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Simpson to Host Secretary Of Agriculture Debate on Oct. 10


The two main candidates for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Democrat Tim Gannon and Republican Mike Naig, have agreed to debate each other at Simpson College.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 7 0.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 10 in Great Hall, located on the second floor of Pfeiffer Dining Hall on the Simpson campus.
Donnelle Eller, a Des Moines Register business reporter who specializes in issues of agriculture, the environment and energy, will moderate the debate, along with two Simpson students: Laken Baird and Marisa DeForest, both of whom are participants in The Palmer Project at Simpson.
People unable to attend the debate can watch it via livestream: www.facebook.com/culverfellows/.
Simpson provides a perfect venue for the debate, given the College’s contribution to the development of sound agricultural policy in Iowa and throughout the Midwest.
The most prominent and impactful current example is the Palmer amaranth Project, led by Professors John Pauley and Clint Meyer. The Palmer Project started in the summer of 2015. It was initially a modeling project with computer science and mathematics. Because of the threat that the invasive, herbicide-resistant “superweed” Palmer amaranth poses, BASF agreed to fund the project and allow Simpson to greatly expanded the research to include sociology, psychology, economics, biology, chemistry, bio-chemistry, philosophy, computer science and, of course, mathematics.
The Project is now dedicated to the problem of herbicide resistant weeds and all the ways in which herbicide resistance connects to elements of the natural and human ecology. 
Students and faculty associated with the Palmer Project have presented their research nationally and in Iowa, including a presentation to a legislative subcommittee this past session.
For more information about the debate, contact Seth S. Andersen, director of the Culver Public Policy Center, at seth.andersen@simpson.edu or at 515-961-1354.