Rural Resilience, Regeneration and Rail in Iowa, a conversation with farmer Seth Watkins & Rep. Jeff Kurtz

Seth Watkins (biois a a fourth generation farmer. He stewards the Pinhook Farms cow-calf and crop operation in Clarinda, Iowa. I first heard Seth Watkins speak while lurking on an Iowa Farmers Union Facebook livestream. I was so deeply impressed that I immediately reached out to see if he'd be willing to have a conversation with the Solutionary Rail team and engage in a conversation about rural resilience, regenerative agriculture and the potential for rail infrastructure to bolster and revive rural communities.

Last summer, I delved into articles on chronic rural depopulation and the role that immigration and infrastructure might play. Seth was the white first person I heard speaking directly to building welcoming, equitable rural communities that embrace newcomers no matter where they come from. I frankly did not expect to hear "No one who is essential can also be illegal" on an Iowa Farmers Union livestream. I now realize that that says more about my own assumptions and biases than it says about anything else.

Seth shared a number of insights with me recently. His deep commitment to healing between people and between people and the living systems that sustain us is profound. The pandemic is a time of reckoning and recalibration. Recalibrating how we grow food, for whom we grow it and how we transport it are all interrelated, as is food production and the growing of resilient, sustainable and equitable communities. 

Seth was joined by retired railroad engineer Jeff Kurtz who is both a long time member of the Solutionary Rail team and an elected representative serving in the Iowa legislature. Jeff augments Seth's messages and connects the conversation to state and federal policies.  

Solutionary Rail looks forward to continuing to learn from our brothers and sisters in rural places. This Zoomcast was a another chance to do so. Enjoy!

Forward Together!

Bill Moyer
Solutionary Rail

PS - More about Seth in this 7 min. video and the Facebook livestream where I first heard him present. Here are a couple presentations he has given: Integrated Crop and Livestock Systems & Stewardship (Economics Productivity and the Environment - a Farmer's Perspective.) 

Returning Livestock to Pasture

Seth Watkins will outline how to successfully integrate livestock into regenerative agriculture practices on your operation. Watkins is a row crop and cow-calf livestock farmer from Clarinda, Iowa.

Posted by Iowa Farmers Union on Thursday, May 28, 2020

WHEN
July 30, 2020 at 12pm - 1:30pm
WHERE
Zoomcast
32 RSVPS
Jake Grobe carla lines David McLanahan Amy Morrison Amber Riddle Blair Walsingham Jamie Smelley Michael Hubbart William McPherson Steven Shafarman Loren Ford Ken Denson Elaine Hickman Kevin Kane Rondi Lightmark Nathan Proudfoot Tom White Al Anderson Larry Edwards Larry Roth Clyde Anderson Carol Werner Terence Johnson Mary Paterson Jeffrey Kisling Terry Sullivan Bill Moyer

Who's RSVPing

Jake Grobe
carla lines
David McLanahan
Amy Morrison
Amber Riddle
Blair Walsingham
Jamie Smelley
Michael Hubbart
William McPherson
Steven Shafarman
Loren Ford
Ken Denson
Elaine Hickman
Kevin Kane
Rondi Lightmark
Nathan Proudfoot
Tom White
Al Anderson
Larry Edwards
Larry Roth
Clyde Anderson
Carol Werner
Terence Johnson
Mary Paterson
Jeffrey Kisling
Terry Sullivan
Bill Moyer

Will you come?

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