"There is a critical election happening this year around the role of Iowa's Secretary of Agriculture - something you should care about. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) is responsible for the stewardship of our land resources (which impact drinking water, swimming, fishing); advancing soil health practices across our 23 million acres of corn and bean ground; and ensuring the well-being of our 99 counties through sound food production policy and regulatory practices.
My goals and priorities for this office will build on the innovative water quality, soil health and business systems work I have led as Soil & Water Conservation Commissioner, elected by Iowa's capital county voters in 2017."
- John Norwood, 2022
Water sovereignty is the right of every Iowan – whether farmer, consumer, landowner, fisherman, or recreationalist – to have access to clean, safe, abundant, and sustainable water resources. Resources that are foundational to human health, crop and animal health, our economy, and our general welfare.
Healthy soil is the foundation of productive, sustainable agriculture here in Iowa. Think of dirt as the physical and chemical properties
and add the biology to get soil.
Soil health has been defined as the "the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living system, within ecosystem and land-use boundaries, to sustain biological productivity, promote the quality of air and water environments, and maintain plant, animal, and human health." (Pankhurst et al., 1997)
Community health is the collective well-being of community members as defined by human health, animal health and economic well-being.
A fundamental measure of a community’s health is its population. While a growing or even stable population may be described as healthy, communities in decline are decidedly not.
In Iowa, nearly 70 of our 99 counties are suffering from population decline