Can Iowa’s Altered Landscape Ever Be Restored?

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“We are a collective of Indigenous organizers of the Great Plains working to resist and Indigenize colonial institutions, ideologies, and behaviors. Our homelands are located in the vast grassland of Turtle Island, situated between the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi River and stretching from the Northern Tundra to the Gulf of Mexico. ”

Iowa – Big-Agriculture’s Sacrifice Zone

No other landscape in the country has been biologically altered to the extent that Iowa has. Iowa is Big-Ag’s sacrifice zone.

Big-Ag, also known as Agribusiness, is the business of agriculture, which comodifies food systems for ultimate profit and product efficiency that satisfy the colonial-capitalist model. The Pesticide Action Network states that “industrial agriculture treats the farm as a factory, with ‘inputs’ (pesticides, fertilizers) and ‘outputs’ (crops). The end-objective is to increase yields while controlling costs — usually by exploiting economies of scale (i.e. ‘mono-cropping’), and by replacing solar energy and manual labor with machines and petrochemical inputs.” (1)

According to the Iowa Prairie Network, Iowa used to be as biologically diverse as many rain forests in South America but now its diversity is comparable to that of a desert. It is almost an artificial environment where food is grown in soil that needs constant application of fertilizers and other nutrients due to mono-cropping and heavy crop rotation schedules. These colonial-capitalist farming practices are not just affecting Iowa, but land all the way to the Gulf of Mexico and contributing greatly to the climate crisis”

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