Sunday, August 24, 2014

Update USDA conservation programs

Emory VanGerpen - Glad you are here to greet us!

Light Up Rotary - Keep Kids Warm

District Gov. John Ockenfels has Rotary partnering with Operation Warm that will supply 4000+ coats for kids in District 6000 with our per-capita donation of $16.50 -- one coat for every Rotarian in District 6000.  Our club has committed $500 to this effort and club president Susan Wellington is asking that individual Rotarians make a contribution, even $10. Pay in cash or by check, made out to "District 6000 HEF" and put "Washington Coats" in the memo line. This project will impact Washington and Washington County.
Check out John and Deb Ockenfels in their YouTube debut video on Keep Kids Warm. They will be here in person at our club meeting on September 18.

 Vernette & Chris Knapp flanked by growly Pattersons
Chris is Rotary District 6000 District Gov elect for 2016-17
Chris and Vernette are members of the Iowa City AM club
They showed up to be fined, apparently.

It was a packed house to see Larry Fishback's program
USDA NRCS' Tony Maxwell spoke about conservation programs

USDA NRCS Conservation Programs

Thanks to Larry Fishback for inviting Tony Maxwell to update the club on soil conservation programs. Tony works out of the Washington County USDA office on the east side of Washington.

USDA NRCS' Tony Maxwell
Maxwell said that Iowa has a voluntary participation water quality initiative that strives to increase water quality both locally and in the Gulf of Mexico.

He said the goals are to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus. Phosphorus runoff can be controlled by reducing erosion, since it binds to the soil.

Reducing nitrogen runoff takes other steps because nitrogen is water soluble. Many farmers in Washington County use no-till farming techniques. The big push now is through the use of winter cover crops, like rye and winter wheat, that take up the nitrogen in the soil and release it back slowly after they die in the spring.

The USDA CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) is very important in Washington County. In 2006, Washington County had 46,000 acres enrolled in the CRP program. In 2013 that had dropped to 40,000 acres. Even with the pressure to farm more acres due to high crop prices, most CRP land remained enrolled in the program, which helps to control erosion, and nitrogen runoff.

In contrast, Woodbury County (Sioux City), which is physically a very large County in Iowa, had 60,000 acres of CRP in 2006, but that dropped to just 12,000 in 2013. Very different land stewardship principals at work.

Maxwell also spoke about initiatives to help in pheasant population recovery.

Participation Award

John Moenck finally received his "Brothers of the Brush"
"Participation Award" for the Washington 175th in June
Not sure he would even get the Participation award today.


August 28: Nancy Rash - Turkey Dinner Planning
September 4: Rob Negrete
September 11: Michelle Redlinger
September 15: ROTARY TURKEY DINNER @ UM Church
September 18: DG John & Deb Ockenfels