What’s being called an Ag Justice Rally is scheduled tomorrow near downtown Des Moines To coincide with the Iowa Ag Summit underway nearby.

Organizer Jess Mazour , of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, says they want to outline an alternate vision for agriculture. “It’s a vision that works for everybody, not just the Monsantos and the Farm Bureaus and the big stakeholders,” Mazour says. “That’s what we’re there for. We’re there because we have a different vision and it’s time that we confront corporate agriculture and say it’s not working for us anymore.”

She says the ag future they propose is a complete shift from today’s corporate ag culture. “We’ll talk about the farm bill and how we need to have public money that works for public good and not for corporate greed,” Mazour says. “We’ll be talking about mergers and how the consolidation of the industry has destroyed rural Iowa.”

Mazour says the clean energy they’re backing is wind and solar. They oppose ethanol and biodiesel, fuels her group says contribute to climate change. “Community-owned wind and solar is where our members are really looking,” she says. “We’re really starting to dig in on how is the energy system made up in Iowa? There’s local rural electric cooperatives and there’s MidAmerican Energy and Alliant Energy, but right now none of it’s community-owned, really.”

The ICCI rally starts at the group’s office at 7 A.M. Saturday and then goes to an area next to the Iowa Events Center at 7:30. The center is where the Iowa Ag Summit is being held.

(By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)