Proving Des Moines is NOT boring

Save Cleverley Farms: Public Meeting on June 3rd

It was almost a year ago that I first wrote about the plight facing Cleverley Farms. It has been a tough 11 months for Larry Cleverley and his family. Earlier this year, Larry lost his dad to cancer. Soon after, his mom developed significant health issues. And Mother Nature certainly dished it out this winter, with a deep frost and late start to the growing season. But if there’s one thing I’ve come to learn about Larry, it’s that he is incredibly resilient.

Photo credit: Jason Stierman

Photo credit: Jason Stierman

Next Tuesday, June 3rd will mark a major milestone in the fight to Save Cleverley Farms. The Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) has scheduled a public meeting regarding the proposed redesign of the intersection adjoining the Cleverley farm for June 3rd, 5:00 p.m., at Baxter Community School’s Commons, 202 E. State Street in Baxter, IA.  The IDOT continues to push their plan to carve up the Cleverley farm, despite over 8000 signatures on a public petition (between online and paper), and the discovery of a 1600-year-old Woodland Indian pottery-making site discovered last summer by University of Iowa archaeologists.

Larry, his family, and many supporters will be at the meeting next Monday. The IDOT has agreed to let attendees speak at the meeting, with a limit of five minutes per person. This may well be the last opportunity to show support for this farm and family in the face of the might of the IDOT. As Larry put it:

“In 1950 there were over 200,000 farms in Iowa. Today, there are a little over 92,000. Let’s not lose another. Life is hard enough without having to fight a battle such as this. The IDOT counts on wearing you down with an endless maze of bureaucracy. I, for one, refuse to be intimidated or deterred.”

May Larry’s resilience, and the efforts of his family and supporters, carry the day.



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