Cocktails & Convos with Chris Jones
Date: Thurs, Sept 14 Time: 7 PM Location: Dog-Eared Books
Join Chris Jones for a conversation about his book The Swine Republic, which tackles the truth of Iowa agriculture. The immensity of this production has come at a cost: soil erosion, the loss of wildlife habitat, a lack of public parks and recreation areas, foul air from animal waste, and especially degraded water. Learn more through this book and a night with the author — both included in your ticket price. There will be themed cocktails for sale as well!
About the Book: Interested in the truth about Iowa and the Midwest’s water quality? You won’t get it from Iowa’s agricultural and political leaders. Among midwestern Corn Belt states, Iowa contains some of the world’s most productive farmland; the state frequently tops all others in harvested totals of corn and soybeans and has helped the U.S. be the world’s largest producer of corn every year since at least 1961. Iowa also has a lot of animals that eat corn and soybeans. The state is first in egg and pork production and fifth in the number of feedlot cattle. Concentrating both cropland and livestock within the state has created efficiencies in production, transportation, fertilization, and accumulated wealth for a lucky few. The immensity of this production has come at a cost: soil erosion, the loss of wildlife habitat, a lack of public parks and recreation areas, foul air from animal waste, and especially degraded water. Iowa has over 70,000 miles of streams, and only 15 segments of these meet all the designated uses outlined under the Clean Water Act. The pollutants from Iowa’s rivers ultimately drain to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico, part of which is killed off every summer by Corn Belt pollution from farms 1,500 miles upstream. More than 20% of Iowans drink water treated for the removal of nitrate–a regulated drinking water contaminant that results from corn and livestock production–and nearly 7,000 private wells are contaminated with this pollutant.
Until his recent retirement, Chris Jones was a Research Engineer with IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering at the University of Iowa. He holds a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from Montana State University and a BA in chemistry and biology from Simpson College. Previous career stops include the Des Moines Water Works and the Iowa Soybean Association. As an avid outdoorsman, he enjoys fishing, bird watching, gardening, and mushroom hunting in both Iowa and Wisconsin. While he spends most of his time in Iowa City, he is especially fond of the Upper Mississippi River and the Driftless Area of Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.