Discussing Financial and Ecological Benefits of Prairie Strips at ISU’s 10 Year STRIPS Anniversary and Stakeholder Celebration

At the 10 Year Anniversary & Stakeholder Celebration for Iowa State University’s STRIPS Project, Rudi Roeslein, Founder and CEO of Roeslein Alternative Energy (RAE) and John Murphy, Manager of Sustainability and Ecological Services,  discussed the numerous financial and ecological advantages that stem from conserving prairie grasses and generating alternative renewable energy.

As an avid supporter, investor and advocate, the work and research that STRIPS generates is something that Roeslein values highly and is passionate about. As a company and coinciding with the goals of STRIPS, RAE’s underlying goal is to restore 30,000,000 acres of land to native prairie grasses due to their ecological, economic, social, and environmental value and impact.

The STRIPS team, composed of scientists, educators, farmers, and extension specialists, work to understand the assembly, management, function and value of prairie strips; subsequently, they communicate those results and influence action from diverse audiences and groups.

The research completed by STRIPS and RAE shows that strategically placed prairie strips are an affordable option for farmers and farm landowners who seek to garner financial and ecological benefits. By converting only 10% of a farmer’s crop field to diverse, native perennials, farmers reduce their field’s soil erosion by 90% and nitrogen runoff by up to 85%. The strips also reduce irrigation, reservoir sedimentation, chemical and fertilizer applications, and carbon sequestration and provide habitat for wildlife, pollinators, and other valuable insects. Additionally, the restored grasslands provide alternative biomass sources for conversion to bioenergy products enabling a balanced and sustainable society.

The STRIPS event was held on September 18th 2017 at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City, Iowa. Additional speakers included Lisa Schulte Moore, presentations from STRIPS Farmer & Farmland Owners, and a Q&A with STRIPS’s Science and Implementation Teams. The event ended with a Lunch & Learn over prairie plants, pollinators, wildlife, and implementing prairie strips, and tours of the Learning Center, farm fields and watersheds. To learn more about the STRIPS Project visit www.nrem.iastate.edu/STRIPS.

Roeslein Alternative Energy was founded in 2012 as an operator and developer of renewable energy production facilities that converts agricultural and industrial wastes along with renewable biomass feedstocks to renewable natural gas and sustainable co-products. RAE engages in these business operations with a focus on incorporating native prairie restoration. RAE is a limited liability corporation with its principal office located in St. Louis, Missouri. To find out more, please visit www.roesleinae.com.