Jennifer Filipiak joins Driftless Area Land Conservancy (DALC) from the American Farmland Trust (AFT), where she was the Midwest Regional Director. She worked directly with farmers and farmland owners, especially women landowners, to promote and incorporate the concept of conservation cropping systems – suites of practices such as cover crops, strip till and diverse crop rotations – that regenerate soil and improve profitability in any agricultural operation. She worked collaboratively with agricultural leaders, partner organizations, public agencies and state, local and federal governments to overcome barriers to adopt and advance common ground solutions for agriculture and the environment.
Filipiak also led AFT’s new “Women for the Land” national initiative which addresses the obstacles that women landowners, particularly those who do not farm but lease their land to farmers, face in accessing conservation programs and resources. The initiative combines research, on-the-ground projects and policy efforts to transform the agricultural landscape and develop a new voice for conservation.
“DALC is the land trust in Southwest Wisconsin where I live, and where my husband and I recently bought our own farm. We love this place, and are putting down roots. This new opportunity offers me the ability to work on the issues I’m most passionate about and have deeper impact here in my own community. I just couldn’t pass up this new challenge. This new role is a growth opportunity for me professionally as well, but mostly it’s an organization that I really connected with, having a mission that is focused on conservation (my roots), holistically integrated with agriculture,” notes Filipiak.
Filipiak brings more than 15 years of project management experience in conservation and sustainable agriculture. At the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, she was responsible for promoting sustainable agriculture, watershed partnerships and best management practices for field crops. Prior to her move to Illinois she worked for The Nature Conservancy, where she built the Iowa chapter’s freshwater program by working with farmers, landowners and agency partners on practices that achieve agricultural productivity and freshwater conservation at the watershed scale. She has also worked as a wildlife biologist for the Lake County Forest Preserve District north of Chicago, served as a volunteer scientist at the Tambopata Reserve Society in the Peruvian rainforest and provided wetland consulting services with Christopher B. Burke Engineering in the Chicago area. Filipiak holds a B.S. in Ecology from Northern Michigan University and an M.S. in Wildlife Ecology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
On behalf of the staff and board, all are thrilled to welcome Jennifer to our DALC family and are truly excited for what’s to come.