Free Trips Offered to Farmers to Attend National Conference

Leopold Center is making the trips available to farmers to go to national sustainable agriculture meeting in Kansas City.

Thanks to a gift from Chipotle Mexican Grill, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University will offer 10 Iowa farmers an opportunity to participate in a national sustainable agriculture conference. The conference is March 25-27 in Kansas City.

The farmers who are selected will receive a free tip to the 20th anniversary National Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education conference, "Advancing the Frontier of Sustainable Agriculture." The Leopold Center will pay registration, lodging, and travel expenses (up to $750) for each farmer.

Farmers who want to attend the conference can download the application form on the Leopold Center's Web site at www.leopold.iastate.edu/sare.htm, or call 515-294-3711 to request a copy. Applications are due to the Center by January 21, and winners will be selected by January 30.

It's The New American Farm conference

Farmers who attend will learn about how sustainable farming is rapidly changing the face of American agriculture. The New American Farm conference will be a gathering place for farmers, ranchers, educators, researchers, students, advocates and the curious consumers who share a passion for quality agriculture. More information is available at the conference Web site, www.sare.org/2008Conference/index.htm.  

These farmer trips to the national SARE meeting are the Leopold Center's way of "paying it forward." Last December, the fast-growing, Denver-based restaurant chain chose the Leopold Center as one of two recipients for the funds earned from selling a unique burrito-themed calendar in their restaurants.

Applications are due by January 21

Here's how Chipotle described the Leopold Center on the calendar: "They look for ways to reward farmers for protecting water resources and land while helping them become profitable by producing high-quality food. With their help, we'll have an even nicer place to live and better ways to grow our food."

Chipotle takes great pride in serving "Food With Integrity." Their menu promotes food that is "unprocessed, seasonal, family-farmed, sustainable, nutritious, naturally raised, added hormone free, organic, and artisanal." Thanks to their gift to the Center, 10 Iowa farmers will have a chance to tap into 20 years of groundbreaking SARE-funded research, experience and innovations.

Through its research and education programs in the areas of policy, marketing and ecology, the Leopold Center supports development of profitable farming systems that conserve natural resources. The Center was established by the 1987 Iowa Groundwater Protection Act.

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