Farming for Public Health is a program coordinated by the University of Northern Iowa. UNI’s Center for Energy & Environmental Education (CEEE) creates opportunities for UNI students, faculty and staff to work with community leaders to arrive at evidence-based, solution-oriented responses to the problems they wish to address. It offers technical assistance, educational programs, and leadership in energy conservation and renewable energy, environmental conservation and community-based agriculture. The CEEE serves Iowa cities, counties, school districts, teachers, farmers, businesses, elected officials, state agencies, community leaders, and citizen organizations.
Our observation is that medical and public health professionals have assumed that pesticides are just a normal part of agriculture, are unaware of the danger they pose to children and vulnerable populations, and generally do not realize that robust ecological alternatives can take away the need for the vast majority of pesticides used in agriculture.
The overall goal is to build more understanding among statewide healthcare providers and public health professionals about ramifications of excessive pesticide use in Iowa, as well as agricultural strategies that solve for a pattern of soil health, clean water, biodiversity conservation, healthy food, rural economic vitality–collectively, public health.