Natural Resource Stewardship Programs

Visit our program calendar for upcoming events or to review past offerings

Chronic Wasting Disease Ambassadors

The Chronic Wasting Disease Ambassadors program is a 3-week blended online and in-person curriculum that trains hunters, landowners, and community leaders in the science and policy surrounding the management of Chronic Wasting Disease in white-tailed deer. The program is planned and delivered in collaboration with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in targeted regions around the state where the disease has been found. Learn more about the Chronic Wasting Disease Ambassadors Program.

Forestry Field Days

The Iowa Forestry Field Days program is sponsored in cooperation with the local Department of Natural Resources' District Forester, County Extension Office, and frequently with the County Conservation Board. The program is intended to serve private woodland owners, public land managers, forestry consultants and service providers, and interested citizens of Iowa. Learn more about Forestry Field Days.

Iowa Learning Farms

Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation by encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable. Iowa Learning Farms and their diverse partners conduct a variety of educational programming throughout the year including field days, webinars, workshops, and written communications. Learn more about Iowa Learning Farms.

Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and Your Farm Workshops

The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and Your Farm Workshop was designed to provide farmers, landowners, and conservation professionals with information on the purpose, need, action items, and benefits of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and provide tools they can use to create a basic nutrient reduction plan for their farm operation.  The workshop utilizes modeling tools like the Nitrogen Load Estimate Calculator and Nutrient Tracking Tool to help estimate nutrient losses from row crop acres under current operating conditions, as well as after the incorporation of nutrient management practices. Access program materials and learn more about the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and Your Farm Workshops.

Land Stewardship Leadership Academy

The Land Stewardship Leadership Academy is a professional development program for early to mid-career natural resource professionals that work with private landowners to implement water and wildlife conservation practices. The program seeks to expand competencies in the dimensions of agriculture in Iowa, public trust responsibilities and resource stewardship, and the science of compelling behavior change. Learn more about the Land Stewardship Leadership Academy.

Master Conservationist Program 

The Master Conservationist Program is a collaborative program offered by ISU Extension and Outreach, County Conservation Boards, and local conservation leaders and professionals. The intensive blended online and in-person curriculum is developed to equip Iowans interested in natural resource conservation with the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed decisions about natural resources and to become local leaders and educators. Master Conservationists are individuals that share an interest in the sustainability of Iowa's natural resources and in becoming better stewards of those resources. Learn more about the Master Conservationist program.

Master Woodland Steward

This program is primarily intended to serve woodland owners and land managers, but may also be of interest to school teachers, loggers, and government employees. The objectives of the program are to develop a network of highly motivated, well trained volunteers to assist land management professionals in improving and expanding tree resources. Learn more about the Master Woodland Steward program.

Private Well Stewardship Program

The Private Well Stewardship Program is an educational program offered through Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in which private well owners learn about the responsibilities and risks of being a private well owner and are connected to additional resources to manage their well. This program is designed for busy Iowans, consisting of two one-hour sessions, with the goal of assisting you in safeguarding your drinking water. Learn more about the Private Well Stewardship Program.

Programs for Youth

There are a diversity of youth programs relating to natural resources in Iowa offered through Iowa State University Extension and Outreach programs including 4-H and extension to Agriculture and Natural Resources. Learn more about youth programming offerings.

Tri-State Forestry Conference

The Tri-State Forest Stewardship Conference is a 1-day educational program annually presented by extension educators at the University of Illinois and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. This conference is designed specifically for forest landowners in the Midwest. Speakers present on a range of topics from traditional woodland management techniques, timber taxes, game and non-game wildlife management, to soils and soil erosion in woodlands. Non-timber forest products such as maple syrup production, raising ginseng, and mushrooms are also presented. Learn more about the Tri-State Forestry Conference.

Watershed Academy

The Iowa Watershed Academy features topics in the areas of phosphorus management, nutrient reduction strategy measurement, project management, communication and engagement strategies, and hands on tours and demonstrations for Iowa watershed project coordinators. This event is sponsored by the Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, Soil and Water Conservation Society, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Conservation Districts of Iowa and Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Learn more about the Watershed Academy.

Windbreak School

Windbreak School is a half-day in-field program designed to empower farmers, rural landowners, and natural resource professionals to effectively plan, implement, maintain, and renovate highly functional and resilient windbreak resources. Windbreak School participants will engage in four main topic areas: (1) design and mechanics; (2) establishment and maintenance; (3) renovation and recovery; and (4) planning, programs, and cost share. Learn more about Windbreak School.

Women's Woodland Stewardship Network

The Women's Woodland Stewardship Network (WWSN) seeks to empower women to become more involved in woodland stewardship and forestry-related activities in Iowa. The program supports women by giving them the knowledge to be active in woodland management decision-making and expanding their connections with other women who own or have influence over woodlands in Iowa. All women who are interested in woodland stewardship are encouraged to attend events for this program. Learn more about the Women's Woodland Stewardship Network