Francis ThickeCandidate for the Iowa State Secretary of Agriculture
Francis Thicke is seeking the Democratic nomination to run for Iowa secretary of agriculture in 2010. He owns and operates Radiance Dairy in Fairfield, Iowa. Dr. Thicke supports state incentives for farm-scale wind turbines, local control of the location of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) and increased state regulation regarding the size of such confinements. He previously served at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. as national program leader for soil science. He has also served on the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission and was appointed to the Iowa Food Policy Council by former Gov. Tom Vilsack. Dr. Thicke holds a PhD in agronomy and soil fertility. He has been a frequent speaker at conferences and workshops in Iowa and across the nation on topics ranging from local food systems and economic development to organic farming practices to sustainable farming. He currently serves on Iowa’s USDA Technical Committee. For more information on Dr. Thicke, click here.
Laura KrouseChair of the Linn County Soil and Water Commission Farmer, Advocate for local food
Laura Krouse owns Abbe Hills Farm, a 72-acre farm near Mt. Vernon that produces heirloom seed corn and is also home to a 200-family Community Supported Agriculture operation. In 2007, Ms. Krouse was the recipient of the Spencer Award for Sustainable Agriculture, granted by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture to honor those who have contributed to the stability of family farms in Iowa. She was the first single woman named to the award, as well as the first small-market farmer. In the winter, Ms. Krouse provides conservation education to women landowners through a project of the Women, Food and Agriculture Network called "Women Caring for the Land." Laura Krouse is also chair of the Linn Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD). Ms. Krouse holds BS degrees in agronomy and agricultural business from Iowa State University, and an MS in agronomy from the University of Florida.
Fred KirschenmannDistinguished Fellow, Leopold Center, Professor of Religion and Philosophy, Iowa State University, President, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
Frederick L. Kirschenmann is a longtime national and international leader in sustainable agriculture. He is a Distinguished Fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, President of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, New York, and is a professor in the ISU Department of Religion and Philosophy. Dr. Kirschenmann holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of Chicago, and has written extensively about ethics and agriculture. He has served on the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board and the National Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production. In 2001, Kirschenmann received the Seventh Generation Research Award from the Center for Rural Affairs for his work in sustainable food and farming systems. He also was named a 2002 Leader of the Year in Agriculture by Progressive Farmer publications. For more information on Dr. Kirschenmann, click here.