GOP Lawmakers Get Earful about Cutting Ag Research Center at ISU

The granddaughter of a man who was instrumental in promoting the use of hybrid corn is urging G-O-P lawmakers NOT to close an ag-related research center at Iowa State University. Liz Garst manages her family’s 35-hundred acre farm in the Coon Rapids area. She says the work of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is not done.

“Thanks to the help of the Leopold Center, we have started doing more and more with cover crops,” Garst said. “…There is a huge amount of research that still needs to be done to make this technology viable, which will help protect our soil, which is Iowa’s most important asset.”

Garst was among more than three dozen people who testified Monday at a hearing in the state capitol held to give Iowans a chance to weigh in on G-O-P budget proposals. Several spoke against Republican legislators’ plans to cut state support of the I-S-U research center. Mills County Supervisor Mark Peterson farms about 500 near Stanton. He’s also board president of Practical Farmers of Iowa.

“As a conservative Republican, I am disappointed with what I hear happening,” Peterson said. “…The Leopold Center was founded in tough ag economic times. Through their research and funding of everything from waterways to wineries, rural Iowa has improved both economically and environmentally. We are in tough times again. The work of the Leopold Center is nowhere near done.”

A large crowd gathered around a big-screen T-V in the statehouse rotunda and cheered as speakers made their points. People seated INSIDE the hearing room waved pieces of green construction paper to signal their support for what was being said.


(story courtesy of Radio Iowa)