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The Root of the Matter. Artist Madai Taylor guides a long-handled garden tool across a dirt-and-gesso-covered paper canvas, delivering his distinctive script in earthen strokes. Taylor’s Fort Dodge ministry, as we learn in Jim Duncan’s story, is not a separate calling but part of the same conviction. As we grow this state, many dedicated residents are tending well to Iowa’s roots and contributing to its collective future. Josh Dole┼żal introduces readers to a dogged group of organic farmers. Together they are living a shared vision for today and tomorrow that takes a valuable cue from the past. Fortifying community translates in many different ways. Meet Lorena Lopez. As Iowa’s population grows in diversity, the force behind north central Iowa’s Spanish-language newspaper La Prensa is cultivating mutual understanding by bridging cultures and educating and uniting residents.

We live, work, and play in a unique place — a sometimes confounding,often inspiring, and always surprising place. Iowa is impossible todescribe in only a few words, so instead The Iowan does so in issue after issue, in story after story. Come along for the ride.

With every story told — in photos and in words — The Iowan aims to provide readers with a new angle on Iowa, a fresh look, a distinctive encounter with the state

Next stop: the future of Iowa. This state has endured some significant battering as of late. Research details a troubling brain drain. “Observations” describe unemployment, despair, and timid, possibly uneducated, and definitely old residents. National conversations question our representativeness. Recent news reports call our math skills into question.   While...

Receiving the letter felt like the perfect storm, though that metaphor provides a somewhat ominous feel, so let’s call it the perfect confluence.

Rock Solid at 60. Rocks are extraordinary vessels. Formed over time and by various circumstances, they contain rich deposits of the past, yet their pores and crevices and layers hold material we tap to shape our future.

All content © 2014 The Iowan/Pioneer Communications, Inc., and may not be used, reproduced, or altered in any way without prior written permission.