insurance, property taxes and transportation.
Several keynote speakers are scheduled. Deputy U.S. Trade representative Sharon Bomer will highlight trade issues. Stephen Frerichs, lobbyist with AgVantage LLC, will discuss the status of federal legislation affecting agriculture, including the Farm Bill. Erin Herbold-Swalwell, chair of the Iowa State Bar Association Agricultural Law Committee, will examine estate tax issues.
More information is available online at www.iasoybeans.com.
• Iowa’s 467 organic farms had $60.7 million in sales in 2011, representing 2 percent of the U.S. total, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
Iowa ranks fifth in the nation in the number of certified organic farms, which cover 81,634 total acres.
According to the report, sent this way as part of Iowa House Republican Newsletter via Rep. Lee Hein, Iowa led the nation in organic soybean production with 423,350 bushels; and was second in production of organic corn for grain with 2.2 million bushels.
The state also led the nation in organic hogs and pigs, with a peak inventory of 5,955 and total sales of $2.68 million in 2011.
The full results of the Certified Organic Production Survey can be found online at http://bit.ly/2011OrganicSurvey.
• Jody Gatewood has been named new assistant state nutrition program specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the organization announced.
Gatewood will split her time between two nutrition education programs, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and the Family Nutrition Program (FNP), along with nutrition research grant projects.
“In my former position with ISU Extension and Outreach, I worked as a program specialist and taught community members nutrition education,” Gatewood said. “In this position, I can help make others better teachers. I’ll also reach more people through the teachers I teach.
Among her duties will be working with Ruth Litchfield, assistant professor and Extension nutrition specialist, on a worksite wellness research study and an Iowa Department of Education research project on lunch and recess.
• “Garden Bounty,” the 2013 garden calendar produced by ISU Extension and Outreach, is now available. The full-color, 12-month calendar is filled with photography and information for novice and experienced gardeners alike.
“The calendar this year is all about home-grown food from the garden,” said Cynthia Haynes, ISU Extension and Outreach horticulture specialist.
Each month has several gardening activities and chores listed, so homeowners can easily stay on task as they plan, prepare for, plant and take care of their 2013 garden.
The calendar can be purchased for $6 at the Jones County Extension office in Anamosa.