Ep 21: Water and Rural Economics – Gary Siegwarth, 2018 Independent Candidate for Iowa Governor

Gary Siegwarth ran for Governor of Iowa in 2018 as an Independent Candidate and formed the Clear Water Party of Iowa.  Listen as he discusses the future of agriculture, what he learned while running for Governor, and why water connects us all. 

Gary Siegwarth has been a Natural Resource Biologist for the Iowa DNR Fisheries Bureau the past 26 years. He has managed Big Spring Trout Hatchery near Elkader the past 18 years. Prior to that he was the Interior Streams and Rivers Research Biologist for the State of Iowa. Prior to his career in natural resources, Gary operated the family farm in Jackson County. In 2018, Gary ran for Governor of Iowa as an Independent candidate and formed the Clear Water Party of Iowa. Part of his mission was to raise awareness and to change our way of thinking for both natural resources and the potential of the future of a more diverse and transparent agricultural system in Iowa.

Gary’s Website: https://garyforgov.org/

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Ep 11: Benjamin Weiner – CEO, Gold Mountain Coffee Growers

Host Kari Ginger learns more about the work that goes into producing quality coffee with Benjamin Weiner, founder of Gold Mountain Coffee Growers in Nicaragua. Benjamin discusses the daily life of coffee farmers, coffee processing, direct trade, sustainability, and the social and economic impact of coffee in Nicaragua. Benjamin Weiner is the founder of Gold Mountain Coffee Growers, a direct trade social enterprise that connects farmers of exquisite specialty coffees in Nicaragua with roasters throughout the world. Gold Mountain Coffee Growers has its own farm in Nicaragua called “Finca Idealista.” Ben is also a consultant on coffee harvesting and post-harvest processing and a licensed Q Grader. Ben created Gold Mountain Coffee Growers in 2007, when small local farmers asked him for help connecting with international markets. They were upset that the coffee economy did not allow them to support their families effectively. He bases the entire social enterprise on quality. Gold Mountain won the SCAE excellence award for sustainability in 2016 for what their specialty coffees achieve economically and environmentally for coffee communities. Ben is a lawyer by training who served as a foreign policy advisor in the United States Senate before jumping exclusively into coffee. In the U.S. Senate he drafted legislation for a Senator and worked to make U.S. agencies more efficient. He also worked on issues such as environmental cleanups in Vietnam, improving the plight of refugees and persecuted populations, and cutting down on duplicative U.S. military spending. Ben holds a degree in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis and a law degree from Boston College Law School.
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