Austin Frerick is running for Iowa Senate in district 37. This was in an email asking for volunteers first and if you can’t volunteer a campaign donation. But what I appreciate about Austin is when he asks you for something he reciprocates by giving you something of value. Please read this inspirational and moving message. He imagines the beautiful, unpolluted Iowa of our youth and asks you to imagine it too.
“A New Vision for Agriculture”
Agriculture is a cornerstone industry in Iowa. Many in the district are only a generation or two removed from farming. Some came to town after the Farm Crisis ruined their bottom line. Others, especially younger generations, were discouraged from continuing their family farms as it seemed financially impossible to do so. For too many Iowans, farming no longer seemed like a viable way of life, and part of that has to do with our current agricultural system.
As I covered with Charlie Mitchell in Vox last year, commodity barons, who are exploiting the land and people of Iowa, are getting away with it because of their large donations to Governor Kim Reynolds and legislative leaders.
Barons like these are exploiting us and weakening the ability of families to succeed. It is time that we fight against this.
Instead of forcing Iowa’s family farmers to compete with massive, foreign-owned corporations to sell commodities at rock-bottom prices, I want to implement programs in the Iowa Legislature making it easier for farmers to transition to other crops, putting varieties of locally-produced food into local shops and businesses. I want to place a moratorium on consolidated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), so we can get Iowa’s water crisis under control. I want to publicize shady dealings between corporations and the government that are subsuming our farmers and their communities. I want farming to be an opportunity for Iowans to thrive and not another low-wage job.
It is easy to dwell on the horrors of what, in many ways, agriculture has become in Iowa, but I don’t want us to think only of the negatives in our present. I want us also to think about what we can make Iowa’s agriculture look like in the future, a positive vision for all of us.
Imagine the gently rolling hills of our state populated with livestock grazing upon pasture, not in confined steel factory sheds.
Imagine fields and orchards with vivid arrays of greens, oranges, purples, and reds, instead of browns and grays.
Imagine our waters, clear and pristine, free from nitrates and pollutants.
Imagine our environment safe from pollution and constant natural disasters.
Imagine young families, migrants, and immigrants being able to live the American Dream by starting new farms, making good incomes, and investing in their communities.
Imagine new industries and businesses created in Cedar Rapids and Marion to facilitate and expand these renewed opportunities.
Imagine our schools serving food grown and raised by farmers up the road, not over the ocean.
Imagine our children, our students, our young people wanting to learn more about what it means to sow, to grow, to harvest their land and their potential.
Imagine traveling across the state and seeing new generations of Iowans reattaching themselves to the land, a renewed sense of pride in Iowa’s backbone.
This can be the future of Iowa, and I intend to fight to make it happen in the state senate.
I cannot do it alone, however. It requires a team of us who want to see this vision come to fruition. I encourage you to volunteer for our campaign by clicking this link. If you are unable to volunteer, I would greatly appreciate a contribution in any amount by clicking this link. This vision can come together with your help.