Farmland Movie Essay Questions

Farmland is a vital resource of carrying out Iowa State’s agricultural programs and fulfilling its land-grant mission of research, service and teaching in agriculture.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and others at Iowa State University field questions on farmland issues in Story and Boone counties. Some questions have involved the Committee for Agricultural Development (CAD), a nonprofit corporation affiliated with ISU. Others ask about ISU’s future needs for agricultural land.

Listed below are answers to frequently asked questions about how ISU and CAD use and manage farmland. Also, a link is provided to a ISU Farmland fact sheet on ISU farmland.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences welcomes your comments and questions. Call (515) 294-2518 or e-mail the College’s communications office, Brian Meyer, bmeyer@iastate.edu.

 

What is the Committee for Agricultural Development (CAD)?

CAD was established as a nonprofit corporation in 1943 with the approval of the Iowa Board of Education. Its mission is to produce crop seeds developed from Iowa State research; to distribute plant genetic materials and other research products to the public; and to acquire and maintain adequate land for agricultural research purposes of Iowa State.

 

What is the relationship between CAD and Iowa State University?

CAD works closely with Iowa State to meet the need for farmland to conduct agricultural research and to grow and distribute publicly available seed developed by ISU researchers. CAD land also is used to produce feed for livestock in ISU’s research and teaching herds, and to receive manure from those operations. Management of CAD operations is conducted by university employees in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The portions of their jobs related to CAD business are paid by CAD, not by taxpayer funds. CAD’s operations also benefit ISU researchers and students. Over its history, CAD has provided more than $2 million of research support to ISU. CAD owns and operates farms in southwest Iowa and east central Iowa that were given as gifts. In accordance with the donor’s wishes, all profits from the farm benefit the education of ISU graduate students in agronomy. Over the past 30 years, proceeds from one of the farms have contributed more than $400,000 to ISU students.

 

Who makes decisions for CAD?

CAD has an 11-member board of trustees made up of 6 representatives from Iowa farm and seed organizations and 5 representatives from Iowa State University.

 

How much land does CAD own?

CAD currently owns 3,150 acres of land. Except for the two gift farms, the land is located in Story and Boone counties. Since 2000, CAD has purchased 8 parcels of land totaling 1,586 acres and sold 8 parcels totaling 1,663 acres. CAD’s land purchases are made with an eye toward long-term needs of university research and demonstration. CAD’s land purchases have helped to meet increasing demands for research and for raising foundation seed, which requires special attention and adherence to strict environmental and production guidelines.

 

How does CAD pay for land?

CAD is a financially independent organization. It purchases land with its own funds, which primarily come from sales of public varieties of seed and of commodity grains grown in rotation with seed. CAD pays property taxes on all its land. In 2008, CAD paid $21,668 in property taxes in Story County and $42,203 in taxes in Boone County.

 

What is CAD land used for?

The majority of central-Iowa acreage owned by CAD is dedicated to ISU agricultural research and to seed production. Some of CAD’s revenues have come from growing commodity corn in rotation with seed. Using a public-bid process, CAD pays local farmers to provide custom farming operations to grow the commodity grain.

 

How much land does CAD and ISU need for its programs?

Agricultural research is changing and these changes impact land decisions. Today, not all research can be conducted on small plots; some require more significant areas of land to be able to test, implement or evaluate new technologies. These new technologies may include new methods of automation and mechanization, such as the use of global positioning systems and geographic information systems. Studies on crops containing genetic modifications require sizable areas so plots can be isolated from neighboring fields. Land is also needed for extension, demonstration and continuing education programs led by ISU staff.

Also, the demand for agricultural land has increased as ISU researchers and graduate students are more successful in securing competitive grants. Collaborations with federal research partners, like the USDA, also continue to grow, and these research efforts are beneficial to the university and the state of Iowa.

Historically, agricultural land purchases for ISU uses have considered the needs of the campus and the community. The university’s agricultural activities continue to move farther from campus and Ames to accommodate urban growth, new economic development and recreational development in the Ames area. These items are important to students, businesses, schools and residents. Adequate land also is needed to serve as a buffer between the university’s agricultural activities, especially those involving livestock, and urban or suburban areas.

 

Long-term view of farmland.

Even in difficult budget times, ISU takes a long-term view for its programs and positioning itself for excellence in the future. That includes meeting the needs of faculty, staff and collaborators for agricultural land to fulfill their mission in research, education and extension.

 

Does CAD grow commodity corn and soybeans?

The majority of central-Iowa acreage owned by CAD is dedicated to Iowa State agricultural research and to seed production of ISU-developed seed. Since CAD is financially independent, some of its revenues have come from growing commodity corn on land not used for seed production. (To prevent production problems, soybean seed cannot be grown on the same acreage two years in a row; so every other year, commodity corn is grown on land that was previously in seed.) Using a public-bid process, CAD contracts with local farmers to provide custom farming operations to grow the commodity grain. Revenues from commodity crops support CAD’s main operations linked to seed production and ISU agricultural research.

 

What are ISU’s future plans for buying agricultural land in Story or Boone counties?

Iowa State’s plans for agricultural land management are outlined in the Land Management Plan for the Campus and Ames Area Agricultural Properties, which was completed in 1996. This plan, which includes land owned by the university and affiliated organizations (like CAD), outlines goals for efficient land use that are compatible with the university’s agricultural teaching and research requirements and the urban development of Ames. The land-use plan has continued to be the basis for planning in central Iowa. ISU is working to update the plan to reflect recent developments. Any updates will be submitted to the Board of Regents for their review and approval.

JAMES MOLL, DIRECTOR

James Moll’s work as a documentary filmmaker has earned him an Oscar®, two Emmys® and a Grammy®. Moll has directed and produced such films as Foo Fighters: Back & Forth about the 16-year career of the rock band Foo Fighters; The sports adventure Running the Sahara, executive produced by Matt Damon; Inheritance, bout the daughter of a Nazi concentration camp commander; and and The Last Days, executive produced by Steven Spielberg. Moll’s Universal Studios- based company, Allentown Productions, has also produced numerous programs for television as well as web-based content. In addition to working as a filmmaker, James established the non-profit Shoah Foundation with Steven Spielberg for recording and preserving more than 50,000 ‘Visual Histories’ of Holocaust survivors.

 

TIM CALANDRELLO, EDITOR

Tim Calandrello is a film and television editor, writer and producer whose career spans more than 15 years across many genres. His talents have been seen in hundreds of film trailers and promos , television shows, music videos, pilots and specials, for clients including Disney, Sony, Apple, RCA Records, NBC, AMC, Showtime, ESPN and Fox, to name a few. Calandrello’s recent feature documentary credits include Farmland and the Grammy® Award-Winning Film Foo Fighters: Back & Forth, for which he was awarded a Gold Record. He has been recognized with four National Academy of Television and Sciences Awards, including Best Short Film, Best Director of a Short Film and Best Documentary on a variety of short subject films and documentaries. Calandrello’s company ‘Twisted Pumpkin Creative’ specializes in producing theatrical trailer campaigns, promos and short subject pieces.

 

HARRIS DONE, DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY

Director of photography, Harris Done, has worked in many genres over the past 25 years. Most notable has been his long documentary collaboration with USC film school classmate, James Moll. Their work includes the 1999 Oscar® winner The Last Days for executive producer, Steven Spielberg, Price For Peace for NBC, as well as the Emmy® winner Inheritance, the desert epic Running The Sahara, produced and narrated by Matt Damon, and Grammy® winner Foo Fighters: Back & Forth,which chronicled the history of the band, and now Farmland.

Done’s other notable documentary D.P. credits include the up and coming Above And BeyondFrom a Whisper to a roar and the cult classic Trekkies.

In addition to his extensive cinematography work, Done has also written, produced and directed several dramatic feature films, including PurgatoryFlats and Storm, with Martin Sheen. He has also directed the documentaries War Dogs of the Pacific and AlwaysFaithful.

 

Allentown Productions

Established in 2001 by director/producer James Moll, Allentown Productions is a Los Angeles based film and television production company specializing in non-fiction entertainment. Moll’s work as a filmmaker has garnered him many accolades, including an Academy Award® for his documentary directorial debut, The Last Days.

Housed on the Universal Studios lot, some of Allentown’s film credits include the Grammy Award® winning Foo Fighters: Back & Forth, the Emmy Award® winning Inheritance, and the epic sports adventure Running the Sahara.

 

FILM SUBJECTS

LEIGHTON COOLEY

Leighton is a fourth generation poultry farmer, operates four large farms in Georgia with his father. In addition to chickens, he also has a cow-calf operation and grows hay. Leighton and his wife have two sons.

 

BRAD BELLAH

Brad is a sixth generation cattle rancher, runs beef and cattle operations in Texas and Colorado, including a natural beef herd. The 26-year-old husband and father of a twin son and daughter earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications from Texas Tech University.

 

David Loberg


David is a fifth generation corn and soybean farmer in Nebraska, runs the family farm with this mother. The farms also custom feeds 500 head of cows for a local dairy operation and runs an irrigation business. The 25-year-old and his wife have an infant son.

 

Sutton Morgan

Sutton is a fourth generation farmer from California, grows, packs and sells onions and potatoes. He also grows melons, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, chard, kale and alfalfa. Sutton hods a degree in business economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

 

MARGARET SCHLASS

Margaret is a first-generation certified naturally grown vegetable farmer who grows and markets her farms’ produce through a community supported agriculture (CSA) membership program. She also sells produce at the Pittsburgh farmers market and to directly to restaurant owners. Margret earned a bachelor or arts degree in art history and anthropology from the University of Delaware before embarking on her farming career.

 

RYAN VELDHUIZEN

Ryan is a fourth generation farmer. With his brother and sister, he is taking over the operation of his family’s hog farm in Minnesota. In addition to hogs, the farms grows corn and soybeans, which they use for feed.

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