Last Fall I had the opportunity to train to become a Prairie STRIPS consultant at the FFA Enrichment Center on DMACC's Ankeny campus. STRIPS stands for Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips.
The STRIPS project began through a multidisciplinary group from Iowa State University and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. The STRIPS team, comprising scientists, educators, farmers, and extension specialists, conducts research on the prairie strips conservation practice.
These strips of prairie, should consist of a diverse mix of native perennials, and be placed at the base of a slope with another (or more depending on the field) higher up on the slope. Together making up 10% of the field, these practices will reduce soil erosion by 90% and nitrogen loss by surface runoff up to 84%.
Here's a quick video for more information about the program-
Prairie strips can also provide potential habitat for biodiversity, including wildlife, pollinators and other beneficial insects.
My hat has gotten a little "weathered" since then, but the certificate is crisp and new!
Have a great week!