DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture will present a 2019 public-private partnership award to the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance BusinessCouncil at the 2019 NASDA Annual Meeting. The NASDA public-private partnership award recognizes private organizations that partner with a state Department of Agriculture to implement a program, project or service that positively impacts its residents. Secretary Naig nominated IAWA for collaborating with 14 businesses and organizations to improve Iowa’s water quality.
“Collaboration among public and private partners is key to implementing scientifically-proven solutions that improve water quality locally and downstream,” said Secretary Naig. “IAWA is taking a leadership role in increasing private funding, which accelerates the implementation of conservation practices that support the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.”
The Midwest Agriculture Water Quality Partnership Regional Conservation Partnership Program is one success story, co-led by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the IAWA. The $11 million contract has aligned 48 partners — including 19 agribusinesses — and $39 million in non-federal match to improve water quality. The MAWQP has improved conservation on more than three and a half million acres of private lands in less than three years.
The partnership has also created a Conservation Infrastructure Initiative that has accelerated demand for conservation practices. This group is made of up more than 100 representatives from the public and private sector; it works towards implementing and securing support to increase conservation practices. Three working groups have been created — strategy, cover crops and conservation drainage — that develop recommendations to make substantial progress towards Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy goals.
“The IAWA Business Council has been instrumental to the success of our public-private partnerships,” said IAWA Executive Director Sean McMahon. “Our Business Council members are investing substantial resources to make a real and meaningful, positive impact on Iowa’s water quality.”
The NASDA public-private partnership award ceremony will take place on 7 p.m. Tuesday in Albuquerque, New Mexico.