Leopold Center closing controversy continues

by | Apr 17, 2017 | 5 Ag Stories, News

LISTEN: Money Matters 4-18-17

Iowa farmers voice their opinions on the controversial budget bill closing and cutting funding for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

Last week, the Iowa House appropriations committee voted for an education bill cutting all state funding from the Leopold Center at Iowa State University.

A handful of Iowa farmers testified before the Iowa House Appropriations Committee yesterday (Monday) morning.

?We have in the past stayed out of politics. Today, for the first time, this changes. As a Conservative Republican, I am disappointed with what I hear happening. We ask you to continue funding the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture,? Practical Farmers of Iowa Board President Mark Peterson says.

?The Leopold Center, don?t cut it, quadruple their budget. There is real research needed to be done there. That is the real savings for the state of Iowa in a long-term life expectancy of humans on this planet, is that kind of research. Remember, your problem is revenue, revenue, revenue,? Vice President of Iowa Citizens for Community Action, Stephen Tews says.

According to Leopold Center staff, nearly $400,000 in cuts would effectively end their work.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Iowa House Appropriations Chair Republican Pat Grassley said: “We have to leave here with a balanced budget. We’re going to have to make difficult decisions to do that. But I think Iowans expect us to make the tough decisions, not kick the can down the road.”

Lawmakers could pass the $7.24 billion budget this week. It is more than $110 million less than what lawmakers approved last year.