Iowa Wine Growers Assoication
WINEMAKERS: The Iowa Wine Growers Association signed the registered apprenticeship program into effect in July 2016 at Fireside Winery in Marengo. From left: Anne Zwink, Soldier Creek Winery, Cassie Bott, Fireside Winery & president of IWGA, Nicole Eilers, IWGA and Mike Vincent, Wooden Wheel Vineyards & vice president of IWGA.

The Farmer: Steward Of The Land, or Shrewd Businessman?

Tune in to Iowa Learning Farms' webinar January 18. It focuses on farmer identity - a steward of the land or shrewd businessman?

Iowa Learning Farms is again hosting a series of webinars on the third Wednesday of each month in 2012, a continuation in the series from 2011. The webinars will begin at 11:30 a.m. and will run approximately 45 minutes. Please note that this is a new time from the 2011 webinars. They are offered through Adobe Connect; all that is needed is a computer with Internet access. Anyone is invited to tune in, listen and learn.

The topics discussed will be beneficial for technical service providers, watershed project coordinators, Extension specialists and anyone else interested in the topic of the month.

The January webinar will be held Wednesday, January 18 at 11:30 a.m., and will feature Jacqueline Comito, an anthropologist with the Sociology Department at Iowa State University.

Comito's webinar focuses on the rationalization of two widely circulated aspects of a farmer's public identity as articulated by corn and soybean farmers in Iowa: the farmer as a steward of the land and the farmer as a shrewd businessman. 

Farmers need to take a long view and think about the legacy they will leave

"Using qualitative data from 28 listening sessions conducted in Iowa between 2008-2011, we can examine how, through an analysis of "public" data, farmers maintain their identity as good stewards of the land even though their business identity has them implementing practices that may result in soil and water degradation," Comito says. "If there is any hope in resolving this tension between economic and ecological challenges, farmers will need to take the long view and think about what kind of legacy they will leave."

To connect to the webinars, go to: Please note that the ILF website contains links for archived webinars from previous months at You are encouraged to watch and listen to past seminars you may have missed but you are interested in viewing. Also, please contact ILF with topic ideas you may have for future webinar sessions.

Iowa Learning Farms is a partnership program between the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service in Iowa, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in cooperation with the Conservation Districts of Iowa organization and the Iowa Farm Bureau.

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