Sen. Ernst visits Iowa farm, sees benefits of conservation

Farm and Food

By Kate Hansen, former staff member

On Aug. 30, the Center for Rural Affairs joined Landon and Anne Plagge, and Practical Farmers of Iowa in hosting an on-farm visit and discussion about agriculture and conservation with U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst. 

The gathering was held at Plagge Farms near Latimer, Iowa. 

“The visit was a chance to discuss with Sen. Ernst opportunities for farmers to be good stewards of their land, and how federal policy and programs can support them in doing so,” said Kayla Bergman, senior policy associate for the Center.

Specifically discussed were the benefits of cover crops—which the Plagges grow and process seed for—and the opportunities offered by the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). 

A working lands conservation program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, CSP provides farmers with financial and technical assistance to enhance conservation efforts on their operations. The Plagges have used the program for more than seven years and credit it for the swiftness with which they have been able to adopt new and beneficial conservation practices. 

“We are thrilled that the Plagges had a chance to showcase the great conservation they have incorporated in their operation using CSP,” Bergman said. “As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, it is important for Sen. Ernst to meet the farmers using the programs that she oversees.” 

Feature photo: Landon Plagge shares details of his operation with Sen. Joni Ernst.  |  Photo by Kate Hansen   

Plagge Farm Tour with Sen. Ernst

Photo 1: The Plagge family, staff from the Center for Rural Affairs and Practical Farmers of Iowa, and local leaders and farmers join Sen. Ernst for a group photo during her visit to Plagge Farms on Aug. 30.

Photo 2: Sen. Ernst visits with Center staff and other attendees after the tour. 

Photo 3: Sen. Ernst takes a tour of the Plagge Farm. 

Photo 4: Sen. Ernst talks with the group. 

Photo 5: The group discusses opportunities for farmers to be good stewards of their land, and how federal policy and programs can support them. 

Photo 6: Center Policy Director Johnathan Hladik participates in the group discussion with Sen. Ernst. 

Photo 7: Anne and Landon Plagge discuss their story with conservation, particularly cover crops. 

Photos by Kate Hansen