Pasture Field Day on September 7

The Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Madison County Cattlemen’s Association, Iowa Forage and Grassland Council, and Iowa Beef Center invite the public to attend a Pasture Field Day on Thursday, September 7th starting at 5:00 p.m.

Madison County farmer, Randy Gamble, is hosting the event at the Cobett Livestock Waterer Building located at 2651 265th St. north of East Peru, and will speak about several aspects of his grazing operation, including rotational grazing, stockpiling, fescue challenges, trees, weed control, soil health, and others.

The event will also feature speakers from the Iowa Beef Center, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA Farm Service Agency, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, and Iowa Forage and Grassland Council.

There will be an opportunity to tour a pasture, followed by a complimentary provided by the Madison County Cattlemen’s Association.

This event is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is requested but not required. Attendees can register by calling Madison County SWCD at 515-462-4884 extension 3 or emailing  Attendees needing accommodations should explain when they register.

Madison SWCD Presents 2023 Conservation Award to Downs Family Farm

For many years, Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) has honored individuals and families that have done outstanding work conserving natural resources and exemplifying what is means to be a steward of the land. 

This year, the Madison SWCD recognized Downs Family Farm with the 2023 Conservation Award.  Commissioners presented an award sign to Steve and Kim Downs on Wednesday, July 19 at the Madison County Fair.

Downs Family Farm is owned by brothers Steve Downs and Howard Downs, and has been in operation for 30 years.  They grow corn and soybeans using minimum tillage methods, and started using cover crops in 2022.  They do grid sampling every three years, and apply nutrients based on soil test recommendations. Other conservation practices include terraces, grassed waterways, a silt pond, and CRP on highly erodible acres. 

Steve and Howard’s reasons for incorporating these practices is to take care of the farm so they can pass it down to the next generation!

Madison SWCD would like to thank the Madison County Fair Board for providing an opportunity for to present the conservation award, and Madison County Farm Bureau for sponsoring the award sign.     

Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Photo courtesy of Vicki Minor, Winterset Madisonian. 
Pictured from left to right: Jim Gillespie, Assistant Commissioner; Jason Hirsch, Commissioner; Kim Downs and Steve Downs, Conservation Award Recipient; Tim Palmer, Commissioner