A program created by the legislature to improve agriculture in the state is turning 20 years old. Jerry DeWitt is the director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University in Ames.
DeWitt says the center was founded with the idea that it look at issues related to the sustainability of agriculture, especially ground water and soils. DeWitt says they’ll celebrate the 20th anniversary with a conference on Wednesday.
DeWitt says it will be an interactive workshop conference, where they’ll talk about everything from biofuels to food systems. He says this conference won’t be a review, but a look ahead.
"We’re going to be talking no so much about not what we’ve done, but what needs to be done," DeWitt says. He says they want to talk to farmers, farm organizations and nonprofit groups to get ideas about what the Leopold Center could be doing to keep farmers profitable and on the land. DeWitt says many of the issues the center faced 20 years ago are still being discussed today.
DeWitt says: "We’ve certainly made a lot of progress in 20 years, but you know, there’s still a lot of work to be done." DeWitt expects some 300 people to attend the conference Wednesday at the Scheman Building on the I-S-U campus.