CSIF Embarks on Fourth Year of Service

Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers began helping livestock farmers in May of 2004.

The Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers began its fourth year of service on May 11, helping livestock farmers grow responsibly and successfully.

The coalition, launched in May 2004, is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization created by the Iowa Cattlemen's Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Poultry Association and Iowa Soybean Association. Since its launch, CSIF has helped grow Iowa's communities one farmer and one neighbor at a time. According to Aaron Putze, executive director of CSIF, the organization has done that by:

* Providing direct assistance to more than 700 farm families seeking help. CSIF has helped these farmers to not only meet regulations but to exceed them. CSIF has also helped many farmers identify good locations for new livestock
farms and buildings, and to enhance relations with neighbors.
* Conducting educational workshops throughout the state. That includes CSIF's
popular Farming Matters Forum. The meetings have provided more than 220 farmers with timely information and resources to responsibly grow their farms.
* Producing and distributing informational resources to farm families. That includes the "Good Neighbors Building Trust" DVD launched last November.
The 16-minute DVD provides farmers with the tools and resources they need
to raise livestock responsibly and successfully. Nearly 20,000 copies of
the DVD have been distributed—mostly in Iowa.
* Partnering with Iowa State University to conduct community assessment and
tree planting modeling on more than 70 livestock farms in the state of Iowa.
* Conducting on-farm visits to provide timely input on the best ways to
grow an existing livestock farm or start a new one. CSIF staff has conducted nearly 450 on-farm visits to date.

"The coalition's work is timely and benefits all Iowans," says Putze. "According to Iowa State University, Iowa crop and livestock farmers generate employment for
nearly 190,000 Iowans. In addition, research shows that 25% of all Iowa's industrial output - commercial, manufacturing, financial and government services - leaves the state in the form of agrifood products.

"Last but not least, the growth of Iowa's livestock herds is critical to helping fuel the state's continued leadership in renewable fuels production. Iowa needs a healthy livestock industry to use the distillers grains coproducts that are being produced by the Iowa ethanol industry," he notes.

For more information, contact Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers at 800-932-2436 or 515-225-5531 or [email protected].

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