Promoting economic development opportunities in Iowa is one aspect of the focus of Iowa State University Extension's large and varied exhibit at the 2008 Farm Progress Show, Aug. 26-28 near Boone in central Iowa.
A series of displays show how Iowa's livestock and poultry industries create opportunities for both economic development and bettering our carbon footprint.
With grain and oil prices at record highs, livestock producers are feeling the stress of high feed and production costs. However, Iowa's livestock and poultry industries will be better off in the long run, says John Lawrence, Extension livestock economist.
Livestock industry is good for Iowa
"Iowa's advantage for raising livestock and poultry has increased due to its local supply of feed and crop nutrients, decreasing the need of fossil fuels for fertilizers and imported feedstuffs," says Lawrence.
Livestock and poultry are able to use high quality crops from local farmers, and corn co-products from ethanol production, which then produce valuable manure nutrients that are recycled by local crop farmers. In addition, livestock industries provide on-going, sustained employment creating direct and indirect jobs throughout the state and generating revenue for rural communities.
Special display interests farm women
Also at the Farm Progress Show, farmwomen should check out the Annie's project display at the ISU exhibit. Annie's project is an education program to strengthen women's roles in farm enterprises. The project will offer classes this upcoming fall and winter to educate and empower farm women.
"Annie's project is an exceptional education experience for participants and is centered around the needs of female learners," says Bob Wells, ISU Extension farm management specialist. The course includes six sessions of interactive learning through lectures, discussions, practical application, and participant learning. Members of the national leadership team will be at the Show including Iowa State University Extension staff Tim Eggers, Kelvin Leibold and Wells, as well as the founder of the program, Annie's daughter Ruth.
See special strip-till exhibit at FPS
In the outdoor exhibit area of the ISU Extension exhibit, visitors can see strip-till equipment and a small sample of strip-tilled soil as part of the Iowa Learning Farm Operation Strip-Till. Gary Nelson, an ILF farmer partner, is a believer in the strip-till technique after testing the method, listening to his son, Dave, and reluctantly agreeing to try strip tilling on a piece of his cropland last year. Visitors will get a chance to talk with the Nelsons, and other Iowa Learning Farm Conservation farmer partners about using this technique in their operations.
An indoor display from the Iowa Learning Farm will challenge participants to develop "A Culture of Conservation." This program encourages us to more fully appreciate our environment and not take our natural resources for granted.
Other displays in ISU Extension's exhibit are:
- Forestry Extension's demonstration of a new sawmill. The sawmill will be running throughout the day with periodic down times to allow visitors to walk around the mill and ask questions of forestry specialists.
- A display on the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute, which provides research, teaching, and education for excellence in grape growing and wine-making.
- The Seed Science Center display, which will be full of activity with visitors having a chance to play an "Identify the Seed" game, see demonstrations of a spiral separator and touch and feel various seeds.