WILD IOWA: Working Towards Our Roots

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While most Iowa agriculture is focused on row crop farming, one family is trying an old approach to using their land.

On a 1,000 acre piece of land located south of Knoxville, Mike DeCook and his family are raising bison.

“We’re adamant about protecting open spaces…kind of a little vision of Wild Iowa, but then also we’re a working family ranch.” He said.

Mike and Dan DeCook hope to change their family ground back to its natural state without any buildings or roads.

The bison should help them earn a living. They plan to eventually host visitors so they can experience what Iowa once looked like.

Dan DeCook says guests will see a lot of diversity.

“We found Indian relics on the property, of course remnant prairies; there is a lot to do with native plants in terms of culinary arts, and just experiencing Iowa as a very beautiful landscape. It’s kind of a cross between the east and the west.” He said.

The DeCook family recently signed a conservation easement through the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation to keep their land free from development.

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