About IDDA

Iowa Drainage District Association

In the early 80’s, a group of county officials from northwest Iowa approached the then executive director of the Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC), John Torbert, and requested that a drainage committee be created within ISAC. It was their feeling that drainage really had no policy voice at the state level and that ISAC was the perfect place to create it. The committee was created and started to hold regular meetings, put forth legislative proposals and hold an annual conference.

In 1990, a decision was made to take things a step further and create the Iowa Drainage District Association as its own separate entity. A group of county officials met on February 9 of that year in Pocahontas. The minutes of that meeting reflect that that purpose of the meeting was to “organize a state-wide organization to educate officials, legislators and the public in regard to issues facing these localities. By putting together an organization of this type, goals may be collectively accomplished that the individual persons and boards have not been able to do. This is an organization that could be in existence for quite a while as environmental issues have been on the top burner for many groups and these issues will be around for a long time. It is time to organize and present the entire picture to the Iowa public to show what proposed legislation can be lived with and what is impossible to abide by because of the uniqueness of this (drainage) area. Various leaders and influential people involved here have been around a long time, but they do not know what a drainage ditch looks like, its purpose, why there were implemented and how they are managed by local boards. The group is here today to design an organization to accomplish these goals and to propose controls and means of presenting them to the legislature so that rules and regulations can be made into laws which can be feasibly applied and complied with.

The minutes of that meeting further reflect that during the afternoon session, a motion was made by John Erixon of Harrison County and seconded by Jim McClure of Monona County to create the Iowa Drainage District Association. That motion passed. The first set of officers for the new organization was as follows:

President - Jack Fischer, Pocahontas County
Vice President - Millie Lloyd, Hardin County
Secretary Treasure - Darel Burns, Buena Vista County

The IDDA was then officially incorporated as a non-profit corporation under the laws of the state of Iowa on March 9, 1990.

The IDDA existed as a strictly volunteer organization for about ten years. IDDA did retain a consultant to provide administrative and legislative support, but had no paid staff members. That changed in 2001 when the Board of Directors decided to hire its first full time executive director. John Torbert was hired in May of that year.

Since then, things have come full circle. The executive director of ISAC that originally created the ISAC drainage committee was John Torbert, now IDDA executive director. The ISAC board voted to do away with the drainage subcommittee in 2005 recognizing IDDA as the “pre-eminent drainage organization in the state.” With that vote by ISAC, IDDA is the only organization in the state of Iowa specifically representing drainage interests.

John T. Torbert, CAE – Executive Director

John joined IDDA in 2001 as its first full time executive director. He brings more than 20 years of experience working with government officials and managing non-profit organizations to IDDA. John has both a BA and MA from Drake University and is a certified association executive (CAE). The CAE designation recognizes excellence and professionalism in the association management field and is conferred by the American Society of Association Executives.  In 2013, John received the "Executive Director of the Year" award from the Iowa Society of Association Executives.   He resides with his wife Deborah in West Des Moines.


Mona Bond - Contract Lobbyist

Mona was hired in 2012 to be IDDA's main lobbyist.  She is an Iowa native and received her college education at Iowa State University.  She and her family continue to own a century farm in Poweshiek County.  She previously worked for the Iowa Department of Soil Conservation for 11 years and served as Poweshiek County supervisor for four years.  She owns Capitol Communications which is an environmental regulatory consulting company providing services mainly to ag related clients.  Her office is in Ankeny, Iowa.  


Doug Struyk - Legal Counsel

Doug has been retained as IDDA's legal counsel since June of 2013.  He is a native of Council Bluffs Iowa.  He did his undergraduate education at Iowa State and received his Juris Doctorate from Creighton University with Cum Laude honors.  

After graduating from law school, Doug served as Chief of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Agricultural Diversification Bureau. Doug then returned home to manage his family business - Struyk Turf Ltd.  In 2002, he was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives representing the Council Bluffs area.  During his time in the house, he was elected as Assistant Minority Leader and was also ranking member of the House State Government Committee.  He retired from the house in 2010 and was named Chief Legal Counsel to the Iowa Secretary of State.  In May of 2012, he was selected by the then Speaker of the Iowa House to serve as his Executive Officer, a position he held until joining the Carney Appleby law firm.  He joined that law firm in 2013 as an associate and became a partner in January of 2015.  Doug also assists in lobbying for the association.  



CREP Field Specialists are employed by IDDA under a contract with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.  CREP field specialists are Dennis Barrick, Kurt Hoeft and Terry Breyfogle.  Don Peterson is also employed under the same contract to provide engineering support to IDALS.

For further information on that program, click here.