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From the Editor


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. He likens his artistic process to farming, to working the land, to bringing forth creations from the soil. Taylor’s Fort Dodge ministry, as we learn in Jim Duncan’s story, is not a separate calling but part of the same conviction. Fittingly, his is a grassroots church. 

In both spiritual sense and historical fact, Taylor recognizes his origins — where he comes from — and those beginnings color his purpose: “ . . . communicating beauty, love, helpfulness. In the end, I want to be a positive contributor.”

As we grow this state, many dedicated residents are tending well to Iowa’s roots and contributing to its collective future. Josh Doležal's story 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. These like-minded growers regularly team up to tackle necessary tasks on each individual farm, much like rural neighbors of an earlier era came together to raise each other’s barns. As then, work gets done — often concluded with a shared farm-fresh meal. Just as important, community is strengthened.

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. Her lead stories and her leadership are helping communities adapt, adopt, and advance. Expanding the breadth of local, Mary Gottschalk’s story reveals, brings new voices to conversations about the state’s future.

This is what we do in Iowa. We dig in, get dirty, nurture our roots, and cultivate new horizons. This is how we grow. This is how we flourish.





 —  Beth Wilson, Editor


Please welcome The Iowan’s new publisher, Gaela Wilson
(no relation), at


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