WORLD FOOD PRIZE
A farmer from California who works with war-torn countries to restore crops to the land is the 2023 World Food Prize Laureate. World Food Prize Foundation President, Terry Branstad made the announcement Thursday morning at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D-C. It was Branstad’s first laureate announcement since he took the World Food Prize Foundation position. He is a former Iowa governor and Ambassador to China. Branstad says Heidi Kuhn is the founder and C-E-O of the nonprofit “Roots of Peace”organization.
Branstad says Kuhn developed a process that has proved to be successful around the world.
He says her efforts started by partnering with wineries in her home state of California to raise funds to remove landmines in Croatia so they could replant vineyards and orchards.
Kuhn was not at the announcement as Branstad says she is working in Azerbaijan to remove landmines, which is her Mother’s Day tradition. The World Food Prize was created by Cresco, Iowa native Norman Borlaug. Borlaug won the Nobel Prize for his efforts to end famine. Kuhn will receive the World Food Prize at a ceremony on October 26th at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines.
TAYLOR – LEGISLATURE
It was a busy legislative session for 2nd District State Senator Jeff Taylor of Sioux Center. He says he had a personal stake in more of the bills introduced this year..
He says he was involved in more legislation than before.
Senator Taylor was directly involved in two of the biggest issues of the recently-concluded legislative session. One was a series of bills to regulate carbon pipelines.
These bills passed in the House, but did not move in the Senate. Senator Taylor says while the state uitllities board will decide the issue, there’s more work for the legislature to do on the pipelines
Taylor also helped advance a reform of school funding in the Senate. That bill was signed into law. Another issue Taylor addressed which did advance was a child protection bill…
A bill Taylor could not advance was an effort to revive an investigative unit at the Iowa Department of Public Safety. He will bring up the bill next year for inclusion at the Iowa Attorney General’s Office.
USGS AIR SURVEY
The Plymouth County Sheriffs Office is informing county residents of an airborne geophysical survey that will be done in northwest Iowa over the next four to six months. The US Geological Survey will use airplanes to survey an area between Sioux Falls and Omaha known as the Spirit Lake tectonic Zone. The region is thought to have potential for mineral deposits. The survey will cover some 105-thousand square miles in the region, and develop high-resolution 3D pictures of geology to depths over 32-hundred feet below the surface. The survey will include pre-planned flight paths low to the ground, around 300 feet above the surface, and one-thousand feet over cities.
SECURE THE BORDER ACT
Iowa 4th District US Representative Randy Feenstra joined the majority to vote for the Secure the Border Act of 2023 yesterday. Feenstra says since President Biden took office, more than 5 million illegal immigrants have crossed our border and over 14-thousand pounds of fentanyl have been taken by law enforcement. Feenstra says House Repbulicans promised to counter President Biden’s border crisis with serious proposals to protect our families and this vote keeps that promise. The Secure the Border Act would maintain Title 42, fully fund our border patrol agents and finish the wall on our southern border.
SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS CALIFORNIA PROPOSITION
Lawmakers and agriculture interests in the area are upset with the US Supreme Courts ruling that upholds a California law which affects Iowa agriculture. Proposition 12 bans the sale of pork from hogs and chickens that don’t meet the arbitrary production standards established by California, even if the hogs were raised outside of that state. Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig says the law undermines an already safe and affordable food production system, and threatens other industries as well. Producer groups and lawmakers including US Representative Randy Feenstra of Hull, roundly criticized the decision.
WET NOSE ADOPTION EVENT
Wet Nose Rescue is holding an event at TCC Wireless in La Mars Saturday. Angel Anderson says it will take place from 1 to 3 pm.
Cats and kittens and dogs will be on hand, and donations to Wet Nose Rescue are welcome.
The pet shelter open is open to the public, but no specific hours have been set.
STATE TAX REFUNDS
A report on tax collections since July 1st of 2022 shows state revenue is up nearly two percent compared to the previous 10 month period. The uptick in tax receipts happened despite the state paying out 107 million dollars MORE in state income tax refunds than it did through the end of April last year. Jeff Robinson of the Legislative Services Agency says there’s been a bit of a slow down in overall state tax collections since April 3rd, though. That includes a dip in sales tax payments to the state. Iowans who filed their 2022 STATE income tax returns by May 1st and are owed a refund should get it within the next two weeks according to Robinson.