Secretary Naig Announces New Water Quality Partnership Project with Iowa Pork and INREC 

Using Iowa’s innovative “batch and build” model, the partnership will work with pork producers, farmers and landowners to install proven edge-of-field water quality practices in priority watersheds

DES MOINES, Iowa (Nov. 29, 2023) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced today that the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) and the Iowa Nutrient Research and Education Council (INREC) will partner with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship on a “batch and build” water quality project in targeted Iowa watersheds. 

The first phase of the Pig Farmer Water Quality Partnership Program, which is in place through June 30, 2026, will initially focus within the priority watersheds of the Boone River and North Raccoon River. As the project grows, the goal will be for the project to expand into other targeted watersheds. 
By working with pork producers and other farmers and landowners who utilize manure as fertilizer, the plan is to install edge-of-field practices such as bioreactors and saturated buffers using Iowa’s innovative “batch and build” model. The model modernizes the project management process by installing batches of conservation practices on multiple farms at once, therefore allowing a faster acceleration of water quality progress.   

Bioreactors and saturated buffers help to filter and denitrify water as it leaves the farm field and before it enters our waterways. The goal of the project’s first year is to install 65 structures.

“Not only is Iowa the national leader in pork production, but we are also a national leader in conservation and this partnership with Iowa Pork and INREC will help accelerate our statewide water quality progress,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “Our approach makes it easy for pork producers, farmers and landowners to participate and we invite everyone to join with us to keep building our water quality momentum.” 

With more than 4,000 members, IPPA is the unified voice for pork producers in Iowa. This water quality project aligns well with their mission of educating and providing a leading voice for a sustainable, socially responsible, and globally competitive pork industry.  

“Iowa Pork is excited to partner with the Iowa Nutrient Research and Education Council on this Batch and Build project in some of Iowa’s critical watersheds,” said Ben Nuelle, director of public policy and environmental programs at IPPA. “Pig farmers have long been and continue to want to be part of the solution to conserve Iowa’s clean air, land, and water resources for years to come.”

INREC strategically brings together farm and commodity organizations, fertilizer and crop production companies, agricultural retailers, and crop advisers in a formal organization to help lead the environmental efforts of agriculture in Iowa. Non-profit members include Agribusiness Association of Iowa, Iowa Certified Crop Advisors, Iowa Corn Promotion Board, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and IPPA.

“The Iowa Pork Producers Association is a founding member and supporter of INREC,” said Roger Zylstra, a farmer from Jasper County and Chair of the INREC Board of Directors. “We’re excited to work with Iowa pig farmers in targeted watersheds to facilitate accelerated nutrient reduction practice adoption via this innovative batch and build project.”

Additional partners on the project include Iowa Select Farms, National Pork Board, Wright County, Wright County Soil and Water Conservation District, Calhoun County Soil and Water Conservation District, Buena Vista County, Buena Vista County Soil and Water Conservation District and Grundy County.  


About the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Led by Secretary Mike Naig, the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship serves the rural and urban residents that call Iowa home. Through its 14 diverse bureaus, the Department ensures animal health, food safety and consumer protection. It also promotes conservation efforts to preserve our land and enhance water quality for the next generation. Learn more at

Media Contact:
Don McDowell
Communications Director