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CARD: Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

Summer 2007, Vol. 13 No. 3

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CARD’s 50th Anniversary: Taking Stock of Our Past and Future

Selected Highlights of CARD's 50-Year Timeline
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In July of 1958, our center was founded as the Center for Agricultural Adjustment, under director Earl O. Heady, and began operation. This fall, the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development will kick off an academic year that not only celebrates our 50-year history but also, in keeping with our founding mission to help improve the condition of the Iowa agricultural economy, sets a course for CARD’s commitment to addressing the wide range of challenges in agriculture—in trade, food, renewable fuels, and resource policy—today and for decades to come.

CARD’s Founding Years

15 prominent Iowans petition Iowa State President James Hilton and Dean of Agriculture Floyd Andre for assistance from the college in addressing the welfare of Iowa agriculture.


57th Iowa Assembly passes resolution and appropriation of $100,000 to support research program on agricultural adjustment.

Iowa Board of Regents creates Center for Agricultural Adjustment in the Division of Agriculture at Iowa State College. Earl Heady is named executive director.


Center for Agricultural Adjustment (CAA) begins first operational year in July and receives five-year grant from W.K. Kellogg Foundation of $448,500 to begin educational programs.

CAA and Extension conduct "Challenge for Iowa" project to present the latest facts on agriculture and economic development and to stimulate public discussion.


Public agricultural policy conference, the first of many conferences and forums on pressing agricultural issues.


Center name changes to the Center for Agricultural and Economic Development (CAED)


CAED develops a national econometric model.


President Johnson appoints Heady to White House Committee on Domestic Affairs for consultation on ag development issues.


Cooperative agreement with U.S. Soil Conservation Service begins to exchange soil data.


USDA contracts with CAED for analysis of U.S. agricultural capacity and world food needs.


Center name changes to current name, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD).


CARD performs modeling study for National Water Commission of potential future agricultural use of water under different conditions.


CARD expands econometric simulation model to give long-range projections of agricultural exports and production efficiency under different governmental policies for secretary of agriculture.


CARD begins analyzing soil and water conservation programs for the U.S. Soil Conservation Service.


Earl Heady retires as CARD director.

Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) becomes an affiliate of CARD.

Stanley R. Johnson becomes new director of CARD. He establishes/defines research divisions in Trade and Agricultural Policy, Food and Nutrition Policy, Resource and Environmental Policy, and Rural and Economic Development Policy.


CARD and FAPRI analyze 1985 farm bill and possible outcomes.


CARD establishes the Midwest Agribusiness Trade Research and Information Center (MATRIC) as an affiliated center, authorized through the 1985 farm bill.

Research grant funds analysis of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) so policymakers can learn the possible effects of trade proposals.


World Food Conference, organized and sponsored by CARD, is held in Des Moines. Representatives of 40 countries attend.


FAPRI receives the American Agricultural Economics Association Policy Award for major research contributions to analytical study of the 1990 farm bill.


CARD begins publishing the Iowa Ag Review newsletter.


Midwest Feeds Consortium is initiated by CARD to study potential markets and value-added markets for agricultural commodities.


CARD research helps clarify effects of replacing deficiency payments with fixed payments in the 1996 farm bill.

Associated research on revenue insurance leads to commercial development of Revenue Assurance (RA).


Stan Johnson ends his directorship of CARD to become vice provost for Iowa State University Extension. William Meyers serves as interim director.


Bruce A. Babcock is named CARD’s new director.

FAPRI and Trade and Agricultural Policy Division staff begin studies of World Trade Organization and trade liberalization for USDA.


New focus on science and technology policy added to CARD research areas.

CARD posts first content to its new dedicated website. Web dissemination of CARD papers and reports grows steadily.

CARD launches interactive Web tool to determine when to use loan deficiency payments and information about other marketing strategies for crop producers.


Impacts of HACCP on food safety and the meat industry are reported by the Food and Nutrition Policy Division.


CARD’s Resource and Environmental Policy Division begins work on valuing water quality in Iowa lakes, with funding from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Further funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency allows four years of survey research.


FAPRI receives Secretary’s Honor Award at USDA for its analysis of the impacts of new farm legislation.

CARD researchers provide consultation and analysis to policymakers and other leaders in the months leading up to the 2002 farm bill.


CARD and other researchers study the effects of large livestock facilities on nearby property values, an issue of intense interest to Iowans.


MATRIC begins the Iowa-80 Beef Project, which involves creating and marketing a midwestern product with a geographical linkage.


FAPRI analyzes the U.S. Trade Representatives proposal to the World Trade Organization on agricultural trade reform.

Babcock creates new Biorenewables Policy Division at CARD to better position CARD’s research efforts in the area of ethanol and other biofuels and the effects of creating fuel from corn and other commodities.

CARD estimates the impact of expanded biofuels on farmers, consumers, and international trade from increased energy production from agriculture.


CARD observes its 50th year as a center of economic policy research at Iowa State University.