Landowner Education Program

Calling Iowa Landowners!

  • Are you curious about soil health and conservation?

  • Are you busy, but want to learn more?

  • Are you interested in improving your land?

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is launching a new program in June 2024 to help Iowa landowners incorporate soil health principles into their farmland. This unique learning experience will bring together experts on conservation, agronomy, financial and legal topics. Landowners will have the opportunity to learn from ISU experts and from each other as part of a small learning group. Apply now to be a part of the first cohort!

Meaghan Anderson, one of the experts you'll learn from, working with a group of farmers and landowners. Meaghan is a Field Agronomist with Iowa State University Extension.

Our program will distribute landowners into learning cohorts based on their awareness, needs, and perceived motivations and barriers to conservation practice adoption. Each cohort will attend six in-person educational events between June and August focused on conservation practices, leasing and taxation implications, as well as communication strategies for the key influencers in their life (family members, tenants, bankers, etc.). 

This program takes into account that there are many steps in between interest and conservation practice implementation. This can include discussing with family members or other land beneficiaries, speaking with a lawyer to adapt or create a written lease, discussing practices with a tenant including cost-share of any expenses, equipment needs, etc. We know landowners care about their land and value stewardship, but may need help navigating the financial, legal, and relational aspects of transitioning to conservation land management.

Benefits of the program include:

  • Access to ISU experts on conservation, agronomy, economics, and law
  • Interactive learning and networking with fellow landowners
  • A curated education plan that uses your time thoughtfully

Who should apply?

Des Moines River Watershed indicated in yellow. Image Credit: Schilling & Wolter, 2009 

  • Landowners with land in the Des Moines River Watershed (highlighted in yellow on the map) will be prioritized. 
  • Landowners whose land is primarily dedicated to row crops
  • Landowners willing to attend six educational events between June and August 2024
  • All knowledge levels welcome!

Space is limited. There is no cost to participate.

The deadline to apply is April 19, 2024. Interested landowners can apply by taking this short survey to assess if the program is a good fit.

More information about the program:

Landowner participants will attend 6 educational events between June and August 2024. This includes an opening event to introduce you to your cohort, two conservation workshops, one workshop focused on legal and tax considerations, one communication-focused workshop, and one final get together to celebrate completing the program. Each workshop will be 2-3 hours and take place in central or north-central Iowa. More information about the workshops can be found below:

Conservation Workshops will focus on:

  • Reduced tillage, cover crops, or perennials
  • Available financial incentives
  • Introductions to local conservation professionals
  • Landowner and tenant speakers

Legal and Tax Workshop will focus on:

  • Lease structures
  • How to provide flexibility for conservation
  • Tax and financial implications

Communication Workshop

  • How to talk with your tenant, family members, bankers, etc. about what you’ve learned

Learn how to implement soil health practices, understand relevant financial and legal considerations, and build a supportive network of peers and experts.

Questions about the program? Contact Catherine DeLong ( or Julia Baker (

Tim Youngquist, one of the experts you'll learn from, working with landowners. Tim is a Prairie Strips Farmer Liason with Iowa State University.