Thanks to the hard work by the
dedicated employees of the Iowa Department of Agriculture
and Land Stewardship, much has been accomplished during
2001, she says. Of course, there’s still more work to be
- The state ag department made
phenomenal progress in eliminating the swine disease,
pseudorabies. The number of infected herds went from the
high of 592 to just 2. "We will continue to be vigilant
in our efforts to eradicate this terrible swine disease
and soon will achieve a statewide ‘pseudorabies-free’
status," says Judge.
- "During 2001, we have developed a
Foot and Mouth Disease Response Plan for Iowa," notes
Judge. "With the concern about foreign animal disease,
we needed to prepare ourselves to respond quickly in the
unlikely event that a foreign animal disease should be
introduced into America."
She says Iowa is now ‘ahead
of the curve’ and has one of the best response plans in
the country. With today’s threats of bio-terrorism, 2002
will bring more challenges to assuring the safety of our
agricultural industry, says Judge.
- Four new farmer-owned ethanol
plants were established in Iowa in 2001. This brings the
total number, in the span of less than three years, to
15 plants that have either broke ground or are "up and
running" in Iowa. This renewable corn-based fuel is an
Bio-diesel fuel, derived
from soybeans, is the newest renewable fuel to hit Iowa by
storm. A pilot project in Cedar Rapids, where the city
buses run on bio-diesel, has made the air cleaner and has
met with over-whelming triumph.
"This is a success story
that will be repeated throughout Iowa, and across the
nation. Renewable fuels promotion will once again be at
the forefront in 2002 for our ag department," states
- The state of Iowa’s Beginning
Farmer Program, administered by the Iowa Agricultural
Development Authority (a part of the Iowa Department of
Ag), has had its 4th best year ever in number of loans
and 3rd in volume of loans. "This reflects a continued
confidence in agriculture by beginning farmers in Iowa,"
she says. "We look forward to even greater success in
- "Our Consumer Protection &
Regulatory Affairs Division has made great strides in
protecting Iowa’s consumers and producers," says Judge.
"We developed a pilot program for integrated pest
management to reduce pesticide use in Iowa schools. In
addition, we obtained a $305,000 grant from EPA for new
testing equipment in our Pesticide lab to enhance the
Department’s ability to test for pesticide residue."
- The Department’s Soil and
Conservation Division provided assistance to 2,500 Iowa
landowners for the installation of more than 27,000
acres of needed conservation measures. The CREP
(Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program) was
introduced last summer by Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack,
USDA Secretary Ann Veneman and officials of the Iowa
Department of Agriculture.
CREP is a water quality
program designed to provide incentives to landowners to
voluntarily establish wetlands for water quality
improvement. The program will reduce the movement of
nitrate and other agricultural chemicals from croplands to
streams and rivers.
"We are proud of our
accomplishments, but there is still much to do as we head
into 2002. This is a challenging time for our economy.
Those challenges can also bring great opportunities to
enhance and advance our quality of life here in Iowa. It
is important to keep working to promote Iowa’s leading
industry and especially to protect Iowa’s two most
precious natural resources, our soil and water," says