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A ballsy campaign ad put Joni Ernst on the map. It may be all she’s remembered for.

Six years ago, a little-known state senator introduced herself to Iowans statewide with the words, “I’m Joni Ernst. I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm.” The “Make ’em Squeal” ad helped plant an image of Ernst in the […]

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Federal judge issue injunction against Iowa’s new ‘ag gag’ law

Iowa won’t be able to enforce its new “ag gag” law, until a federal court rules on its constitutionality. Senior Judge James Gritzner of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa issued a preliminary injunction on Tuesday, finding the public interest groups challenging the law were likely to succeed when the case is tried. […]

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Have fun and learn how to help an iconic butterfly at the Iowa City Monarch Festival

The fourth annual Iowa City Monarch Festival on Sunday is a celebration with a purpose. The two-hour event at the Iowa City Municipal Airport not only gives people a chance to enjoy monarch butterflies—as well as family-friendly crafts and snacks—but also learn what they can do to help the icon butterfly. […]

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Linn County plans Dows Farm ‘agrihood,’ a housing development based around a farm

Outside Cedar Rapids, a different type of neighborhood is being planned. Imagine a golf course community, but instead of 18 holes, a small farm serves as the central amenity. The Dows Farm Agri-Community, an agrihood consisting of varied housing units, a farm and different services and trails, is planned to be built on 179 acres of […]

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Mental health care providers in flood-stricken rural areas are short-handed, but expecting more demand

Iowa does not have enough psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists or other mental health care providers to handle an increasing need to care for farmers dealing with relentless flooding this year, several mental health experts IowaWatch interviewed warned. […]

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How planting prairie strips on Iowa farms could save soil, water, wildlife and money — in-state and beyond

A solution to some of the biggest problems facing farmers, and some of the biggest environmental challenges in the state, has deep roots in Iowa’s past. Roughly 85 percent of Iowa’s 36 million acres were covered with prairie plants when the U.S. frontier pushed into what would become the state of Iowa in the 19th century. Now, less than one-10th of one percent of that 30 million acres of prairie exists. […]

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Sen. Grassley applies for federal farm bailout money for the second time in six months

Sen. Chuck Grassley wants a share of the $16 billion in federal aid to farms and other agricultural-based businesses the Trump administration announced last week, the Des Moines Register reported on Friday. The aid package includes $14.5 billion in direct […]

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ACLU of Iowa challenges ‘ag gag’ law it says puts ‘the PR interests of one industry above the constitutional rights of its critics’

In March, just two months after a federal judge struck down Iowa’s “ag gag” law as unconstitutional, the Iowa legislature passed a new, almost identical version of the law. “So we’re doing another bill pretty similar to the last one which is going to end up … costing taxpayers more money [to defend in court],” Democratic Rep. Sharon Stockman from Mason City said during the Iowa House floor debate on Agricultural Facility Trespass Act. […]

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Iowa appeals federal judge’s ruling that its ‘ag gag’ law is unconstitutional

Iowa is appealing a federal district judge’s ruling that it’s “ag gag” law is unconstitutional. On Thursday, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller filed a notice of appeal and motion asking the district court to allow the law to remain in […]

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