The first cohort of the Land Stewardship Leadership Academy graduated from the new nine-month program on Friday. The 20 natural resources professionals who participated came from the Natural Resource Conservation Service, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, state and federal conservation organizations, nonprofits, and conservation consultants. According to a news release, the goal of the program was to help early- and mid-career professionals build stronger relationships with farmers and landowners, while advancing conservation practices that balance environmental stewardship with profitability and resiliency. Since the start of the program in February, the group logged six days of in-field and classroom experience, 13 hours of online learning and 18 hours of virtual discussion, with instruction from 35 instructors, including farmers and educators from Iowa State University and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Funding for the Land Stewardship Leadership Academy is provided by the C-CHANGE initiative at Iowa State University, the 11th Hour Foundation, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and other partners. Future cohorts will be recruited in December with the program starting in January. To view the names of the graduates, click here.