An event in Des Moines today (Saturday) is part concert, part educational venture, focusing on what organizers say is a public celebration of Iowa’s humane, sustainable economy. Chris Bedford is coordinator of the Care4Iowa Congress, which is presenting the music of four bands as well as more than a dozen speakers on the state’s rural economic development. Bedford says the congress is a sort of experiment, combining good music with good speeches and positive information. Bedford says the gathering is focused on the future of Iowa’s economic landscape, which he says the group envisions as being based more on small farms, decentralized and deindustrialized. He says the speakers will be “lots of ordinary Iowans who are just in the process of reinventing our state’s economy.” Bedford says the list of speakers also includes two “agricultural visionaries,” Dr. John Ikerd, an ag economist from the University of Missouri and Dr. Michael Appleby, an animal scientist from the University of Edinburgh in the U-K. He expects hundreds, perhaps thousand of people to attend the day-long free event. The Humane Society of the U.S. is sponsoring the event — the nation’s largest animal protection organization. The doors open at the Temple for the Performing Arts in downtown Des Moines open at 9:30 with the first band taking the stage at 10 AM. Admission is free.
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