The Ones Strengthening the Heartland

Jay N. Darling Institute

Not only does Drake draw strength from its location within Iowa’s largest urban area, but it’s also in the center of Iowa’s nearly 950 towns and cities. The Jay N. Darling Institute will create partnerships between Drake and the people of rural communities to help bolster the economic, social, and cultural vibrancy of rural America.

A Leg Up

Residents had to drive 50 miles round trip for fresh produce when the only grocery store in Manson, Iowa, closed. A group of community members acted. This story shows how Drake can collaborate with rural community members; offering resources, knowledge, and support to create solutions for a more sustainable, competitive, and resilient rural America.

Creating a Sustainable Future

The Darling Institute is leading sustainability initiatives in partnership with communities around Iowa and the Midwest.

Cows in a field in front of a wind turbine.

DarlingCorps students will be key contributors to the Grand River Grasslands Consortium, a multi-organizational partnership with the Darling Institute to improve working grasslands and enhance markets for sustainably raised livestock in six counties in Iowa and Missouri.

Drake students sowing seeds in a field.

Through the Darling Institute, environmental science students worked with the town of Perry to conduct prairie restoration to grow the pollinator population for local beekeepers. Students also secured a grant to develop a tallgrass prairie and walking trail to enhance Perry’s Pattee Park.

Perry, Iowa sign.
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Advance Social Change

A journalist and conservation activist, Jay N. Darling is most famous for being a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist for The Des Moines Register.

Darling’s footprint went well beyond his work as a cartoonist. He was passionate about advancing social change through journalism, art, and education. He was a tireless advocate for preserving America’s great natural ecosystems and the creator of the Federal Duck Stamp program, which has raised more than $1.11 billion for the protection of wetlands and wildlife habitats.

Darling’s core values fit perfectly with those of Drake University. His ability to build partnerships, produce results, and balance good business with quality of life and respect for nature makes Darling an ideal role model to inspire change for future generations.

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By elevating Drake together, we will secure a more vibrant future for those who follow our footsteps. Join the ones who will transform Drake’s vision into a reality by adding your support to the campaign for the brave & bold.

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