Thank you to our legislators who stood with the Leopold Center!

While we continue to speak out against the Iowa legislature’s disastrous decision to eliminate the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, we also want to recognize the time and effort of our members and supporters and the state legislators who heard our concerns and stood with us in this fight.

First, a big shout out to everyone in the IFU community who has called and emailed legislators, signed petitions, written letters to the editor, and taken time off to come to the State Capitol and speak up for family farmers and the values represented by the Leopold Center. Even though we did not prevail in the legislature, your voices made a big difference in bringing our arguments to legislators, the media, and members of the public. We packed the State Capitol for this week’s budget hearing, and we generated a lot of great news coverage to shed some much needed sunlight on the legislature’s ill-conceived last minute budget maneuvers.

We will keep fighting for a sustainable future for Iowa agriculture, and our efforts over this past week will help provide the energy, motivation, and sense of community that we will need to move forward.

Second, we want to express our deep appreciation to the legislators who heard our message and stepped up to fight for the Leopold Center. We do a pretty good job of letting legislators know when we are unhappy, so it’s also important to thank them when they do the right thing on a bigissue.

If you have a minute, please send a quick note of thanks to the legislators who stood with the Leopold Center this week. Their email and phone contacts are available on the Iowa Legislature’s website.

In the House, Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell (D-Ames) introduced an floor amendment to the agriculture & natural resources appropriations bill (SF 510) that would have restored the fertilizer sales tax revenue to the Leopold Center and eliminated the language requiring the closure of the Center. The amendment failed on a 46-52 vote. Representatives voting for Rep. Wessel-Kroeschell’s amendment were:

  • Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad
  • Rep. Marti Anderson
  • Rep. Rob Bacon*
  • Rep. Chip Baltimore*
  • Rep. Bruce Bearinger
  • Rep. Liz Bennett
  • Rep. Michael Bergan*
  • Rep. Brian Best*
  • Rep. Wes Breckenridge
  • Rep. Timi Brown-Powers
  • Rep. Dennis Cohoon
  • Rep. Dave Deyoe*
  • Rep. Abby Finkenauer
  • Rep. John Forbes
  • Rep. Mary Gaskill
  • Rep. Chris Hall
  • Rep. Curt Hanson
  • Rep. Lisa Heddens
  • Rep. Bruce Hunter
  • Rep. Charles Isenhart
  • Rep. Dave Jacoby
  • Rep. Timothy Kacena
  • Rep. Jerry Kearns
  • Rep. Bob Kressig
  • Rep. Monica Kurth
  • Rep. Vicki Lensing
  • Rep. Mary Mascher
  • Rep. Charlie McConkey
  • Rep. Andy McKean*
  • Rep. Brian Meyer
  • Rep. Helen Miller
  • Rep. Amy Nielsen
  • Rep. Jo Oldson
  • Rep. Rick Olson
  • Rep. Scott Ourth
  • Rep. Todd Prichard
  • Rep. Kristen Running-Marquardt
  • Rep. Mark Smith
  • Rep. Ras Smith
  • Rep. Art Staed
  • Rep. Sharon Steckman
  • Rep. Todd Taylor
  • Rep. Phyllis Thede
  • Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell
  • Rep. Cindy Winckler
  • Rep. Mary Wolfe

*Representatives Bacon, Baltimore, Bergan, Best, Deyoe, and McKean voted for Rep. Wessel-Kroeschell’s amendment but also voted for final passage of SF 510 after the amendment failed.

In the Senate, Sen. Herman Quirmbach (D-Ames) introduced a floor amendment to the ag & natural resources appropriations bill (SF 510) that would have eliminated the language requiring the closure of the Leopold Center. The amendment failed on a 22-28 vote. Sen. Quirmbach also introduced a floor amendment to the education appropriations bill (HF 642) that would have restored the $397,417 annual appropriation from the state’s general fund to the Leopold Center. That amendment failed on a 23-27 vote. Senators voting for Sen. Quirmbach’s amendments were:

  • Sen. Chaz Allen
  • Sen. Tony Bisignano
  • Sen. Joe Bolkcom
  • Sen. Nate Boulton
  • Sen. Tod Bowman
  • Sen. Mark Chelgren*
  • Sen. Jeff Danielson
  • Sen. William Dotzler
  • Sen. Robert Dvorsky
  • Sen. Rita Hart
  • Sen. Rob Hogg
  • Sen. Wally Horn
  • Sen. Pam Jochum
  • Sen. David Johnson
  • Sen. Kevin Kinney
  • Sen. Jim Lykam
  • Sen. Liz Mathis
  • Sen. Matt McCoy
  • Sen. Janet Petersen
  • Sen. Herman Quirmbach
  • Sen. Amanda Ragan
  • Sen. Mark Segebart*
  • Sen. Rich Taylor

*Sen. Chelgren voted for both of Sen. Quirmbach’s amendments but also voted for final passage of SF 510 and HF 642; Sen. Segebart only voted to amend HF 642 and also voted for final passage of SF 510 and HF 642.

The House and Senate roll call votes for SF 510 (agriculture & natural resources) are available here.

The House and Senate roll call votes for HF 642 (education) are available here.

Iowa Farmers Union
PO Box 1883 Ames, IA 50010-1883