Iowa has long been a place for agriculture. Right now, 85% of our land is used for farming. That’s 30 million acres.

And it continues to grow. Seas of corn and beans extend far into the distance. Tractors seem to get bigger each year. Fence lines disappear. Fields grow.

That growth brings profit, but also problems. Our water quality suffers. We ignore the changing climate. We lose focus on what’s important.

What if it wasn’t this way?

We’re used to Iowa as a state for agriculture. That doesn’t have to change. It’s about how we farm, how we use our land, and how we establish a system for new generations.

The Dawning Project highlights farmers and landowners working to a sustainable future. From cleaning water to solar panels to goat yoga, these people are changing how we view the land. Farmers are our past, and they will be the future.

This project is inspired by Paul Johnson. A farmer, conservationist, and civil servant, Johnson dedicated his life and career to a private land ethic.

Now, funding from the Johnson Center for Land Stewardship Policy makes this project possible.

Learn more about the Center and Paul Johnson’s life on their website.