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Two Iowa Ag groups offer to pay for defense of farmers in Water Works lawsuit

**UPDATED at 1:00pm September 14, 2016**

by Ben Nuelle LISTEN: World-of-Agriculture-9-15-16

Two Iowa Ag groups vow to pay for defense costs in Des Moines Water Works lawsuit.

Leaders at Iowa Farm Bureau and Iowa Corn Growers Association say they’ll pick up the tab for farmers’ defense in the Des Moines Water Works lawsuit.

Craig Hill is president of Iowa Farm Bureau.

He says this will give them a chance to focus on the lawsuit and not have to worry about spending millions of dollars.

“We represent farmers. We’re a farm organization and we believe we need to stand up and defend these producers and this is bigger than the farmers on that claim of the Des Moines Water Works. This has far reaching effects across the country for every farmer.”

CEO of the Des Moines Water Works says he is disappointed.

“Certainly we hope corn growers and farm bureau can move beyond doubling down on defense and start engaging us in a meaningful discuss on how to better protect better protect our water quality in the state,” Stowe says. “The ultimate solution is making producers responsible for water quality coming out of drainage districts. Our friends at Iowa State remind us on a regular basis there are a number of infield and edge-of-field conservation practices that will improve water quality. We’re looking for a real commitment to engage in that not just lip service.”

But, Hill says they’ve been focused on water quality long before the lawsuit began.

“In 2012, our farm bureau leaders stated clearly that we supported the nutrient reduction strategy. We support it with adequate funding to achieve our goals and long term objectives. We’re going to work toward that. That came much before this lawsuit appeared over a year ago.”

The trial is set for June 2017.