Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 15–25 | Cite as

Economic development and biotechnology: Public policy response to the farm crisis in Iowa

  • Brian J. Reichel
  • Paul Lasley
  • William F. Woodman
  • Mack C. ShelleyII


In periods of social crisis, policymakers become particularly vulnerable to interest groups mobilizing to compete for scarce funds. At this point, legislators are no longer able to address the specific needs of their primary constituency directly, but rather are forced to do so in pretext only. New, unfamiliar technologies provide ample ammunition for astute interest groups to take advantage of times of economic turmoil and maneuver for policy support through dramatic campaigns of “salesmanship.” By publicizing a crisis situation, dramatizing it effectively, and advertising an innovation as the solution to the crisis, legislators may be effectively persuaded to give priority to interest group pressures above and beyond those of the local constituency. Iowa's attempts to address the farm crisis through economic development strategies relying on biotechnology is examined in this paper. The results of extensive surveys of Iowa's legislators and farmers are examined and the consequences for Iowa's policy process of using biotechnology under the auspices of economic development are discussed.


Economic Development Veterinary Medicine Interest Group Development Strategy Agricultural Economic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian J. Reichel
  • Paul Lasley
  • William F. Woodman
  • Mack C. ShelleyII

There are no affiliations available

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