“A prosperous and enduring agriculture depends on an adequate supply of productive land, properly used and so protected from erosion that it will remain permanently productive.” -Hugh Hammond Bennett


The Iowa Soil and Water Conservation Society is a charter of the National Soil and Water Conservation Society. There are 66 Chapters in the nation.  The Iowa Chapter started in 1950.

Click here to link to the National Soil and Water Conservation Society Website.


The Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) is a private, non-profit scientific, and educational organization devoted to the conservation of land, water, and related resources worldwide. Its mission is to advance these resources to meet the needs of present and future generations by creating a variety of forums to identify, analyze, and formulate workable recommendations on land and water management policy and issues. The Iowa Chapter of the SWCS is dedicated to wise use and wise management of resources.

The distinctive characteristic of the organization is its multidisciplinary, multi-institutional membership of 267. Some members conduct applied or basic research; some teach in the land and water related sciences; some work with landowners and operators in applying conservation practices or systems to the land. Others practice soil and water conservation, on their own or public land. Many others may not be employed or studying directly in a natural resources field, but have a profound interest in the stewardship of natural resources.


The objectives of the Iowa Chapter of the SWCS reflect those of the Parent Society. In order to advance the science and art of good land use, as well as to promote conservation of soil, water, and related renewable resources, our specific objectives are:

  1. Support the several arts, sciences, and professions that have to do with the conservation of our renewable natural resources in such a manner as to encourage sound formulation and development of the best possible system of land and water management.
  2. Sponsor and carry out programs to help bring about a better understanding of the need for conserving our renewable natural resources to the end that conservation becomes an intimate part of the thinking, doing, and living of city and country people alike.
  3. Encourage research and demonstration that will contribute toward a better understanding of the means by which more effective conservation methods can be developed and put into practice.
  4. Encourage high ethical standards on the part of all those who are professionally engaged in the furtherance of improved use of land and water.
  5. Work with other conservation agencies and organizations in support of their conservation efforts.
  6. Work for the early adoption of a long-range, country-wide land and water policy as a guide to all agencies, organizations, and individuals in their renewable resource conservation activities.
  7. Recognize noteworthy achievements by individuals, agencies, and organizations that have assisted in planning, developing, and carrying out resource conservation programs.
  8. Publish and encourage publication of information that will aid in the development and adoption of improved concepts and practices in conservation.
  9. Encourage and assist with the development of improved educational programs on conservation in elementary and secondary schools, in colleges and universities, and in adult education fields.
  10. Inspire public recognition of the urgent need for a complete country-wide inventory of our renewable natural resources at the earliest possible date so that more rapid progress may be made in getting more land used within its capabilities.
  11. Strive for a better appreciation and understanding of the importance of conservation of renewable natural resources on a world-wide basis.
  12. Augment the concepts of conservation so they include not only better use of soil, water, grass, forest, and wildlife resources in the economy of the world but aesthetic and human values as well.

To learn more, Download the Iowa Chapter Soil and Water Conservation Handbook which provides detailed information on the organization, operations, policies and programs of the Iowa SWCS.  It also includes the organization’s annual work plan and long range plan. Also, visit Our Work page to see the ways we implement our mission!