The Annihilation of American Soil

      The future, an unknown dimension, has been speculated in millions of different ways. Whether in movies, television, or just a stray thought.  For example, in Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games, district twelve is a poor and starving community owned by an elite upper class.  A fictional story, or is it?

      While we might not know the future, we are aware of the present.  Every minute we lose more than an acre of the American farmland that feeds us.  With the rapid expansion of our cities, a skyline stands on every horizon.

      Unlike the wind or sun, agricultural land can run out.  As Ms. Weeks, a Waukee High School science teacher shared, “We should use the land that we have in a better way, instead of continuing to develop we should use what we already have to save space.”  Along with this she made a suggestion, “Students should take more environmental science classes or have those classes information mixed into the core class curriculum.”

      Another WHS teacher, Mr. Dreier, has a slightly different view.  He believes land conservation and stewardship are more of a problem.  The major problem he pointed out was the lack of buffer strips in Iowa waters that would keep chemicals and fertilizer out of streams and rivers.  Although, when asked about educating his students, he firmly agreed with Weeks, “Students should be taught where their food comes from.”

      A great argument against the upkeeping of farmland revolves around the economy.  Building homes and commercial buildings provides a boost in jobs. However. CEO of Greenbuilt Projects Rusty Green provided his opinion.  After saying that the short term effects being beneficial to us he continued on to say, “The long term effects could be catastrophic.” He finished the interview with, “It means less farmland for a rapidly growing population and that’s a problem!”

      The United States is already short more than thirteen million acres of agricultural land. Although nothing serious has come up, we already lack the sufficient fruits and vegetables for every citizens daily consumption. These tie in to problems such as obesity, which is caused by raised fresh food prices, while fast food and junk food stay at a relatively low price.

      With the rapid increase in the destruction of agricultural land, it is likely that these problems will only be intensified. Agricultural supporters like Ms. Weeks and Mr. Dreier only expressed their personal concern for the future of Iowa and, subsequently, the nation. With the future in mind, it is important that a weary eye be kept on the purpose for which land is being developed.