ExCom Candidate Statements 2020

Below are the candidate statements for ICEC’s Executive Committee nominees for the 2020-2022 term. ICEC’s members are asked to review the statements. Vote for up to two candidates in our election by December 31, 2019. Notification of voting will sent directly to current members via the November newsletter and direct email.

If you are a current member and did not receive the newsletter or email, please contact us exec@iowaee.org as more than likely we do not have a current email address for you!

Louis Beck 

L BeckRaised on a family crop and livestock farm, I developed an early passion and enthusiasm for our natural resources. My father was an early adopter of soil conservation practices such as grassed waterways, contour farming, conservation tillage and then no-till. Weekend summer evenings were often spent at area parks and lakes, for picnics and outdoor activities. Our family’s annual week at a lake in southern Minnesota was a summer highlight. A favorite 6th grade teacher also encouraged my enthusiasm.

My wife and I currently operate the family farm producing corn, soybeans, hay, apples, and meat goats. We work closely with Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) personnel to implement and maintain conservation practices including terraces, grassed waterways, pollinator acres, cover crops, and establishment of a wetland this fall.

Creating awareness of resource conservation and promoting a conservation ethic in our youth is extremely important. There are many opportunities provided by public and private conservation agencies that involve educators and youth. Examples of programs I have been a part of include American Wilderness Leadership School, Hawkeye Community College Ag. Academy, Fish Iowa!, Trees For Kids, and Arbor Day.

High School Agricultural Education programs and FFA Chapter activities can play a significant role in conservation education. A favorite class I developed was Natural Resources. Students from this class could then test their knowledge in competitions such the Envirothon, Soils Evaluation, Forestry, and Environmental Science contests. La Porte-Dysart FFA chapter members organized natural resource activities such as an overnight camp, developed an outdoor laboratory, manage a crop farm, maintain an apiary, and plant trees and prairie plots.

Serving on the Conservation Education Executive Board would be a meaningful way for me to continue to promote conservation education in Iowa. My experience with hands-on soil and water conservation practices, developing educational programming for teachers and youth, preparing natural resource competition teams, serving the public in leadership roles such as the Black Hawk County Conservation Board, and building collaborative relationships with natural resource and conservation agency staff makes me an excellent candidate to serve. I would look forward to serving in this capacity.


Barb Gigar

Why do I want to be on ICEC board?

I am excited about the opportunities with conservation education related to the new Iowa science standards, as well as the ever increasing support to get children and adults outdoors and more connected with their local natural resources. ICEC’s recent projects, including the assessment of the status of EE in Iowa position nonformal educators engaged in conservation education. 

What can I contribute to ICEC Board?

I have been involved in formal and nonformal education for more than 30 years, teaching all levels from Pre-K through adult. I have developed award-winning educational resources, managed statewide and local level programs, and written/managed a number of grants. I believe my experience in these areas can help as ICEC is presented new challenges and opportunities to further conservation education. I am passionate about getting youth outdoors to play in, learn from, and help sustain our natural resources.


Educator: 7-12 science teacher, community college instructor, 4-H leader and Extension Council member; Program coordinator: Develop and coordinate statewide conservation education and outdoor skills programs (materials development, partnerships, budget, program reports, grant writing and management, program delivery. I currently serve as treasurer for ICEC and assist with grant management.