Leadership for Midwestern Watersheds

Leadership For Midwestern Watersheds 04

Leadership for Midwestern Watersheds (LMW) is a popular forum for professionals who deliver projects that reduce agricultural runoff in watersheds of the Upper Mississippi River Basin.

LMW is developing a “community of practice” among conservation practitioners who work to improve water quality with landowners, agencies, and businesses, one watershed at a time.

The annual LMW meeting series features presentations and facilitated discussions on subjects essential to successful watershed projects. Examples include: farmer engagement, geospatial planning tools, project financing, and water quality monitoring. To date, more than 200 attendees from Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and beyond have participated, including many watershed projects supported by state nutrient reduction programs and USDA-NRCS Landscape Conservation Initiatives.

Sand County Foundation presents Leadership for Midwestern Watersheds in collaboration with the Soil and Water Conservation Society, American Farmland Trust, North Central Region Water Network, and the Iowa Soybean Association. Financial support comes from the McKnight Foundation, and state and federal agencies provide guidance.

For more information on the LMW program, view this summary, or contact Craig Ficenec at 608.729.1388 or cficenec@sandcountyfoundation.org

2019, Cedar Rapids, IA: Conservation and Farm Profitability for Watershed Health

A Midwestern Farm Economy Outlook - Paul Dietmann, Compeer Financial

Profitability of Conservation Systems: A Study of 20 Iowa Farms - Heath Ellison, Iowa Soybean Association

Economics of Conservation from the Landowner's Perspective - Jen Filipiak of American Farmland Trust and Robin Moore of Land Stewardship Project

Conservation and Current Production Margins - Jason Gomes, North Iowa Agronomy Partners LLC

A Pay for Performance Framework for Conservation - Greg Olson, Sand County Foundation

NRCS Updates from Iowa and Upper Mississippi River Basin - Kurt Simon, Natural Resources Conservation Service

Welcome to Cedar Rapids - Mayor Brad Hart

Conservation Practices that Make a Difference in Water Quality and Soil Health - Wayne Fredericks, farmer

Ag Retailer Products and Services Improving Water Quality and Sustainability - Caitlin Leahy, Partnership for Ag Resource Management

2018, Winona, MN: Measuring Progress Towards Environmental, Social, and Economic Outcomes


Measuring Economic, Social, and Environmental Outcomes in the Upper Macoupin Creek RCPP Project – Kris Reynolds, American Farmland Trust

Tracking Social Engagement in Agricultural Watershed Projects - Ken Genskow, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Cedar River Watershed Project (MN) – Kevin Kruize, Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN; Justin Hanson, Mower County SWCD; and Brad Redlin, Minnesota Department of Agriculture

The Root River Field to Stream Partnership (MN) – Kevin Kuehner, Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Headwaters of the North Raccoon River Watershed Project (IA)Lee Gravel, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Assessing Water Quality and Flood Risk with the Iowa Watershed Approach - Larry Weber, University of Iowa College of Engineering

Water Quality Targeting Success Stories - How to Achieve Measurably Cleaner Water through Farm Conservation Watershed Projects - Michelle Perez, American Farmland Trust

Minnesota’s “One Watershed, One Plan” – LeAnn Buck, Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts

NRCS National Conservation Initiatives – Martin Lowenfish, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

2017, Moline, IL: Social Science and Farm-Level Decision Making


Barriers and Solutions in Working with Land Managers to Promote Conservation – Bret Shaw, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Engaging Middle Adopter Decision Making Farmers – Ryan Stockwell, National Wildlife Federation

Effective Communications between Farmers and Service Providers - Al Bennett, Compeer Financial

Lyons Creek Watershed Project: Lessons Learned from Partner & Participant Reflections - Andrew Stephenson and Mitch Avery, University of Northern Iowa

EPA updates: Gulf Hypoxia Task Force and 319 Grant Program - Katie Flahive, Environmental Protection Agency

Strategies for “Getting to Scale”: Expanding Successful Approaches from a Few Watersheds to Many – Rebecca Power, University of Wisconsin Environmental Resources Center

2016, Dubuque, IA: Economic Drivers in Agriculture and Watershed Management


Farm Economics 101 – Chat Hart, Iowa State University

Phosphorus Adaptive Management Project – Dave Taylor, Madison Metro Sewerage District

Environmental vs. Economic Performance: Are They Really Competing? – Dave Muth, AgSolver

The Resource Stewardship Evaluation Tool – Marty Adkins, NRCS

Incorporating Economic Efficiency into Watershed Planning – Adam Kiel, Iowa Soybean Association

Connecting Watersheds: Economic Resources, Projects and Partnerships – City of Dubuque

2016, Milan, IL: Implementing state nutrient reduction strategies: RCPP and soil health

2015, Sycamore, IL: Beginning Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) projects

2013, Madison, WI: Project organization and governance

2012, Ankeny, IA: Engaging farmers and scaling up lessons learned from watershed projects

2012, Stevens Point: Making Projects Work

2011, Ankeny, IA: Measuring results

2011, La Crosse, WI: Goals, project design, and the Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI)

Lmw Moline 2017 Group Photo

2017 Meeting in Moline, Illinois

Partners & Sponsors