The old Keeney place was the kind of farm you see in paintings of Iowa landscapes: a big beautiful barn, with 200 acres of fields and pastureland.
When the Keeney family lost that farm, Keeney dedicated his life to sustainable agriculture. But when Keeney became the first director of the Leopold Center at Iowa State University in 1988, that term was loaded. People equated it with organic agriculture and farms worried they'd lose money and power. But the term meant something different to Keeney.
"It means using the resources we have wisely. Probably number one to conserve the soil resource, the water resource, and the land resource. It's a Leopold concept really, because Leopold talked about land as the water, the air, the soil, and the animals living on it."
In this Talk of Iowa interview, host Charity Nebbe talks with Dennis Keeney about his memoir "The Keeney Place: A Life in the Heartland.”