Iowa Coalition helps 220 livestock farmers in 2006

IOWA - More than 200 Iowa farm families received help growing their livestock farms responsibly and successfully from the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) in 2006, bringing the total number of farmers served by the organization to more than 570 since its launch in 2004.
calendar icon 22 December 2006
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Those receiving assistance included families involved in all methods of livestock farming – from the use of open lots and pastures to indoor, climate-controlled hog, cattle, turkey and poultry barns. The Coalition’s efforts focused on helping farmers exceed regulations, identify the best locations for new farms and enhance relations with neighbors and communities.

“Farm families who raise livestock generate economic activity on main streets, create employment for thousands of Iowans and spur development of Iowa’s renewable energy industry,” said CSIF Executive Director Aaron Putze. “Vibrant livestock farms are also proven to benefit communities by boosting K-12 school enrollment and keeping young people closer to home. Helping livestock farmers grow responsibly is good for Iowa and CSIF is pleased to be part of this effort.”

The positive, solutions-oriented approach to helping livestock farmers grow is a collaborative effort involving the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Poultry Association and the Iowa Soybean Association. The Coalition’s mission to strengthen Iowa’s communities by helping livestock farmers grow responsibly and prosper. There is no charge to farmers for accessing the Coalition’s help.

Demand for CSIF services continues to grow – from 147 farm families in 2004 to 166 in 2005. This year, the Coalition assisted 220 families, an increase of 25 percent from the previous year. Of the nearly 600 total requests to date, more than 300 resulted in the Coalition conducting on-site visits with families interested in making changes to their farms.

“The Coalition helped us consider our options and make the necessary updates to our farm allowing our son to return to the farm following his graduation from college,” said Dale Vincent of West Branch. “Adding more livestock helps families remain on the land but it can be difficult and intimidating given the complexity of regulations. The Coalition proves, however, that it can be done with proper planning and preparation.”

The Coalition champions responsible livestock farming and empowers farmers to become more confident in talking about their occupation. CSIF has initiated a variety of communications campaigns to highlight the values shared by farm families who raise livestock, including their commitment to hard work, being good neighbors and protecting Iowa’s natural resources.

Most recently, the Coalition launched its “Good Neighbors Building Trust” campaign including a 16-minute DVD offering specific insight into the best ways to grow a livestock farm. To date, nearly 19,000 copies of the DVD have been distributed throughout Iowa generating new calls from families wanting to benefit from more cattle, hogs, dairy and poultry.

"Efforts by the Coalition to provide families with the tools and resources they need have been extremely successful,” says CSIF Board President and Iowa Soybean Association CEO Kirk Leeds. “The organization prides itself on meeting face-to-face with families, walking them through regulatory compliance issues and assisting them in identifying the best locations for new farms. We look forward to enhancing our services in 2007 by reaching out to more livestock farmers and fostering stronger relationships between those on the farm and their neighbors.”

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