Resilient Farms field day will highlight conservation practices, landowner’s role in stewardship – June 15, Red Oak

For Release: May 31, 2017


Maggie McQuown | Resilient Farms | (214) 394-4445 | mmcquown@visibleedge.com

Tamsyn Jones | Outreach & Publications Coordinator | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 | tamsyn@practicalfarmers.org

RED OAK, Iowa — For farmland owners Maggie McQuown and Steve Turman, who operate Resilient Farms near Red Oak, preserving and improving the land’s resilience over the long-term is their primary goal.

“This means better soil health through increased organic matter, regenerative farming practices like cover crops, no-till, reduced nutrient runoff and erosion control, and providing wildlife habitat with riparian buffers, prairie strips and pollinator plots,” Maggie says. “We believe current mono-crop farming systems are not sustainable, and that greater farm diversity will prove more resilient and sustainable as we deal with the challenges ahead – such as climate change, scarcity of natural resources and more.”

Maggie and Steve will discuss how they are achieving their goal of preserving and improving the farm’s long-term resilience at a Practical Farmers of Iowa field day they are hosting on Thursday, June 15, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., near Red Oak (1586 200th St., a few miles west of town).

The event – “Gaining Resilience, One Conservation Step at a Time” – is free and includes lunch, with grilling provided by the Mills-Montgomery County Cattleman’s Association. RSVPs are requested for the meal. Please contact Debra Boekholder, debra@practicalfarmers.org or (515) 232-5661, by Monday, June 12. The field day is sponsored by Trees Forever.

Guests will learn about the range of conservation practices Maggie and Steve are using to improve soil health, reduce erosion and nutrient runoff, provide wildlife habitat and increase overall farm diversity. Topics covered will include their riparian buffer; prairie strips and pollinator native prairie habitats; cover crops, no-till and other in-field conservation practices; and landowner-tenant and farm owner relations.

Guests will get to tour the riparian buffer and prairie strip plots, and Iowa Learning Farms will do a demonstration with its Conservation Station. Additional speakers will include Lindsey Barney, with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources; Brad Riphagen, with Trees Forever; Tim Youngquist, with Iowa State University’s STRIPS team; and Lisa and Bryan Huff, Resilient Farms’ tenants and farm operators.

“We anticipate guests will gain a better understanding of the various conservation practices we are employing on Resilient Farms – what role they serve in our long-term goal, how to plan and implement a riparian buffer and native prairie restoration, what works best and what didn’t for us,” Maggie says.

Maggie inherited her family Century Farm in 2011. Her great-grandparents, J.E. and Retta Taylor, purchased the farm in 1899 and named it Pleasant Prospect. When Maggie and her husband, Steve, moved to the farm in 2012, they renamed it Resilient Farms to reflect their goals of long-term sustainability and conservation.

The 170-acre farm features 130 acres of corn-soybean row crops, a farmers market produce garden, a 118-year-old Victorian farmhouse, a new Passivhaus energy-efficient home, several historic farm buildings and multiple conservation practices dating back to the 1920s.

Directions from the intersection of U.S. 34 and IA Hwy 48 in Red Oak: Drive west on U.S. 34 for 1 mile and turn left (south) on G Avenue. Drive south 0.75 mile and turn right (west) on 200th Street / County Road H34. Drive 1.2 miles, over two hills. Just over the crest of the second hill, at the mailbox, turn left (south) into Resilient Farms’ driveway.

From the intersection of U.S. 34 and U.S. 59 near Emerson: Drive east on U.S. 34; go 3.5 miles and turn right (south) on Boxelder Avenue. Drive south 1 mile and turn left (east) on 200th Street / Co Rd H34. Drive 3.4 miles, passing Evergreen Avenue. Just before the crest of the next hill at the white mailbox, turn right (south) into Resilient Farms’ driveway.

Practical Farmers’ 2017 field days are supported by several sustaining and major sponsors, including: Ag Ventures Alliance; Albert Lea Seed; Center for Rural Affairs; Fertrell; Gandy Cover Crop Seeders; Grain Millers, Inc.; Iowa Beef Center; Iowa Environmental Council; Iowa State University Department of Agronomy; Iowa Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE); ISU Extension and Outreach; La Crosse Forage and Turf Seed; Lemken; Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture; MOSA Organic Certification; Natural Resources Defense Council; Organic Valley / Organic Prairie; Riverside Feeds, LLC; The Scoular Company; Trees Forever; Unilever; University of Iowa College of Public Health (I-CASH); Upper Iowa Audubon Society; USDA: Natural Resources Conservation Service; Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture; and Welter Seed & Honey Co.


Practical Farmers of Iowa strengthens farms and communities through farmer-led investigation and information-sharing. Our values include: welcoming everyone; creativity, collaboration and community; viable farms now and for future generations; and stewardship and ecology. Founded in 1985, farmers in our network raise corn, soybeans, livestock, hay, fruits and vegetables, and more. To learn more, visit https://www.practicalfarmers.org.