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Recent posts by Katie Rock

Water quality takes more than a cash stream

With the latest round of debate on Iowa’s water quality problem, it’s clear there are no winners and losers, just too much water. Mother Nature has carved such a destructive path, as though she doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry in anger. To honor those we lost to drowning accidents last month – Larry Cotlar, Cha Charles Lee, Richard Lewis Mart, Ikran Noor, Celeste Sandoval-Ramos, and Landyn Short – the debate must continue.

Rural Rockstars: Washington County farmers are stewards of the land

In 2013, Iowa launched the Water Quality Initiative, an action plan to meet the goals of the Nutrient Reduction Strategy to cut pollution and hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. The initiative urges farmers, landowners and city residents to voluntarily adopt conservation practices that fit their unique needs and landscapes. Five years after Iowa started the Water Quality Initiative, I traveled to the county with the most acres in cover crops to see what makes them different.

Advocates share success stories at Leopold Center event

Recently, small business owners alongside alumni of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, at Iowa State University, met at the Iowa capitol to advocate on the Leopold Center’s behalf.

Last year, the Iowa Legislature defunded and nearly eliminated the Leopold Center by repealing a tax on fertilizer, which provided its funding. By doing so, lawmakers cut a driving force in addressing water quality and revitalizing rural communities.

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