Iowa Farmers Invited to Roundtable Discussions - Center for Rural Affairs seeking input on farm & conservation programs

Release Date: 

02/25/2016

Contact(s): 

Stephanie Enloe, stephaniee@cfra.org, Phone: (563)-875-0066
or John Crabtree, johnc@cfra.org, or (563) 581-2867, or (402) 687-2103 ext 1010

 

Lyons, NE - Throughout the month of March, the Center for Rural Affairs will host a series of six roundtable discussions and dinner conversations with farmers across the state of Iowa, beginning at the Eagle Grove Memorial Library in Eagle Grove, Iowa on March 7th.

“The goal of the meetings is to hear from farmers about their goals and challenges relating to conservation, beginning farmers, and other farm programs,” said Stephanie Enloe, Rural Policy Program Associate at the Center for Rural Affairs.
 
According to Enloe, each meeting will consist of two short presentations, followed by a facilitated discussion regarding policy and advocacy ideas around annual federal funding debates, as well as leading into the next Farm Bill. “We’ll also provide dinner, and we hope discussions continue, perhaps more informally, during that time as well,” Enloe added.
 
"The annual funding debates over the past few years have cut billions from federal conservation programs at a time when farmers need greater access to conservation tools and resources. With these cuts, we have lost all the additional funding we gained for conservation programs since 2008,” explained Traci Bruckner, Senior Policy Associate with the Center for Rural Affairs. “We believe one solution is for Congress to make conservation program funding a priority not only in the annual funding debates, but in the next farm bill. We would like to vet this idea with Iowa farmers, and we’re looking forward to hearing their ideas, as well.”
 
“At the end of this process, we hope to gain ideas from Iowa farmers that will offer additional support to farmers who are working hard to meet nutrient reduction goals, as well as for policies and programs that can help beginning farmers overcome common barriers such as access to land, credit, and training,” concluded Enloe. “Ideas that we can come together on and advocate for in continued annual funding battles and the next farm bill debate.”
 
The meetings will take place at the following locations and times:
 
Monday, March 7
5:30 – 7:30 pm.
Eagle Grove Memorial Library
101 S. Caldwell Ave.  Eagle Grove, IA 50533
 
Tuesday, March 8

5:30 – 7:30 pm
Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce
102 Chestnut St. Atlantic, IA 50022
 
Thursday, March 10
5:30 – 7:30 pm
Sioux Center Public Library
102 S Main Ave, Sioux Center, IA 51250
 
Monday, March 21
5:30 – 7:30 pm
Washington Public Library
115 W Washington St, Washington, IA 52353
 
Monday, March 28
5:30 – 7:30 pm
Brew & Brew
213 1st Ave. E, Dyersville, IA 52040
 
Tuesday, March 29
5:30-7:30 pm
Emmetsburg Community Center - The Shores at Five Island
14 N Lawler St, Emmetsburg, IA 50536
 
To ensure enough food is provided, interested participants should  RSVP to Enloe, (563)-875-0066, stephaniee@cfra.org​  at the Center for Rural Affairs.

For over 40 years, the Center for Rural Affairs has advocated for policies that support strong rural communities and family farmers.  They work on state and national legislation, including the Farm Bill.