ISU to host ‘Farming for the future’ panel Tuesday

AMES – “How can we farm for the long-term?”

A panel of three Iowa farmers will offer their perspectives on this question at the Shivvers Memorial Lecture at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Iowa State University Memorial Union Sun Room, on the Iowa State University campus, in Ames.

Panelists Nathan Anderson, Mike DeCook, and Laura Krouse each run different operations, and connected through concern for the future of their land.

They each work to keep their farms productive for them and for those who will make a living from it in the future.

Leopold Center Director Mark Rasmussen will serve as moderator.

A 2010 graduate of ISU, Nathan Anderson and his wife, Sarah, have an integrated crop and livestock farm in Cherokee County. Nathan is an advocate for natural resources, serving as a Cherokee County Soil and Water Conservation District commissioner and was recently elected to the Board of Directors for Practical Farmers of Iowa.

Mike DeCook operates a ranch near Lovilla in southern Iowa, where he custom grazes cattle and raises grass-fed bison. He is committed to restoring biodiversity of native species and donated 200 acres of land to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation to be permanently protected by a conservation easement.

Laura Krouse is the owner of Abbe Hills Farm near Mt. Vernon. In addition to operating a 200-member CSA and selling vegetables and eggs locally, she markets Abbe Hill Open Pollinated Seed Corn, an heirloom yellow dent corn grown on the farm since 1903.

Krouse taught biology at Cornell College and is a longtime commissioner for the Linn County Soil and Water Conservation District.

The Shivvers Memorial Lecture has brought distinguished speakers to campus since 1969 to discuss the sustainability of agriculture and the protection of natural resources. The annual lecture this year departs from tradition to host the panel.

The annual lecture series is sponsored by the Leopold Center, the ISU Chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta Honorary Society for Agriculture, and the ISU Committee on Lectures (funded by student government).