The Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers has received numerous reports of stolen livestock and farm vandalism in eight counties across the state and recommends that livestock farmers be cautious and aware of suspicious people or vehicles near their farms.
The criminal activity has happened in Butler, Cherokee, Hardin, Kossuth, Mitchell, Palo Alto, Plymouth and Cherokee counties since the beginning of the year. Examples of vandalism include damaging office equipment, smashing computers, destroying records and breaking vaccine bottles and water lines.
The National Pork Producers Council has also noted an increase of concern in criminal activity on livestock farms and is hosting a breakout session to address the topic during the 2011 World Pork Expo this week. The session will be held June 9 at 10:15 a.m. in Room C of the Varied Industries Building at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.
CSIF specialist will speak on this topic at 2011 World Pork Expo
Kent Mowrer, CSIF field specialist, is a featured speaker at this session. He will share recent examples of vandalism and theft on Iowa livestock farms, as well as offer prevention tips and strategies to better secure your farm. Dave Struthers of Struthers Farm Inc., a livestock farmer from Story County who personally dealt with a case of vandalism in 2008, will join Mowrer on the panel. He will offer insight from his encounter with vandals and share his thoughts on effectively working with law enforcement and local media.
"Most people like to think they will never be the target, but no one can assume they are safe," says Mowrer. "As livestock prices continue to rise, every farmer should take time to think about the security measures they have, or don't have, in place."
CSIF, NPPC and law enforcement officials encourage farmers to be proactive even if they are not aware of any criminal activity in their neighborhood. For those unable to attend World Pork Expo, visit the Coalition's website for timely suggestions on how to better secure your livestock farm, as well as suggestions on what to do if you are the victim of a criminal act.
The Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers is a non-profit organization that assists livestock farmers who want help interpreting rules and regulations, guidance on good site locations for barns, counsel on enhancing neighbor relations and tips on how to protect the environment at no cost. Farm families wanting a helping hand can contact CSIF at 1-800-932-2436. For more information on how CSIF can help you, visit www.supportfarmers.com.