ANKENY, IOWA — The Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance (IAWA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dave Schwartz as Chair of its Business Council. Schwartz, Executive Vice President of Sales at Verdesian Life Sciences, was previously Vice Chair of the Council.

“Dave is a highly valued partner,” says Sean McMahon, IAWA Executive Director. “He has been instrumental in helping IAWA engage with agricultural retailers, farmer-owned cooperatives, independent crop consultants and other agribusinesses to deliver conservation practices more effectively.”

Partnering with IAWA is a natural fit for Verdesian, says Schwartz. “Verdesian’s products help farmers improve yields, profitability, fertilizer use efficiency, and water quality,” he says. “IAWA is helping leverage the ag retail sector to help implement the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy (NRS) and Verdesian is proud to be a part of that effort.”

Mark Deutschman, Senior Project Manager with Houston Engineering, Inc., becomes the new Business Council Vice Chair while Adam Herges, Sustainability Agronomist for the Mosaic Company, joins the Council as Secretary. Dan Foor, CEO of La Crosse Seed, LLC., served as the first chair of the IAWA Business Council from 2016 through 2018.

Advancing Through Partnerships

The IAWA Business Council is comprised of members from 15 private companies. Together, they bring unique private-sector skills and perspectives to work on improving water quality. In the first two years, the Council has been instrumental to implementing two successful initiatives.

The Conservation Infrastructure Initiative seeks to increase the investment and engagement from both the public and private sectors in implementing the Iowa NRS. “Many members of the IAWA Business Council helped identify barriers to scaling up conservation efforts to improve water quality,” say McMahon. “They are now working on developing solutions that will help us reach the goals of the Iowa NRS faster.”

Through the active engagement of the IAWA Business Council, the Midwest Agriculture Water Quality Partnership (MAWQP) program is on track to be completed in less than three years. The $48 million project is one of the largest Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) projects in the nation.

The Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance (IAWA) is increasing the pace and scale of farmer-led efforts to improve water quality. Founded in 2014 by Iowa Corn, the Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association, IAWA is building public-private partnerships focused on implementing water quality solutions. Iowa farmers are actively engaged in various conservation efforts that improve water quality. Learn more at

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Lindsey Robinson
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