Leadership for Midwestern Watersheds

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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, American Farmland TrustNorth Central Region Water Network, and the Iowa Soybean Association have coordinated the LMW since 2011. Financial support comes from the McKnight Foundation, and state and federal agencies provide guidance. 

Meeting #9 (2018, Winona, MN): Measuring Progress Towards Environmental, Social, and Economic Outcomes

* Proceedings

* 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

Meeting #8 (2017, Moline, IL): Social Science and Farm-Level Decision Making

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Meeting #9, Winona MN, November 2018.