Where's Agriculture Headed and Why Care?

March 24th, 2002

AMES, Iowa — Why should urban and suburban dwellers care about where agriculture is headed in Iowa?

The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is working with Ecumenical Ministries of Iowa, National Catholic Rural Life and other partners to find out where city dwellers think Iowa agriculture should be headed.

The last of three 90-minute forums will be held April 15 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at St. Francis Of Assisi Catholic Church, 7075 Ashworth Road, West Des Moines. Other forums were held March 14 in Sioux City and March 18 in Des Moines.

Leopold Center Director Fred Kirschenmann will give a short presentation, followed by discussion. For more details, contact Sarai Beck, Ecumenical Ministries of Iowa, (515) 255-5905, or Carol Smith, National Catholic Rural Life, (515) 270-2634.

The meetings are a follow-up to the Leopold Center's 2001 "community conversations" that involved more than 200 people in six rural communities to develop the center's future directions in marketing, public policy and ecology. The current meetings are designed to help the Leopold Center staff learn how they can best work with urban audiences.

Named after Iowa-born conservationist Aldo Leopold who wrote The Sand County Almanac, the Leopold Center is a research and education center located on the campus of Iowa State University. The center was created by the 1987 Iowa Groundwater Protection Act to help develop profitable farming systems that conserve natural resources. The center is funded by some of the taxes collected on the sale of fertilizers and chemicals in Iowa.

Contacts: 

Fred Kirschenmann, Leopold Center, (515) 294-3711

Rich Pirog, Leopold Center, (515) 294-3711