SILT Celebration: Land Trust Celebrates Circle Our Cities Campaign on June 21

Jim ad Sarah Anderson’s farm was the first SILT-protected farm in Jefferson County.

In November 2017, John Wittrig and his family in Washington County made Iowa history. They created the state’s first agricultural conservation easement that permanently protects 130 acres of their farm for sustainable food production. They did it with the help of an innovative Iowa organization—the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (SILT).

SILT was created in 2014 by Iowa’s sustainable agriculture community with the farsighted vision of ensuring that beginning farmers and family farmers have access to prime farmland to grow healthy food today and in the future.

To further this vision, SILT embarked on a three-year Circle our Cities (COC) campaign, with the goal of having ten Iowa cities committed to surrounding their communities with ten SILT farms. Fairfield has taken a lead role in this endeavor, with three properties comprising 107 acres that have been donated or put under an easement for sustainable table-food production.

In celebration of the ongoing progress of the Fairfield COC project, SILT invites everyone to the sixth annual Solstice Party & Fundraiser at the Fairfield Golf & Country Club on Friday, June 21, 6:00–10:30 p.m.

Preserving the Soil

Why “SILT?” Because the land trust’s founders knew that when Iowa’s rich, fertile topsoil stays where it belongs, on farms that are managed with sustainable farming practices, it grows great food. It’s only when Iowa’s great soil is allowed to wash and blow away that it becomes muck at the bottom of our rivers and lakes.

Iowa imports nearly 90 percent of its food while exporting nearly everything it grows, leaving lots of waste. Hog manure, poor soil fertility, polluted water, and rancid air harm urban and rural communities alike. SILT works to promote economic independence among the Iowa farm workforce while protecting the land and environment that feeds us.

Affordable Land Access

SILT aims for an Iowa that is sustained by wholesome food grown on community-based farms.

What does SILT farming look like?

  • SILT farmers spend their profits in their local communities.
  • SILT farmers grow healthy, nutritious food to feed us locally and regionally.
  • SILT farmers treat our land like the public resource it is.
  • SILT farms contribute to cleaner water and less polluted air, to healthier soils that stay in place, and to chemical-free vegetables and grains, promoting regenerative sustainable agriculture.

Through donations, land grants, reserved life estates, and more, SILT is actively protecting Iowa farmland and the families who care for it. This brings Iowa closer to a secure, healthy food production system for the future, providing more fresh local food, clean water, fresh air, and healthy soils.

Solstice Party on June 21

The SILT Solstice Party & Fundraiser will be an evening to honor the successes of the Fairfield COC project with camaraderie and live music. Food and drink will be available to purchase from the Country Club restaurant and the cash bar. Beginning at 8:15 p.m., one of Fairfield’s hottest dance bands, the Roman Cadillacs, will work their musical magic. Everyone is invited to celebrate the longest day of the year, a full moon, and a long-term project that Fairfield can be proud of.

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