Presenters: James Cole, The Nature Conservancy
“This part of the Mississippi River basin is going to be incredibly important as we try to answer questions about nutrient runoff and water quality,” Harrington said. “In-field, edge-of-field and downstream sources of nutrients are important areas where we can help innovate and align funding to help. All of this adds up and can make an impact.”
James Cole is The Nature Conservancy in Missouri’s Director of Conservation Programs. He has worked professionally in natural resource conservation for the past 18 years, and brings a diverse set of skills and experiences to the field, including a background in engineering and—more recently—work in the Great Lakes focused on restoring migratory bird habitat and engaging stakeholders in a shared whole-system conservation blueprint. In his current role, James helps coordinate the work of TNC’s conservation staff across the state, a team that is engaged in such diverse yet interconnected priorities as sustainable agriculture practices, climate change mitigation, and biodiversity protection.
The Grand River conference was organized by St. Louis-based Roeslein Alternative Energy (RAE) and hosted by Smithfield Foods at their regional office in Princeton, Missouri on May 17, 2018. RAE is in engaged in a large project to capture methane from hog manure at Smithfield’s nine northern Missouri farms and convert it to renewable natural gas using anaerobic digestion systems.
“Through this initiative, multiple partners are coming together to improve the local landscape and waterways,” said Rudi Roeslein, President and Founder of Roeslein Alternative Energy. “Together, we’re creating a pathway that works; a market-based solution around nutrient losses, water quality, and clean air.”