Urban Ag Academy succeeds

To the editor:

I am writing to say thank you to Fort Dodge/Webster County for their support of the fourth National Urban Ag Academy conference, a portion of which was held in Fort Dodge on July 17. This year’s event was in partnership with Iowa State University and Iowa Central Community College.

The program presented by local entities – welcome by Mayor Pro Tem Dave Flattery and Dr. Dan Kinney, president of Iowa Central; remarks by Dennis Plautz, Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, Dr. Donald Heck, director, ICCC Fuel Testing Lab; Don Brown, government relations at Cargill; Mark Sylstra, Boehringer-Ingelheim; Lucas Palmer, CJ Bio America; Dr. David Swenson, Department of Economics at ISU; Joseph Horan, Horan Brothers Ag Enterprises; and William Horan, Horan BioProductions LLC. Together they provided a wealth of information that was greeted by questions, energy and much conversation. The group was made fully aware of need for self-assessment, planning and cooperation that is necessary to create the success that this district and the surrounding area is now benefiting from.

None of this would have been possible without our sponsors. Thank you, POET, Iowa Farm Bureau, and the Iowa Soybean Association who have been with me since the beginning. Also to the Iowa Pork Producers, Koch, Monsanto, Iowa Corn Growers. Summit Group, Cargill, Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau, Fort Dodge Convention and Visitors Bureau, Agribusiness Association of Iowa, CropLife America, John Deere, Iowa Cultivation Corridor, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Webster-Calhoun Cooperative Telephone Association, Smeltzer Foundation and the Jasper, Snus Hill and, Summerset Wineries. And a big thank you to the The Messenger for the excellent coverage of the event and the editorial.

Planning has begun for the fifth national conference in Iowa next year. I am also looking into the possibility of conference tours, that is taking the Academy to legislative bodies in other states. There is definitely more to come.

Rep. Helen Miller

Iowa House District 9

Fort Dodge