UMRI Projects, Insights & Ideas
Books, Articles & Related Links
- The Solution to Climate Change is just Below Our Feet
- Ted Talk: The Solution to Climate Change is just Below Our Feet
- A Soil Owner’s Manual – How to Restore and Maintain Soil Health:
- Cows Save the Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth (2013) by Judith Schwartz.
- Water in Plain Sight: Hope for a Thirsty World (2016) and articles
- Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life (2016) by David Montgomery.
- Inspiring Vision For Restoring The Soil That Feeds Us: David Montgomery’s Growing a Revolution
- Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations
- Kiss the Ground: How the Food You Eat Can Reverse Climate Change, Heal Your Body & Ultimately Save Our World (2017) by Josh Tickell.
- One Woman’s River: A Solo Source-to-Sea Paddle on the Mighty Mississippi (2016) by Ellen Kolbo McDonah.
- The Soil Will Save Us (2014) by Kristin Ohlson:
- This Perennial Land: third crops, blue earth and the road to a restorative agriculture (2010) by Lansing Shepard and Paula Westmoreland:
Landowner Success Stories
Presentations, Videos & Films
2023 video links to UMRI’s Thinking Like a Watershed…
— “Climate Land Leaders in name and deed!”: Thinking Like a Watershed ~ Sarah Hunt and Ruth Rabinowitz— June 13, 2023 How Midwestern landowners are stepping into climate leadership.
— “The Mississippi today, and do we send it away?” : Thinking Like a Watershed ~ Erin Spry, Upper Mississippi River Basin Association – May 9, 2023 How a 5-state alliance is preparing for water diversion challenges and the surprising news in 25-year trends.
— “Local Heroes in Howard County Revisited!”: Thinking Like a Watershed ~ Neal Hunter and Hunter Slifka, Watershed Coordinators, Howard County SWCD – Apr 11, 2023 How they have continued to incorporate the highest percentage of acres under conservation practices in the state of Iowa.
— “Crops + Livestock…a Match Made in Heaven”: Thinking Like a Watershed ~ Denise Schwab and Caroline van Schaik – Mar 12, 2023 How re-integrating livestock and cropping systems is a marriage for soil health, climate change, and happy farmers – no blind date needed.
— “The Green Amendment Movement as a Path to Environmental Health”: Thinking Like a Watershed with Maya K. van Rossum – Feb. 14, 2023 How the Green Amendment movement is incorporating constitutional rights at the state level to codify a healthy environment, with Maya van Rossum, Founder, Green Amendment for the Generations.
— “We are NOT Farm Bill Fly-over states”: Thinking Like a Watershed with Duane Hovorka and Ben Knuth – Jan 10, 2023 How ag. conservation strategists in Minnesota, Iowa and beyond hope to deliver soil and climate priorities on the back of the Inflation Reduction Act. A preview of what’s next!
2022 video links to UMRI’s Thinking Like a Watershed…
— “Your Locally Grown Alternative Farm”: Thinking Like a Watershed ~ LaVon Griffieon, Farmstead Matriarch—June 7, 2022 How 7 generations of the Griffieon family work to provide local food security for their community, while improving soil health and water quality.
— “Stream TEAM Science is (slowly) shifting policy!”: Thinking Like a Watershed ~ A discussion with leaders Larry Dolphin, Bill Buckley, Mark Owens, lifelong members of the Izaak Walton League (IWLA), and Josh Balk, Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR)— May 3, 2022 How E. coli & DNA data changed Mower Co. septic system practices.
— “The 2023 Farm Bill after 100 Years of Conservation!” Thinking Like a Watershed ~ Duane Hovorka—April 12th, 2022 How the Izaak Walton League has influenced federal agriculture policy and what WE can do for next year’s Farm Bill.
— “Championing the Upper Mississippi River Region” Thinking Like a Watershed ~ Mary Ellen Miller— March 8th, 2022 How a life-long conservationist became an advocate for the Mississippi…a League president discusses conservation & change with Mary Ellen Miller, President, League of Women Voters Upper Mississippi River Region.
— “The POWER of 1 Mississippi & 20,000 River Citizens” Thinking Like a Watershed ~ Kelly McGinnis— February 22nd, 2022 How 58 organizations team up to drive policy—“Can the river count on you?” A call to action…
— “Save Bloody Run Goes to Court”: Thinking Like a Watershed ~ Steve Veysey— January 4th, 2022 An update from a Dedicated Water Policy Scientist who has turned Radical to Save Bloody Run.
2021 video links to UMRI’s Thinking Like a Watershed…
— “Heartland Heroines”: Thinking Like a Watershed ~ Robin Moore & Denise O’Brien— June 1, 2021 How two savvy conservationists empower working farm landowners to put their inner land ethic to work.
—“Planting Seeds to Grow Vibrant Communities”: Thinking Like a Watershed ~ Chris Deal & Art Cullen— May 4, 2021 How Jefferson, Iowa’s Chris Deal is working with California Rep. Ro Khanna and others to grow vibrant rural communities in the Heartland with perspectives from Pulitzer Prize—winning journalist and editor of The Storm Lake Times, Art Cullen.
—“Watershed Bridges— Green to Blue”: Thinking Like a Watershed ~ Vicki Nichols Goldstein & Seth Watkins— April 6, 2021 How improving soil health and water quality in Iowa and other inland states benefit watersheds that provide critical services from land to sea.
— “Local Heroes in Howard County”: Thinking Like a Watershed ~ Neil Shaffer & Hunter Slifka— March 2, 2021 How they have incorporated several thousand acres of land under conservation programs–the largest percentage in Iowa.
— “The Accidental Conservationist”: Thinking Like a Watershed ~ Wayne Fredericks— February 2, 2021 How an Iowa Farmer is Improving Natural Capital while Increasing Profits with Conservationist and Farmer, Wayne Fredericks from Mitchell County, Iowa.
Break from the Herd film (2018), by The Magic Letter Films.
Treating the Farm as an Ecosystem with Gabe Brown – Part 1: The 5 Tenets of Soil Health (2017) by Living Web Farms. Gabe tells how he has more than doubled soil organic matter levels on his land and significantly increased the soil’s capacity to infiltrate and hold water. Corn yields at Brown’s farm are higher than the county average, even though he has eliminated use of synthetic fertilizers, insecticides and fungicides, and drastically cut herbicide use.
Soil – From Dirt to Lifeline, TedTalk by Fred Kirschenmann, professor emeritus with the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. Or other great YouTube videos on Soil and Water Stewardship, such as Who Will Farm and How (2014) New York Times Food for Tomorrow Conference panel discussion includes Iowa farmer Seth Watkins.
Soil Health and Cover Crops (2017), presentation by Ray Archuleta, a well-known USDA soil scientist, at a meeting sponsored by Albert Lea Seeds in Minnesota.
Symphony of the Soil film (2012)
Web Resources & Related Organizations
- IWLA Clean Water Challenge and monitoring resources at https://www.iwla.org/conservation/water/clean-water-challenge
- IWLA Conservation – Agriculture & the Farm Bill, at https://www.iwla.org/conservation/soils-agriculture/national
- IWLA Conservation – Upper Mississippi, at https://www.iwla.org/conservation/water/regional/upper-mississippi-river
Fishers and Farmers Watershed Partnership, https://fishersandfarmers.org/