Kitchen Garden Social Commentary

At the Farm Bureau Annual Meeting


NORTH LIBERTY— Craig Hill, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation president, spoke last night at the annual Johnson County Farm Bureau meeting. What he said was surprising. He acknowledged that the lack of adequate regulation of air and water quality in China was problematic if people wanted to breathe and drink clean water. Specifically, he pointed to the pollution of coal-fired power plants in and around major population centers. He also commented on the poor water quality. He didn’t go so far as to say more regulation was needed, but for him to acknowledge these problems with this audience of anti-EPA folks seemed remarkable to me. One can only ignore the pollution of our air and water for so long, until action eventually will be required. If he didn’t say it that way, it was only a matter of degrees of separation of our positions.

The annual meeting is the only place I go where we take time to hear introductions of an organization’s insurance sales staff. They all seem nice, and competent, but seriously, there is only so much time and so much to do, why this? The answer is that my health insurance premiums through the Iowa Farm Bureau are the single biggest household expense we have. It is important to tune into what the organization is doing at least once a year. There is also a free meal, which is distinctive in its roots on Iowa farms. Too, as the years add up, I am getting to know more people who attend this event. Attending the annual Johnson County Farm Bureau meeting has become a part of living in rural Iowa.