The Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers is offering a new resource to families wanting to raise livestock responsibly and successfully.
The Good Neighbor Guide is a comprehensive collection of timely information designed exclusively for farm families who raise livestock, dairy and poultry and is available to those who contact CSIF to arrange an on-farm visit. It offers recommendations for responsibly locating a new livestock facility, an overview of livestock rules and regulations and a list of available resources to help with tree plantings, construction and building designs and manure management planning.
"Raising livestock responsibly and successfully begins with the farmer," says CSIF organization director Rex Hoppes. "There are many decisions to be made when it comes to enhancing an existing livestock farm or starting a new one and the Good Neighbor Guide will help them in that process."
This resource available at no cost
Hoppes says the resource is available to those who contact CSIF and request, at no cost, a personal farm visit by a Coalition staff member. "Given the amount of information contained in the guide, its best that the farmer reviews it in collaboration with the Coalition," he adds. "Having those conversations offers the opportunity for questions to be asked and answered in a timely way."
Dow City cattle farmer Michael Heistand says there's no better resource for livestock farmers than the Coalition. He called on the organization last year before constructing several new hoop buildings as part of his family farm.
"When we wanted to add some additional feeding capacity, the first place we went was the Coalition," says the Crawford County farmer and Iowa State University graduate. "The CSIF staff was extremely knowledgeable and had all the information we needed to make smart and timely decisions. I would recommend the Coalition to any farmer wanting a helping hand in growing their livestock farm."
Need to communicate with neighbors
The Good Neighbor Guide also offers recommendations to assist farmers in proactively communicating with neighbors and their communities before constructing a new livestock, dairy or poultry barn.
"Livestock farmers need to be champions of communication," says Hoppes. "It is critical livestock farmers take the first step in personally talking to neighbors and others in the community about their plans. By following the communication recommendations in the guide, livestock farmers can help make sure their neighbors form judgments based on facts, not rumors."
Farmers wanting to schedule an on-farm visit to review the Good Neighbor Guide can contact CSIF at 800-932-2436. CSIF was launched in 2004 and is a joint partnership involving the Iowa Cattlemen's Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Poultry Association and Iowa Soybean Association.
A non-profit, non-partisan organization, CSIF has helped nearly 1,000 farm families grow and manage their livestock farms responsibly and successfully. CSIF does not lobby or develop policy. For more information, go to www.supportfarmers.com.