Virtual Field Day: Pasturing Oxbows - Optimizing Benefits to the Farm, Water, and Wildlife

Thursday, January 18, 2024 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

To participate in the live virtual field day, shortly before 1:00 pm CT on January 18, click HERE.

Or, join from a dial-in phone line:
Dial: 312-626-6799
Meeting ID: 986 0833 5082 

Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, and Conservation Learning Group (CLG), is hosting a free virtual field day on Thursday, January 18 at 1 p.m. CT. Join us for a live discussion with Sara McMillan, professor of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University, and Karen Wilke, Associate Director of Freshwater at the Nature Conservancy.

The virtual field day will explore an oxbow in Kossuth County, including how it naturally formed and the restoration process so far. Located within an actively used pasture, the restoration process took into consideration factors like livestock safely accessing the water. These pastured oxbows help improve overall forage production by providing a place for water to collect and reduce flooding within the pasture. Additionally, by providing a water source out of the stream, these systems improve water quality through the reduction of direct contributions of bacteria from livestock in the stream and the maintenance of streambanks that help retain sediment and phosphorus.

“When we are designing these pastured oxbows, we want to be sure that we are doing a seeding plan that will be successful for livestock and the wetland,” noted Wilke. “We’re looking for something quick to establish and stabilize those banks and is hardy as well. When possible, we also use natives as they can be as nutritious and palatable to livestock as other types of pasture grasses.”

The field day will be recorded and archived on the ILF website so that it can be watched at any time. The archive will be available at

Participants may be eligible for a Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit. Information about how to apply to receive the CEU (if approved) will be provided at the end of the event.