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Department of


OPN Masterclass – 2017


By Yun Dong, Concepcion Gomez, Sankalp Gupta, Hina Illahe, Steven Johnson, Catherine McClurg, Monique Rodriguez, Matthew Wilson

Feeding a population does not come without consequence. The swine industry in Iowa has been encouraged for years to increase production to keep up with domestic and international demand. Assessing the future with its undefined parameters requires us to take action, but in what regard? Agricultural infrastructure, a network of interrelated parts, demands evolution and production simultaneously. Aspects of the swine production cycle prove to bring negative short and long term side effects. Source and non-source contaminates leach into local water systems posing a threat to all who depend on its availability. The seemingly cyclical nature of farm production leads us to believe its posed efficiency, peeling the layers shows that it is not all that it seems. We must introduce a new rotation.

Following the water cycle from its entrance into swine production to its exit at processing shows the intricacies of the entire system. A world leading pork producer, Iowa is home to 21.2 million pigs (Associated Press, 2016).

Pulling over 63 million gallons of clean water (just for drinking) from the system in a single day. This stress on fresh water output is further asserted when the nitrate levels from manure run off find its way into fresh water intended for human consumption. Quickly approaching dangerous levels, Des Moines water quality is in direct relation to this lapse in agricultural infrastructure.

Instead of monocropping corn or soy beans, we suggest rotating crops in order to maintain healthy soil, improve fertility and decrease the pollutants in runoff water. In looking closer at pig production we propose using pig waste to produce methane gas or making fertilizer. We also propose “Hijacking Pig Sheds”. Pigs can be sorted amongst two pig sheds in the hot months. Alternatively, the pigs can be condensed to one shed in the winter while the other shed is used for storage.


Propositional Dish: Rotator Cookies.


6 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup Red Clover Honey
6 Tbsp Water
2 cups Amaranth Flour
2/3 cup Arrowroot Starch
1 tsp Baking Soda
½ tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 tsp Vanilla
2/3 cup Grated Carrot
2/3 cup Raisins

Baking Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet, set aside. Combine all of the wet ingredients and set aside. In a separate bowl sift flours. Combine dry ingredients and sift again. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well. Add raisins and grated carrots. Use a medium size (15 oz.) scoop to place batter on greased cookie sheet. Using a fork, spatula or the palm of your hand, flatten the cookies to 1/2-inch thickness. Bake 12-15 minutes, until cookies are lightly brown. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Top with Aronia Berry jam.