(Photo Credit: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)
ISA Lauds Gov. Reynolds’ Call for Long-Term, Dedicated Water Quality Funding
January 14, 2020
State’s chief executive also calls for boosting production, use of biofuels
Ankeny, Iowa — The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) lauded Gov. Kim Reynolds’ call today for implementing long-term, dedicated funding to improve water quality, agricultural productivity and recreational amenities and boosting the production and use of biofuels.
In her annual Condition of the State address, Iowa’s chief executive officer said the start of a new decade requires bold planning for 2030 and beyond. Central to this vision is implementing the Invest in Iowa Act combining increased funding for water quality, recreation and mental health with property and income tax reductions.
One decade ago, the Iowa legislature created a mechanism to increase funding for water quality improvements following approval by Iowa voters of the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust. Reynolds said it’s time to act by boosting the state’s sales tax by a penny.
“We were given this beautiful land to work but also to keep,” she said. “This must be the responsibility of all Iowans.”
Fifty-eight percent of the fund – or around $100 million annually – would go to advancing water quality, an increase of 31% from current funding. Reynolds said an additional $52 million from the fund would bolster other conservation and outdoor efforts.
ISA President Tim Bardole of Rippey said the association stands ready to help make the governor’s vision a reality.
“Soybean farmers are driven to deliver greater productivity while also strengthening our soils and improving water quality,” he said. “We look forward to being a partner and resource for the governor and legislature as they proceed on this important initiative.”
Bardole said soybean farmers have long championed the connectivity between ag production, clean water, strong soils and vibrant communities. The association has followed through on this commitment by partnering with public and private stakeholders. In doing so, ISA has effectively leveraged checkoff resources increasing the implementation of conservation practices to the benefit of all Iowans.
“We applaud the Governor’s commitment to an open, collaborative approach, which will aid economic development, community revitalization and agriculture resilience for generations to come,” he added. “Iowa’s home to some of the most fertile and productive farmland in the country. Under Governor Reynold’s leadership, Iowa has become a leader in nutrient management, too.”
Increased conservation funding will drive additional practice adoption and implementation and solidify Iowa’s place at the forefront of water quality and nutrient management.
“Farmers are well-positioned to provide conservation outcomes that benefit all Iowans,” Bardole added. “This is evidenced by farmers who are already implementing conservation practices on their farms and in priority watersheds across Iowa.”
The ISA also welcomed the governor’s call for an additional $2 million for the state’s renewable fuels infrastructure program to drive domestic demand for homegrown, renewable fuels.
“Additional biofuels production creates jobs and agricultural markets for what we grow domestically,” Bardole said. “Just like improved water quality, increasing renewable fuels usage is a win-win for Iowa.”
The Iowa Soybean Association (www.iasoybeans.com) is “Driven To Deliver” increased soybean demand through market development and new uses, farmer-focused research and results, timely information and know-how and policy initiatives enabling farmers and the industry to flourish. Founded in 1964 by farmers to serve farmers, ISA is governed by a board of 22 farmers to advocate on behalf of the state’s 40,000 soybean producers, including more than 12,000 ISA farmer members and industry stakeholders.