Nelson Becomes Newest Precision Ag and Conservation Specialist in Iowa

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are proud to announce the hiring of Stephanie Nelson as the Precision Ag and Conservation Specialist (PACS) in Iowa.  This position was made possible through partnerships with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, the United States Fish & Wildlife Service - Prairie Pothole Joint Venture, the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, and numerous PF & QF chapters across Iowa.  In her new role, Nelson will assist farmers and landowners in improving their farm profitability and simultaneously creating wildlife habitat.

This will be accomplished by utilizing precision agriculture technology to identify areas within fields that are consistently underproductive and problematic.  Once the unprofitable ‘red’ acres are identified, Nelson will share a variety of customized conservation options.  Those ‘red’ acres can then be turned ‘green’ with alternatives such as different agricultural practices, voluntary conservation programs, one-time cost share payments, and other funding opportunities. 

Stephanie grew up in Ames, Iowa. After completing her degree in landscape architecture and environmental studies, she pursued habitat work and farming experiences around the country. She’s long been drawn to the vision of how we can grow food in ways that allow other species to thrive. Nelson started her own business raising sheep for wool and meat in 2020. A passion for the prairie and desire to live closer to family brought her home to Iowa in 2021, when she and her flock moved to an acreage in the Loess Hills of western Iowa.

“When I first heard about PF’s precision conservation initiative, I was immediately struck by the power of using yield data to identify specific areas for conservation changes that would benefit the farmer’s bottom line,” Nelson said.  “I’m excited for this opportunity to help Iowa’s farmers and landowners create more habitat while improving their farms’ profitability.” 

“Stephanie’s career has followed two main threads — conservation and farming,” said Josh Divan, Iowa State Coordinator for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. “These two threads help build a vision for how to grow the food, fiber and fuel we require in ways that are sustainable and also allow space for wildlife. This combination makes her a perfect fit for her new position and she will be a valuable resource to farmers and landowners interested in improving their profitability and resiliency.”

To learn more about turning your “red acres green,” or further information on Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Precision Conservation Initiative, contact Stephanie Nelson at or (712) 266-3977.

About Pheasants Forever

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever make up the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. This community of more than 400,000 members, supporters and partners is dedicated to the protection of our uplands through habitat improvement, public access, education and advocacy. A network of 754 local chapters spread across North America determine how 100 percent of their locally raised funds are spent — the only national conservation organization that operates through this grassroots structure. Since its creation in 1982, the organization has dedicated more than $1 billion to 575,000 habitat projects benefiting 24 million acres.

Media Contact
Casey Sill