The first of three discussions on the future of agriculture in Iowa takes place tonight in western Iowa. The discussions organized by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University are designed to get the input of urban and suburban Iowans. Center director Fred Kirschenmann says they’re a follow up to meetings with rural Iowans. Kirschenmann says agriculture has an impact on all Iowans and we can’t look at rural and urban communities separately.He says loss of the rural areas isn’t good news for urban areas.He says if we go to all large-scale farming operations, they will likely go outside the rural communities to buy their resources. He says that will put more pressure on urban communities. Kirschenmann believes urban dwellers do have an understanding of the importance of rural areas. He cites as and example one proposal that the U-S should import all agriculture products.He says when he mentions that proposal to urban residents who admit to knowing nothing about agriculture, they do say they’d be against the idea. He says they don’t want to become dependent on other countries for food. The first discussion is tonight at 8:30 at the Grace Methodist Church in Sioux City. The next discussion is Monday in Des Moines and there’s one in April in West Des Moines.
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