Iowa Ag Secretary Patty Judge is offering a warning to those participating in a water quality “summit” which began yesterday and concludes today in Ames.Judge says agriculture is important to the state and “not farming in Iowa is not an option.” Judge says farmers already have taken steps to improve water quality, and she points to the more than 360-million dollars Iowa farmers and the government have spent to build terraces and make other changes to reduce soil and ag chemical erosion into Iowa’s lakes and rivers.Judge says farmers can be and is capable of being an “environmentally-friendly” business. Judge says she’s convinced that “we can maintain high quality water and a vibrant row crop and livestock industry — all in the same state.” Judge says there must be an end to the “blame game,” the name-calling, the pitting of Iowan against Iowan. She says all must “pull together” to accomplish the task of improving water quality. Farmers, business leaders, state officials, researchers and environmentalists convened a first-ever Iowa water quality summit yesterday in Ames, and the Governor told the group he wants those involved to find a way to clean-up all of Iowa’s polluted waterways by 2010.
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