This past week I traveled 501 miles in a rental car across the great state of Iowa.

Current trends in agriculture can be easily noticed, given my 25 years of experience and background in the state.

First, I addressed a Farm Bureau-sponsored conference in Cedar Rapids and then another in Storm Lake. At Cedar Rapids, the conference was held at Kirkwood Community College. This is a very progressive college with 13,000 students; 700 of which are in the agricultural program. It appears that more students are spending the first two years at community colleges before going on to the larger four-year schools.

Second, cruising across Iowa I noticed fewer farmsteads with larger fields. Farms appear to be more specialized, i.e. grain / livestock rather than diversified.

Third, around the growing cities such as Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, more homes with approximately 10 acres are being constructed. I noticed this trend around Ames, Iowa as well.

Fourth, the farms south of Storm Lake toward Blair, NE, area are becoming much larger with fewer small towns.

Finally, an agricultural feature that has not changed is fine people and hospitality. I stopped at one farmstead to see a producer’s antique tractors and we had a wonderful visit.

Yes, there is an occasional small town patrolman ready to nab an out-of-state plate, but luckily it was the other guy!

Interesting Points

If money is no problem, 51% of Americans desire to live on ten acres in the country, with a country home and pond. See how development is impacting rural America!

Sports View

Wow, Miami looks tough!

Great NFL games, high-scoring, close, and exciting!

My e-mail address is:sullylab@vt.edu

Editors' note: Dave Kohl, Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist at Virginia Tech. He recently completed a sabbatical working with the Royal Bank of Canada. He is now back at Virginia Tech with his academic appointment, which is teaching, extension, and applied research.

To see Dave Kohl's previous road warrior adventures type Dave Kohl in the Search blank at the top of the page.

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