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Iowa Environmental Council Annual Conference Program

"Act Iowa: Local Solutions for a Healthier Environment"

Thursday, October 5, 2017 | FFA Enrichment Center

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Registration Opens in the Exhibitor Hall

Check in, network, visit exhibitors and enjoy coffee, tea and a light breakfast


Opening Remarks - Main Conference Room

  • Lorraine May, Board President, Iowa Environmental Council
  • Frank Cownie, Mayor of Des Moines, Iowa
  • Plenary address by Ed Malloy, Mayor of Fairfield, Iowa


Morning Break - Exhibitor Hall

Network, visit exhibitors


Morning Breakout Sessions - Two Concurrent Sessions

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


Lunch - Main Conference Room


Keynote Program

  • Jennifer Terry, Executive Director, Iowa Environmental Council
  • Keynote Speaker - Nicolette Hahn Niman, author of Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production
    • What does the future of sustainable food production look like? Niman presents a vision of ecological farming that, when created in harmony with nature's resources, can preserve and regenerate our environment.


Afternoon Breakout Sessions - Two Concurrent Sessions

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
  • Jason Attig – Chef for HOQ Table Restaurant, Des Moines, featuring local food

Moderated by Ann Robinson, Agriculture Policy Director, Iowa Environmental Council

Local Government Leadership in Energy and Sustainability

Local energy districts are popping up across the Midwest. This model is inspiring landowners across the region to promote a vision of 100% local renewable energy.

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


Second Afternoon Breakout Sessions - 2 Concurrent Sessions

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

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