ISU needs a president who fights for clean water

posted on Sunday, October 22, 2017 in Council News

Iowa Environmental Council’s position regarding the next president of Iowa State University is broader than any one candidate.  [ISU must pick a president committed to Iowa's land and water, too, Oct. 15]

The next president of ISU will play a pivotal role in the future of Iowa’s water quality, the role of livestock and land use, and the viability of sustainable agriculture. By directing resources into research, he or she will help determine the strength of Iowa communities and the health of Iowa families. As a science-based environmental advocacy coalition, IEC relies on research from ISU and other academic institutions to help us formulate sound environmental policy.

IEC expects the next president of ISU will help protect the values Iowans hold dear: clean water, healthy land and a sustainable future. ISU agricultural research can help us find a path to widely adopted sustainable agricultural practices rather than the business-as-usual industrialized agriculture model that has resulted in compromised soil health and water quality.

IEC expects the next president of ISU to understand the off-site impacts of industrial agriculture on our drinking source water and recreational water quality — and help create workable solutions to those problems. IEC expects the new president will engage consumer supply chain companies who use Iowa’s precious natural resources for profit, but fail to give back in a meaningful financial way to reverse the negative off-site impacts of their industry.

IEC expects the new ISU president to support fully funding the award-winning Leopold Center. Over the past 30 years, the Leopold Center’s unbiased, sustainable agriculture and technology research has supported conservation technologies and encouraged community-friendly rural development. These results improved farmers’ bottom lines and positively contributed to Iowan’s health and well-being.

The selection committee must recognize that the future president of ISU will not only affect the future of the university, but of Iowa as well. Over the past two decades, the Iowa Environmental Council has worked with ISU researchers to inform policies and practices that are good for Iowa’s present and future. We look forward to continuing this amicable relationship.

 - Jennifer L. Terry, executive director, Iowa Environmental Council

About The Author

Jennifer joined the Council in 2017. She returned to the Iowa Environmental Council, having previously led the Council’s agricultural water policy efforts. While previously at the Council, she pushed for strengthening Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy, advocated for increased transparency and accountability for public spending on water quality projects, and also lobbied for funding for mandatory water quality monitoring in state-funded projects.

Jennifer is a native Iowan, raised on a dairy farm in north central Iowa where she developed a passion for protecting Iowa’s land and water. After a career in the healthcare industry, Jennifer returned to college, graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2013 and was admitted to the Iowa State Bar. Jennifer joins the Council having previously worked as an environmental advocacy leader at Des Moines Water Works, where she focused on building coalitions in the Raccoon River Watershed and advocating for policy that reduces agricultural pollution.