A Look At The Future Of Iowa's Farm Families

A Look At The Future Of Iowa's Farm Families

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey to present Deal Lecture at Iowa State University Sept. 30.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey will present the 2014 William K. Deal Endowed Leadership Lecture Sept. 30 at Iowa State University in Ames. The topic of his talk is "Telling Our Story: The Future of Iowa's Farm Families" and it begins at 7 p.m. in the Dolezal Auditorium, which is room 0127 in Curtiss Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

HARVEST OF CHANGE: Demographic, technological and economic changes are transforming America, and effects are being felt on Iowa farm families too. Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey will share his observations about where agriculture is headed.

An Iowa State alumnus with a bachelor's degree in ag business, Northey is serving his second term as Iowa secretary of agriculture. Northey is a fourth generation farmer and raises corn and soybeans on his family farm near Spirit Lake. He has served Iowa agriculture in numerous capacities, including as a former president of the National Corn Growers Association, as an active member of the Iowa Farm Bureau, as a Dickinson County Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioner and as co-founder and president of Innovative Growers. 

William K. Deal, an ISU alum with a bachelor's degree in ag education, established the lecture series to help prepare future leaders and innovators in agriculture. The lecture is organized by the Department of Agricultural Education & Studies in the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences at ISU. It is co-sponsored by the Committee on Lectures, funded by the Government of the Student Body. 

ISU Ag Engineering/Agronomy Research Farm marks 50th anniversary
In other ISU news, Iowa State University Research and Demonstration Farms celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Agricultural Engineering/Agronomy Research Farm on Sept. 10.

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"The farm, located between Ames and Boone on Highway 30, has become a hub of Iowa State agricultural research activity since it opened in 1964," says Mark Honeyman, coordinator of ISU's Research and Demonstration Farms. "It was set up well to expand as research needs and machinery have grown over the years."

The AEA Research Farm, as it's called, consists of about 1,160 acres located between Ames and Boone on Highway 30. It is devoted to mainly agronomy and agricultural and biosystems engineering department research projects, with other Iowa State academic departments, centers and Extension and Outreach, and the USDA and the Iowa Crop Improvement Association participating.

New facilities have been added, research projects expanded
Several Iowa State facilities have been added around the AEA Farm in recent years:  the BioCentury Research Farm, Livestock Environment Buildings Research Complex and the Field Extension Education Laboratory. A variety of research projects are conducted on the farm, including crop breeding and physiology, soils, tillage, forage production, biomass crops, water quality, power and machinery development. The farm is co-managed by Richard VanDePol and Mike Fiscus.

In 1955, a group of farmers formed the Iowa Crops and Soils Research Association that sought funding from the Iowa Legislature for a farm to replace the Agronomy Farm near the Iowa State campus. The legislature provided funds to purchase land in 1959 and, in 1961, to construct buildings.

A new booklet describes the farm and its origins
A booklet about the farm and its origins was produced for the celebration. It is available by contacting the ISU Research Farms office, 103 Curtiss Hall, ISU, Ames 50011, calling (515) 294-5045 or emailing Sally Medford at [email protected].

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