Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Programs
The objectives of the Beginning Farmer Center are:
- Coordinate education programs and services for beginning farmer efforts statewide.
- Assess needs of beginning farmers and retiring farmers.
- Develop, coordinate, and deliver targeted education to beginning and retiring farm families.
- Provide programs and services that develop skills and knowledge in financial management and planning, legal issues, tax laws, technical production and management, leadership, sustainable agriculture, human health and the environment.
The mission of the ISU Organic Agriculture Program is to educate producers, consumers and policy makers in the research and extension activities in organic agriculture both on-farm and at universities. The program provides research information and extension presentations for Iowa citizens through field days, workshops and an annual Iowa Organic Conference every November in Iowa City.
Iowa Learning Farms is building a "culture of conservation", calling attention to the importance of improved water and soil quality through conservation farming practices. The program utilizes partners across the state: farmer partners demonstrating various practices including reduced tillage, terraces, waterways and cover crops; educator partners who are teaching these valuable lessons to the next generation of Iowa landowners; and our funding partners.
The Iowa Water Center is a part of a nationwide network of university-based water centers created to encourage interdisciplinary water research and the education and outreach needed to insure research results are applied to real world problems.
The Sustainable Agriculture Interdepartmental Graduate Program at Iowa State University builds on a solid foundation of agricultural science and provides students opportunities to cross traditional disciplinary boundaries.
Although no longer funded, previous research done through the Leopold Center helped to identify and develop new ways to farm profitably while conserving natural resources. The Leopold Center is located on the campus of Iowa State University.
The mission of Practical Farmers of Iowa is to strengthen farms and communities through farmer-led investigation and information sharing. It is an inclusive organization representing a diversity of farmers.
NRCS is a conservation leader for all natural resources, ensuring private lands are conserved, restored, and more resilient to environmental challenges, like climate change. NRCS works with landowners through conservation planning and assistance designed to benefit the soil, water, air, plants, and animals that result in productive lands and healthy ecosystems.
Iowa Rural Development is also a USDA agency with the mission to improve the economy and quality of life in rural America. Their programs help rural Americans through loans, grants and loan guarantees to support essential services such as housing, economic development, health care, first responder services and equipment, and water, electric and communications infrastructure. They offer technical assistance and information to help agricultural producers and cooperatives get started and improve the effectiveness of their operations.
Iowa State Farm Service Agency (FSA) help Iowa's farmers and ranchers secure the highest possible financial assistance from USDA programs and play a vital role to the economic survival of Iowa's rural communities.