I'm glad that I will be able to participate in a panel discussion on sustainability at this year’s
ARA conference. The growing demand for sustainable agriculture is a concern that all ag retailers
and farmers need to pay attention to, not just those who focus on fruit and vegetable
Several years ago, the Des Moines Water Works contacted Heartland Co-op and others due
to concerns over the region’s water quality and agriculture’s potential impact. Heartland Co-op
immediately joined with several other ag retailers in the area to form Agriculture’s Clean
Water Alliance (ACWA).
Today’s agriculture industry is expected to feed a growing world population from a static land
resource base. New regulations and consumer demands also make it clear that this should be
done while making consistent improvements to environmental performance. The ACWA is focused
on finding this balance.
At this year’s conference, I will provide more information on the ACWA’s efforts and new
sustainable practices that Iowa retailers are implementing to improve and evaluate water quality.
Dave Coppess is the Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Heartland Co-op in
West Des Moines, IA.