Conservation keeps Iowa prosperous
From the time the first European settlers made Iowa their home, the state’s rich, productive farmland has been at the heart of the state’s economy.
In the 21st century agriculture is just one component – albeit a very important one – of the commercial activity that keeps Iowa prosperous and makes it an outstanding place to live and work. The technological sophistication of the Hawkeye State’s farms combined with soil that has few equals anywhere on the planet virtually guarantee that agriculture will be a key economic sector far into to the future.
For many decades, Iowans have understood that preserving the state’s soil and water resources is vital if agriculture is to remain a viable pursuit. That’s why farmers and state agencies and private sector groups have long championed conservation practices that will preserve the quality of our land and water. In that regard, Iowa has been a national leader in adopting farming techniques that not only generate crop totals that are the envy of the world, but also make certain it will be possible to do so for many more generations. It is no exaggeration to claim that Iowa’s farmers are showing people everywhere how agricultural producers and conservationists can collaborate effectively to achieve what are in truth highly compatible goals.
The examples of Iowans who work together to preserve Iowa’s natural assets are numerous. One especially noteworthy undertaking that has been expanded this year is the Iowa Water Quality Initiative. That innovative project – promoted aggressively by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey – is an especially praiseworthy government program. It puts a strong emphasis on partnerships between governmental bodies and the private sector. That’s an approach that makes sense as the organizing principle for a great many conservation projects.
Farm News applauds the many conservation achievements in our state. We look forward to even more success stories in the decades ahead. The constructive collaboration between Iowa farmers and conservationists deserves praise. It should be emulated widely not only across the United States, but also around the world.
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