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Dr. Chris Jones in Fairfield May 16 for "The Swine Republic" Book Launch at Fairfield Public Library

"Truly brilliant–new ways of thinking about stuff that’s right in front of us.” – Bill McKibben, author, The End of Nature

For years, Dr. Chris Jones has boldly laid out the reasons behind Iowa’s abysmal water quality, and it’s ruffled more than a few ag industry feathers. Recently it cost him his job as a research engineer at the IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering at the University of Iowa. Last month Senators Dan Zumbach and Tom Shipley took aim at his popular blog with an implied threat about lost state funding for university programs if the blog wasn’t taken down. Jones abruptly resigned, effective May 16, and was allowed one last censored post.

Yet Jones won’t be silenced. His new book, The Swine Republic: Struggles with the Truth about Agriculture and Water Quality, is launching this month with Fairfield as one of the first stops on his book tour. Jones will be at the Fairfield Public Library on Tuesday, May 16 at 7:00 pm.

Jones will talk about his book and answer audience questions. Signed copies of his book are available for $5 off the list price.

The event is organized by the Southeast Iowa Sierra Club. JFAN along with the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust, Sustainable Living Coalition, and Radiance Dairy are co-sponsors.

The Swine Republic is a compilation of Jones’ blog articles and new essays where he pulls no punches about the sources of Iowa’s dirty water: mono-cropped corn and soy, and CAFOs. He covers the science, politics, culture, and economics of Iowa’s agriculture system, linking Iowa’s deteriorated waterways to the state’s agricultural practices. Legislators and agribusiness leaders, those who are in the best position to fix Iowa’s water quality crisis, conveniently ignore it.

Jones is the director of the Iowa Water Quality Information System, a program of 70 water sensors that report nitrate levels throughout the state. That program is now threatened by the Iowa Senate’s budget bill by reallocating its funding for conservation efforts. The bill’s sponsor? Sen. Dan Zumbach.

This book is an important read.

“Chris Jones’ passion for documenting the ravages of Iowa industrial agriculture is matched only by his disdain for the ‘cropagandists’ who dismiss the loss of our topsoil and the fouling of our air and waters. Jones skewers big ag apologists with his acerbic wit and his researcher’s penchant for data showing that the state’s corn-soy-CAFO agriculture is not sustainable,” says Larry Stone, a photographer, naturalist, writer, and one of the advocates working to save Bloody Run.

Art Cullen, Pulitzer Prize winning of the Storm Lake Times puts it like this, “It takes guts for Chris Jones to confront the pollution of our rivers and lakes by the agrochemical complex. Somebody has to, and Jones does it this collection of essays. Calling our Iowa’s disregard for the water and soil that make the place what it is.”

Check out Jones' new Substack blog here. Read more about The Swine Republic here.


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