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Release: Immediate

ICFRC to discuss farming and "sustainable development" at Sept. 12 meeting

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Denise O'Brien, a past president of the National Family Farm Coalition, will speak to members and guests of the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council (ICFRC) Friday, Sept. 12 about how agriculture fits into international plans for "sustainable development."

In June, O'Brien spoke to delegates from 170 countries at the United Nations Earth Summit Plus 5 -- a week-long conference convened to review progress since the historic 1992 Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro. At the 1992 summit, world leaders endorsed the concept of sustainable development, which entails "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

O'Brien says the development of an industrial model of agriculture has caused "social, economic, and environmental devastation in our rural areas," an opinion based on the personal experience of being forced to scale down the farm she ran with her husband in order to take a full-time job elsewhere.

The event, which will take place at noon in the Atrium Meeting Room at First National Bank, is cosponsored by the UI International Programs, and the Johnson County Chapter of United Nations Association-USA. Lunch will be served.

Reservations are $6.50 for ICFRC members and $8 for non-members and guests and must be received in the ICFRC office by Wednesday, Sept. 10. Checks can be written to the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council and mailed to ICFRC, 120 International Center, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802. For more information, call ICFRC Executive Director Tom Baldridge at 335-0351. They are unable to take reservations by telephone but last minute adjustments may be made.

For those unable to attend, WSUI-AM (910) will carry this program Monday, Sept. 15, following the noon news.

The Iowa City Foreign Relations Council is a non-profit association of community and university people interested in learning more about U.S. foreign policy, world affairs and current global issues impacting world societies. The group provides members with the opportunity to hear more than 35 experts per year who visit the UI campus and the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area.

Meetings are scheduled from September to June to take advantage of these speakers and are held at noon or in the evening to allow as wide a participation as possible from the business community, other professionals, the community at large and students, faculty and staff from the university.

Meetings are scheduled as catered luncheons, as dinners or evening desserts or as "Sack Lunch Seminars."

ICFRC is part of UI International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the Associate Provost and Dean for International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

ICFRC currently has approximately 200 members. To join the ICFRC, annual membership fees are as follows: general member's dues, $50; household of two persons, $75; and student/visiting scholar, $20.