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Flowing Forward: Looking back at Iowa’s complicated water quality history

Over the last 83 years, much has changed in Iowa. The state has weathered a Great Recession, undergone significant demographic shifts, and grappled with a changing agricultural economy. However, one discussion has remained a hot topic for what is now the better part of a century—water quality. For many decades, Iowans have worked together to identify solutions in improving water quality statewide. As the state continues to write its story on water quality, taking a look back may offer valuable insight as Iowa continues flowing forward in its mission to promote better water quality.

Learning circles lend knowledge to the next generation of landowners

Marilee Polacek and her daughter, Katie, didn’t plan on getting into agriculture, but now that they are, they want to treat their land right.

Their farm, located outside Bruno, Nebraska, on Skull Creek, has been in the Polacek family for 120 years. Since Marilee’s husband, Louie, passed away 14 years ago, Marilee and her three children have mostly rented out the land for farming.

Solar-Power Advocates: Iowans Need Incentives to 'Farm the Sun'

Iowa's largest investor-owned utility wants to make owners of private solar power systems pay more for generating their own electricity, while opponents warn that could cause Iowa to lose its standing as a leader in promoting renewables. 

House Study Bill 185 would add a yearly "sunshine tax" on private solar generators, a move MidAmerican Energy says creates more fairness for all customers who use its electric grid. 

Petersburg sees the potential in wind energy

New opportunities for growth can be difficult to find in a rural community. Bringing in economic development is key to the vitality of small towns, allowing local economies to thrive, and creating jobs in rural areas. Luckily, in Nebraska, we can take advantage of a growing industry that delivers a wide variety of benefits to communities around the state.

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