Staff Spotlight: Kayla Bergman named one of Iowa’s ‘New Voices in Water Quality’


For her work to advance water quality and conservation goals, Kayla Bergman has received the New Voices in Water Quality in Iowa award.

The Center for Rural Affairs Policy Manager was 1 of 15 Iowans honored by the Conservation Learning Group based at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in the areas of creativity, innovation, knowledge, sense of community, and future potential.

In her nomination, Center Policy Associate Kate Hansen said Kayla had demonstrated success in all those areas. For example, in the area of innovation, Kayla connected rural constituents, farmers, and local elected officials with their state and federal lawmakers.

“Kayla has led or co-led several forums and community conversations across Iowa,” Kate said. “Recent examples have included hosting a U.S. senator on a farm tour to discuss conservation, a Rural Resiliency Forum in Madrid, and a Resiliency in Agriculture event in Washington.”

As chairwoman for the Story County Soil and Water Conservation District, Kayla’s leadership has been beneficial to creating a partnership with the local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office.

“Thanks to Kayla, our monthly meetings are much more efficient and beneficial, so that we can meet the mutual goal of putting conservation on the ground,” said Doug Ruopp, district conservationist with NRCS in Story County.

She’s also led efforts to improve communication with landowners about financial assistance available to plant cover crops as a way to improve water quality and promote the Water Rocks! educational program at local schools.

“With her efforts, we are helping to educate our youth on the importance of conservation and water quality,” Doug said.