Lisa Schulte Moore at the Iowa Environmental Council's annual conference

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Lisa Schulte Moore, an ecologist from Iowa State University, was the featured afternoon speaker at the Iowa Environmental Council's annual conference, "Finding Iowa's Way: Economic Solutions for a Healthier Environment," held October 4, 2012, in Des Moines.

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Lisa Schulte Moore at the Iowa Environmental Council's annual conference

  1. 1. Tweak, Adapt, Transform: How to Build a Resilient Future for Agriculture in the U.S. Corn Belt Lisa Schulte Moore Iowa State University October 4, 2012 Supported by: THE MCKNIGHT FOUNDATION
  2. 2. Big Question:How do we foster social & economic vitality without destroying our environment? Image source: IonE
  3. 3. Image source: IonE
  4. 4. Outline for Talk • Envisioning the Future • Fostering Change:Tweaks, Adaptations & Transformations • Scaling it Up • What Can You Do? Image source: IonE
  5. 5. Envisioning the Future Image source: IonE
  6. 6. The Process1) Interviews with farmers2) Focus group with regional change agents3) Development of alternative future scenarios; visualization4) Interviews with farmers and regional change agents
  7. 7. Points of Consensus• Vision: Multiobjective management• Strategy: Landscape planning & cross- Strategic integration-disproportionate boundary partnerships benefits• Tactics: Improved in-field management & targeted perennial conservation practices
  8. 8. 2%All visualizations by Drake Larsen
  9. 9. 64%16% 8% 4% 2%32%
  10. 10. 64%16% 8% 4% 2%32%
  11. 11. ≤4%“This looks like what Iowa has now.”
  12. 12. ≤4%“These two [scenarios] offer very little beyond productionvalue. And in fact, it is so far skewed towards production thatthe production benefits are likely compromised…at least theywill be in the long-term.”
  13. 13. 64%>75% of participants ranked this scenario as providing the greatest number of benefits. “This is where I’d put my house...”
  14. 14. 64%20% of participants ranked this scenario as providing the ~fewest number of benefits. “Definitely last. There’s nothing for me here.”
  15. 15. 16%“Targeting practices to the critical areas will accumulatebenefits better. When you are using natural systems you arecreating a diversity…a balance of approaches and benefits.”
  16. 16. Tweak – 95% annual: 5% perennial Adapt – 85% annual:15% perennial Transform – >50% annual:<50% perennial
  17. 17. Fostering Tweaks:Public-Private Partnerships in the Boone Image source: IonE
  18. 18. Photo credit: ISA
  19. 19. Photo credit: ISA
  20. 20. Photo credit: ISA
  21. 21. Fostering Adaptation: Prairie STRIPs Image source: IonE
  22. 22. Photo credit: Sarah Hirsch
  23. 23. Photo credit: Dave Williams100% crops 90% crops : 10% prairie 100% prairie
  24. 24. Photo credit: Anna MacDonald
  25. 25. Photo credit: Marlin Rice
  26. 26. Photo credit: Anna MacDonald
  27. 27. Photo credit: Tatum Watkins, Age 8
  28. 28. Fostering Transformation: Landscape Biomass Project Image source: IonE
  29. 29. Current Bioenergy Crops
  30. 30. Photo credit: Tom Schultz
  31. 31. Photo credit: Todd Ontl
  32. 32. Photo credit: Todd Ontl
  33. 33. Photo credit: Todd Ontl
  34. 34. Photo credit: Dan Claessen
  35. 35. Photo credit: Drake Larsen
  36. 36. Photo credit: George McCrory, University of Iowa
  37. 37. Scaling it UP Image source: IonE
  38. 38. Fostering Improvements: Field/Individual Scale Photo credit: Sharon Schulte
  39. 39. Fostering Improvements: Landscape/Community Scale Photo credit: Carol Williams
  40. 40. Fostering Improvements: Regional/Institutional Scale
  41. 41. What can YOU do? Image source: IonE
  42. 42. Be AWARE. Image source: IonE
  43. 43. Visit the COUNTRYSIDE. Image source: IonE
  44. 44. Foster innovative PARTNERSHIPS. Image source: IonE
  45. 45. Acknowledgements• Interviewees & focus group participants• STRIPs Project Collaborators www.nrem.iastate.edu/research/STRIPs• Landscape Biomass Project Collaborators www.nrem.iastate.edu/landscape/projects/ ls_biomass/ls_biomass.htm• Partners: Iowa Soybean Association, USDA ARS, USFS,  USFWS, The Nature Conservancy, University of Iowa, &  many, many more• Funders: IDALS, ISU, Leopold Center for Sustainable  Agriculture, NSF, NSF Iowa EPSCOR, USDA, US Forest Service
  46. 46. For More Information• Atwell, R. C. et al. 2011. Tweak, adapt, or transform: policy scenarios in response to emerging bioenergy  markets in the U.S. Corn Belt. Ecology and Society 16: 10.• Atwell, R.C. et al. 2010.  How to build multifunctional agricultural landscapes in the U.S. Corn Belt: add  perennials and partnerships.  Land Use Policy 27:1082‐1090. • Atwell, R.C. et al. 2009.  Landscape, community, and countryside: linking bio‐physical and social scales in  U.S. Corn Belt conservation initiatives.  Landscape Ecology 24:791–806. • Atwell, R.C. et al. 2009.  Linking resilience and diffusions of innovations to restore perennial cover in the  U.S. Corn Belt.  Ecology and Society 14:30. • Larsen, GL D. 2011. Farming for ecosystem services: a case study of multifunctional agriculture in Iowa,  USA. M.S. Thesis. Iowa State University, Ames, IA.• Liebman, M.Z., M.J. Helmers, L.A. Schulte, and C. Chase. In press. Using biodiversity to link agricultural  productivity with environmental quality: results from three field experiments in Iowa. Renewable  Agriculture and Food Systems.• Rickenbach, M.G. et al. 2011.  Cross‐boundary cooperation: a mechanism for sustaining ecosystem  services from private lands. J. Soil & Water Conservation.• Schulte, L.A. et al. 2008.  Targeted conservation approaches for improving environmental quality:  multiple benefits for expanded opportunities.  PMR 1002.  Iowa State University Extension, Ames, IA. • Schulte, L.A. et al. 2006.  Agroecosystem restoration through strategic integration  of perennials.  Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 61:164A‐169A. • Zhou, X., Helmers, M.J., Asbjornsen, H., Kolka, R., Tomer, M.D. 2010. Perennial filter strips reduce nitrate  levels in soil and shallow groundwater after grassland‐to‐cropland conversion. Journal of Environmental  Quality 39:2006‐2015.

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