Southwest Iowa farmers and landowners who practice land stewardship are being rewarded for their work. Natural Resources Conservation Service chief Bruce Knight says the new conservation security program’s unlike anything else that’s been tried.He insists this “isn’t a farm program,” not an income-transfer payment or supporting farm viability, but is a reward for conservation leadership. 147 contracts going to producers in the ten counties of the East Nishnabotna Watershed are expected to total about one-point-one-million dollars. Steve King from Kiron attended a recent meeting in Atlantic to announce the awarding of the conservation contracts. As the program goes on he says funding will increase, and others will look to the “East Nish” watershed for leadership and a role model. King said it’s only natural that Iowa’s out in the forefront of conservation. He says the folks who crossed the prairie on wagons “to live free or die” were committed to be stewards of the land, and so are succeeding generations. The conservation security program’s voluntary and will be offered each year in as many watersheds as funding allows. Southwest Iowa Counties included in this C-S-P include Adair, Audubon, Carroll, Cass, Fremont, Guthrie, Montgomery, Page, Pottawatomie and Shelby. For more information surf to