Corn Dogs, Cotton Candy, & Conservation

By astaudt

It’s mid-August, it’s steamin’ hot and humid outside, and that means, of course, it’s time for the start of the great Iowa State Fair!

Along with the obligatory stops like the Butter Cow, scouting for freebies in the Varied Industries Building, and the fair food, you should make the Conservation Station a part of your fair adventure this year! The Iowa Learning Farms/Water Rocks! team will be out at the fair every day sharing the water quality and conservation message – we’ve got something for everyone at the Conservation Station!


Stop by the Rain Machine to check out how different land management practices can affect water quality and soil health. Yes, we make it rain! We’ll also be talking all about the Nutrient Reduction Strategy and the multitude of different conservation practices that can help reach our state’s goals.

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Or play the hands-on, interactive Watershed Game! See firsthand what a watershed is and how things like soil, nutrients, oil, and pet waste move in the environment.

You can also step inside the (air-conditioned!) LEARNING LAB and check out the “What’s In Your Water?” display. Each of these games/lessons is focused on water quality, and includes both agricultural and urban components.

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Finally, it’s back and better than ever – don’t miss the incredible Poo Shuffle! Pet waste is a big deal, and we’re out to share some of the fun facts (and the realities) of what pet waste really means for water quality.

The Conservation Station can be found in Farm Bureau Park, south of the Grand Concourse and directly east of the Varied Industries Building. Look for the big blue trailer along with festive Iowa Learning Farms and Water Rocks! flags!

We’ll be open every day of the Iowa State Fair, from August 11 through August 21. Hours of operation for the Conservation Station vary by day:

Thursday, August 11 – 9:30am – 6:30pm
Friday, August 12 – 9:30am – 6:30pm
Saturday, August 13 – 9:00am – 8:00pm
Sunday, August 14 – 10:00am – 5:00pm
Monday, August 15 – 9:30am – 5:00pm
Tuesday, August 16 – 9:00am- 5:00pm
Wednesday, August 17 – 9:30am – 5:00pm
Thursday, August 18 – 9:30am – 5:00pm
Friday, August 19 – 9:30am – 5:00pm
Saturday, August 20– 9:30am – 5:00pm
Sunday, August 21 – 10:00am – 2:00pm

We’ll also have a number of conservation partners helping us out during the fair. Who knows, you may get the opportunity to see how your Poo Shuffle skills stack up against folks like Jim Gillespie (Iowa Dept. of Agriculture and Land Stewardship – Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality) or John Lawrence (Iowa State University Extension and Outreach – Agriculture and Natural Resources).

SEE YOU THERE at the Fair!

Photo on homepage courtesy of Iowa State Fair.





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