Iowa project gains national recognition

Innovative water quality partnership receives major award

Protecting and enhancing the quality of our nation’s water resources is are vital goals. That’s why the Iowa Water Quality Initiative was created in 2013. It has been backed enthusiastically by Gov. Kim Reynolds and her predecessor, Gov. Terry Branstad. Among its major objectives is bringing about a reduction in nitrogen and phosphorus losses from our rich farmlands to our state’s waters. It supports an innovative array of conservation practices.

One of the best things about this initiative is the approach that has been adopted. It seeks to mobilize the private sector to partner with government rather than simply rely on public-sector spending. Backing projects that are genuine collaborations between public and private sector entities is given top priority. It is a good example of the appropriate use of tax dollars to stimulate nongovernmental efforts.

This month one of these imaginative and highly successful partnerships was singled out by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, usually referred to as NASDA, for special national recognition. At a ceremony held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance Business Council was presented with NASDA’s prestigious Public-Private Partnership Award.

IAWA was founded in 2014 by Iowa Corn, the Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association. The IAWA Business Council is a partnering of 14 businesses and organizations to improve the Hawkeye State’s water quality. Membership is drawn from all across Iowa, including our circulation area. It includes Agri Drain Corporation, 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.

According to information provided by IAWA, its mission is “to increase the pace and scale of farmer-led efforts to improve water quality.”

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig had high praise for IAWA’s accomplishments and the approach being taken by the Iowa Water Quality Initiative.

“Collaboration among public and private partners is key to implementing scientifically-proven solutions that improve water quality locally and downstream,” Naig said. “IAWA is taking a leadership role in increasing private funding, which accelerates the implementation of conservation practices that support the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.”

The Messenger congratulates IAWA on being honored for its excellent work. We have long supported enthusiastically the Iowa Water Quality Initiative. We are delighted to see its efforts being celebrated nationally.


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