Letter: Wendy Wintersteen wrong for ISU president

I am appalled at the Board of Regents and Iowa State’s consideration of Wendy Wintersteen to the post of president of Iowa State.

It would seem sensible, in a way: dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences since 2006 and Iowa State is known as an agricultural college. If your idea of Iowa’s agricultural system is having it dominated by corporate agriculture, then Ms. Wintersteen would be your choice. Her appointment would put the Smithfield Foods (owned by China), the Iowa Selects, the Rastetters, the Premium Standard Farms, the Bayer-Monsanto’s, the Dow-DuPont Pioneers and other known corporate agriculture giants that are responsible for Iowa’s water crisis in control of Iowa’s premier higher-education system for agriculture. Under her leadership, corporate agriculture will continue to grow and dominate in our state – polluting our air, water and quality of life.

Let us not forget, Ms. Wintersteen was in charge of the College of Agriculture in 2012 when Iowa State attempted a land grab in Tanzania, along with Bruce Rastetter who then sat on the Board of Regents. The attempt was made to purchase 800,000 acres of land at 99 cents/acre, which would have resulted in a displacement of 160,000 Burundian refugees as well as established Tanzanian farmers and communities. Just prior to his attempted acquisition, Mr. Rastetter donated $1.7 million to Iowa State, then sought out the university’s backing through Ms. Wintersteen. After groups like Iowa CCI, Food and Water Watch, Oakland Institute and ISU sustainable agriculture students exposed this deal as a land grab, Iowa State backed out of the deal and eventually it failed.

If you are all about corporate agriculture in your state and wheeling and dealing at your premier state university, then you will be all about Wendy Wintersteen.