shutterstock_16838806The state of Iowa is blessed with attributes that combine to make it the top producer in the nation of food and commodities consumed across the country and around the world.

The challenge for Iowans is to protect the abundant natural resources of our state while limiting the damage to the environment the process of production can cause. Catholic teaching requires us to be good stewards of not only human resources but environmental ones as well, and efforts to do so have fundamental moral and ethical dimensions.

The relationship between Iowans and the water resources upon which we all rely is the focus of an award-winning Iowa State University Extension and Outreach campaign called WaterRocks!

Led by director Jacqueline Comito, the multi-media and multi-discipline program has teams that visit public and nonpublic K-12 classrooms across Iowa, at no charge, “teaching kids about water, natural resources and agriculture. Weaving science, technology, engineering and math — STEM — with the arts, students complete learning activities.”

The WaterRocks! team produced the nationally recognized computer game “Rock Your Watershed!” which teaches the effects of different agricultural land-use practices on the environment and water resources of Iowa. All of the videos, songs and the computer game can be found on the Water Rocks! website, www.waterrocks.org.

Preserving and protecting resources for future generations is an obligation of our faith. Our state is fortunate to have the talent and dedication of the many people dedicating their professional lives to helping take care of our world.