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25 Years of SFWA

1999 - 2024

In 2024, we celebrate 25 years of the Southfork Watershed Alliance. In spring of 1999, local farmers, government, business, and ISU Extension gathered to discuss a water quality project. A steering committee formed and the Southfork Watershed Alliance was born. Four events will mark the 25th anniversary:

  • May 30, 2024: "Stewards of the Southfork" plaque installation at Logsdon Park

  • June 22, 2024: Practical Farmers of Iowa field day at founder Allen Kadolph's farm

  • July 13, 2024: Float on the South Fork

  • November (date TBD): Annual Fall Water Quality Forum at Ellsworth College Agriculture and Renewable Energy Center

A Walk Along the Banks

A chronology of events of the Southfork Watershed Alliance

May 26, 1999. Fifteen representatives from ISU Extension, Ellsworth Community College, Hardin County Board of Supervisors, Farm Bureau Service Company, Ducks Unlimited, Heartland Pork, Greenbelt Bank, Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Services, Pheasants Forever, Iowa Cattlemen's Association, and local farmers met to discuss a water quality project. They decided to form a steering committee.

August 1999. Initial officers were elected, including: President Duane Lloyd, Vice President Gordon Dreier, Secretary Allen Kadolph, Treasurer Paul Zoske.

October 1999. SFWA incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The initial board of directors included: The board applied for EQIP funds with letters of support from Hardin County Soil and Water Conservation District, Iowa Select Farms, Hardin County Extension, Iowa Ducks Unlimited, Heartland Pork Enterprises, Inc., Hardin County FSA, Trees Forever, Hardin County Conservation Board, Iowa Falls Area Development Corporation, Hardin County Cattlemen's Association, Circle D Cattle Co., Farm Bureau Service Company, Cargill, and Hardin County Board of Supervisors.

December 1999. SFWA requested NRCS, IDALS, and DNR to consider placing "an experienced project coordinator in one of the two NRCS field offices, Webster City or Iowa Falls." IDALS replied that they "do not have the resources...at this time." NRCS indicated by phone that they would consider this project for funding. Duane Lloyd, SFWA Chair, told NRCS that $40,000 in private donations had been received.

March 2000. SFWA hosts a series of community meetings throughout the watershed to visit with "all who live or do business and have an interest in the watershed." Meetings were held at Boondocks Restaurant, Obie's Restaurant (Buckeye), Hubbard Golf & Recreation Center, Prairieland Coop (Alden), Jackson Township Hall (Owasa), Smalltown Cafe (New Providence), Buckeye Community Building, Hardin County Extension Office (Iowa Falls), and Eldora Community Building at the fairgrounds.

March 21, 2000. SFWA holds their first annual meeting at Highland Country Club in Iowa Falls.

August 20, 2005. SFWA hosts a river float on the South Fork.

November 2016. DOT installs signs denoting the South Fork of the Iowa River along Highway 20, thanks in part to Steve Hopkins with the Iowa DNR.

December 2016. SFWA and USDA-NLAE researchers present "three simple practices" for reducing phosphorus loss through tile inlets to Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and the State Soil Conservation and Water Quality Committee.

November 18, 2021. SFWA holds Water Quality and Strip-Till/No-Till Forum featuring Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, Reitred USDA-ARS-NLE Director Dr. Jerry Hatfield, and a panel of local farmers with strip-till and no-till experience.

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