ORLEANS, Iowa — Landowners Eric and Kelly Hoien will host a Practical Farmers of Iowa field day exploring how integrating prairie strips into row crop fields can benefit water quality on Saturday, July 9, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., on land they own adjacent to Big Spirit Lake in Orleans, Iowa.
The event – “Prairie Strips and Conservation on Big Spirit Lake” – is free and will take place at a field directly north of 13026 253rd Ave. The location is accessible along the paved walking path next to Big Spirit Lake, or attendees can park in the grass shoulder along 253rd Avenue right next to where the event will take place.
Lunch will be provided at the end of the field day. RSVPs are appreciated for meal planning by July 5. To sign up, visit practicalfarmers.org/prairie-strips-and-conservation-on-big-spirit-lake or call Debra Boekholder at (515) 232-5661. The field day is sponsored by Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance, Iowa Corn Growers Association and Spirit Lake Protective Association.
Eric and Kelly Hoien own 129 acres just off Big Spirit Lake and have adopted a range of practices to protect their local watershed and provide habitat for wildlife – including by installing 23 acres of prairie strips to protect soil and water quality and reintegrate native prairie back onto the landscape.
During the field day, Eric and Kelly, along with staff from Iowa State University’s STRIPS team, will discuss nuts and bolts of designing, establishing and managing prairie strips. Guests will learn about edge-of-field practices and water quality benefits.
The Hoiens will also discuss landowner-tenant relationships, water quality monitoring techniques and how they have used programs like the Conservation Reserve Program to help pay for conservation practices, build habitat and improve their little piece of the Big Spirit Lake watershed.
Full event details are available at practicalfarmers.org/prairie-strips-and-conservation-on-big-spirit-lake.
This event is part of Practical Farmers’ 2022 field day season, which includes 41 events hosted by farmers located across the state, and beyond, on topics spanning the agricultural spectrum. Attendees can expect a welcoming atmosphere, a spirit of curiosity, a culture of mutual respect and farmers openly sharing their knowledge and experience.
The full roster of events – along with additional information about PFI field day policies and logistics – is available at practicalfarmers.org/field-days. For questions, contact the PFI office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (515) 232-5661.
Practical Farmers’ 2022 field days are supported by Level A sponsors Albert Lea Seed; BioTill Cover Crops; Grain Millers Inc.; Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance; Iowa State University Department of Agronomy; Iowa State University Extension and Outreach; MOSA Certified Organic; Nori Carbon Removal; P&K Midwest; Sinclair Tractor; Sunderman Farm Management; and Van Wall Equipment.
About Practical Farmers
Practical Farmers of Iowa works to equip farmers to build resilient farms and communities. Our values include: welcoming everyone; farmers leading the exchange of experience and knowledge; curiosity, creativity, collaboration and community; resilient farms now and for future generations; and stewardship of land and resources. To learn more, visit http://practicalfarmers.org.
— Practical Farmers of Iowa