Ed Kee Guest Lecture 2 – Sean Michael

Before today, I never thought much of Iowa, maybe some corn jokes here and there but nothing else other than that. After Ed Kee’s lecture, I was more informed about this proud state. 87,500 farmers manage eighty five percent (30.5 million acres) of the state’s land, which leads the country in corn, soybean, hog, and egg production. The loess, wind blown deposits of silt and clay, in Iowa’s soil makes it very fertile and moisture holding, which when paired well with its annual rainfall, produces an abundance of crops. The loess is particularly helpful for corn production, for Iowa produces a lot of ethanol, which is in gasoline (15% now). We also learned about California, which is the largest agricultural selling state ($47 billion) and how water prices are causing a change in farming techniques. Some families have water rights dating back decades, which allows them to get water for a very cheap price. The tremendous production of these 2 states feeds millions across the country and globe, and are necessary to keep healthy to ensure the food safety of the country.

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