By Liz Ripley and Timothy Youngquist–Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms, along with Iowa State University’s Science-Based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips, the Jackson County Conservation Board, and the Sand County Foundation will host a prairie strips field day Wednesday, July 27, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Gossman Farm near Zwingle. The event is free and open to the whole family and includes a complimentary meal.
The field day will include Jackson County landowner David Gossman, who owns 670 acres in Jackson County, 220 that are in a corn-soybean rotation. He is a prairie reconstruction pioneer, establishing many patches of prairie on his farm starting in 1996, including several prairie strips. Gossman also harvests timber from his farm that is available through his business, Tree Farm Products. Wood is sold online and at his storefront in downtown Maquoketa. He will share advice for successfully adding prairie strips as well as discussing how he has overcome challenges and how to create seed mixes for prairie reconstructions.
The field day agenda will continue with Tim Youngquist, Iowa State University STRIPS program farmer liaison. He will share results from over 15 years of research on prairie strips as well as practical recommendations for how to add prairie strips to corn and soybean fields. Liz Ripley, Iowa Learning Farms conservation and cover crop outreach specialist, will share a demonstration of the Conservation Station rainfall simulator.
Jessica Wagner, Jackson County Conservation Board environmental education coordinator, will discuss projects happening in Jackson County. Craig Ficenec, Sand County Foundation program director, will be on hand to give an update on conservation efforts in southwest Wisconsin and beyond. Andrew Waldo will be available to discuss opportunities available to farmers and landowners through the nearby Dubuque County Buffer Initiative.
The field day will be held at the Gossman Farm, 19502 159th Avenue, Zwingle. The workshop is free and open to the whole family, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. RSVP to Youngquist at 712-269-0592 or [email protected].