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Join Us for the 2017 IEC Annual Conference


Join us for our 2017 Annual Conference, ACT Iowa: Local Solutions for a Healthier Environment, on Thursday, October 5, 2017, at the DMACC FFA Enrichment Center,1055 SW Prairie Trail Pkwy, Ankeny, IA 50023. 

As environmental concerns grow, it's time for actionable solutions that bring individuals, communities and public-private partnerships together to create a healthier Iowa. Join us for an exploration of local solutions including local food initiatives, sustainable housing, community-based watershed projects, grassroots energy ventures and much more. Event approved for five CLE credits. Discounts available for students and Iowa Environmental Council members.  



NHNNicolette Hahn Niman, livestock rancher, attorney and author will headline conference.Hahn Niman authored the books "Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production" (2014) and Righteous Porkchop:  Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms" (2009), as well as numerous essays for the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times. She is a popular speaker and was one of just 23 presenters from around the world at the Nobel Week Dialogue 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden. Her articles have appeared in many publications, including The Atlantic, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Earth Island Journal. 

You can purchase "Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production" from 10:30am to 1:30pm at the conference.

Featured Panels and Presentations


Working in Watersheds, presented by the Iowa Soybean Association
Ten years after the Watershed Quality Planning Taskforce recommended a watershed framework approach, Iowa continues to face great challenges related to improving water quality. Hear from a diverse set of leaders who work to take a watershed approach to address challenges in a trying environment.


  • Penny Brown Huber, Prairie Rivers RC&D
  • Arvin Vos, Marion County farmer and Leader in Elk Creek Watershed Project 
  • John Lundell, Mayor of Coralville, Iowa
  • Moderated by Susan Heathcote, Water Program Director, Iowa Environmental Council

Innovative Solutions in Sustainable Housing, Presented by BNIM
From HGTV to Iowa City, inventive housing as a sustainability tool is becoming increasingly popular. Hear from a broad range of experts on exciting projects and the future of sustainable housing in Iowa.


  • Del Holland, Board of Managers for Iowa City Cohousing
  • Greg Johnson, The Small House Society; Author of Put Your Life on a Diet: Lessons Learned from Living in 140 Square Feet
  • Mark LaCroix, Principal, KCI Engineering
  • Moderated by Emily Holley, Communications Director, Iowa Environmental Council and Kevin Nordmeyer, Partner at BNIM and Iowa Environmental Council Board Member

Local Foods, Presented by Practical Farmers of Iowa
The local food movement is engaging communities across the nation, bringing fresher food to families, diversifying economic options for landowners and contributing to community vitality. Local food, often grown with a concern for stewardship of land and water, depends on support from producers, consumers and vendors.

Introduction by Sally Worley, Director, Practical Farmers of Iowa

  • Sonia Kendrick, Farmer and Founder, Feed Iowa First, Cedar Rapids
  • Jan Libbey, Owner of One Step at a Time Farm
  • Suman Hoque, Owner of Hoq Restaurant, Des Moines
  • Moderated by Ann Robinson, Agriculture Policy Director, Iowa Environmental Council

Local Government Leadership in Energy and Sustainability

Presentation by Eric Giddens, Energy Program Manager at the Center for Energy and Environmental Education (CEEE) at the University of Northern Iowa

Exploring the Limits and Possibilities of Powerful Advocacy - Presented by Environmental Law and Policy Center and Policy Works
The word "lobbying" can strike fear into the heart of a nonprofit employee, board member of community volunteer; but advocacy can be a powerful tool in affecting environmental change. Hear from experts on the legal parameters of lobbying and learn tips and tricks to create an effective advocacy strategy.


  • Marc Beltrame, Attorney at Brown Winick
  • Kerri Johannsen, Government Relations Manager, Iowa Environmental Council
  • Moderated by Jessica Maldonado from Policy Works

Local Solutions from IEC Member Organizations
You have heard of speed dating. Join IEC members for a speed session featuring innovative projects across the state. Start at one table, then when the timer goes off, switch to another fascinating subject.

  • Presenters Include:
  • Iowa Rivers Revival
  • Women for Water, a project from the Iowa Environmental Council, Iowa Rivers Revival and Des Moines Water Works
  • Trees Forever
  • Project for Restricted Covenants in Northeast Iowa
  • Introduced by Judy Downs, Development Director, Iowa Environmental Council



Conference attendees have access to discounted room rates at AmericInn in Ankeny,1610 SE Oralabor Road – Ankeny, IA  5002 of $97.19 per night. Guests are to mention that they are coming for the Iowa Environmental Council Annual Conference at DMACC and quote the rate of $97.19. This is for Wednesday night, October 4, 2017, only. Call 515-964-2004.

Lodging is also available at hotels throughout the Des Moines metro. Visit the Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau website for information about lodging.


Thank you to our 2017 Conference Sponsors
Become a Sponsor Today

Meet our 2017 Conference Exhibitors
Become an Exhibitor


1000 Friends of Iowa
Cherry Glen Learning Farm
Environmental Law and Policy Center
Green Iowa

Wells Fargo logo   ggc

 Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Iowa Farmers Union
Iowa Food Coop
Iowa Food Cooperative
Iowa Interfaith Power & Light

Charlotte and Fred Hubbell

Iowa River Greenbelt Resource Trust
Iowa Rivers Revival
Iowa Water Center
Practical Farmers of Iowa


The Sustainable Iowa Land Trust
Trees Forever
UNI Center for Energy & Environmental Education
Urban Ambassadors
Whiterock Conservancy
Women, Food and Agriculture Network

         INHF                    ITC

Sondra Feldstein


      BNIM Logo         





Virtual IT
Cyril Mandelbaum

David Osterberg 


Leopold Center

Linda Appelgate

Catherine Cownie
Linda Kinman
Kevin Nordmeyer