The Midwest Dairy Association has been named the eighth member organization of the Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers, an initiative created by farmers to help farmers raise livestock and poultry responsibly and successfully. The action came at a Sept. 10 meeting of the coalition's board of directors.
Midwest Dairy, headquartered in Ankeny, Iowa, joins the Iowa Cattlemen's Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Poultry Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Turkey Federation as member organizations supporting the non-partisan, not-for-profit coalition.
Kevin Stiles, senior vice president of marketing and partnerships for Midwest Dairy Association, says the time is right for the organization to play a more formal role in supporting the work of CSIF.
Time is right for Midwest Dairy to become an active partner in CSIF
"Iowa dairy farmers are an important part of the state's ag community and have always recognized the importance of the coalition," he says. "Midwest Dairy supported the coalition's mission long before becoming a member organization. However, our members believe the time is right to become a more active partner in the coalition's work and to provide resources that help promote and implement best-management practices that keep farmers viable on the land and active in their communities."
Stiles says Iowa's dairy farmers are proud to be more closely associated with the coalition and look forward to working in concert with Iowa's ag and commodity groups to keep livestock and poultry farms strong, benefiting local communities, economies and quality of life.
Iowa dairy farmers rank 12th nationally in both total pounds of milk produced and number of milk cows, creating more than 26,000 jobs and contributing nearly $1.5 billion annually to the state's economy. Overall, Iowa farmers generate employment for one of every six working Iowans (320,000 people) and stimulate 27% of the state's annual economic activity.
CSIF helps farmers raise livestock & poultry successfully & responsibly
Craig Floss, CSIF board president and Iowa Corn Growers Association chief executive officer, says the addition of Midwest Dairy to the coalition's team demonstrates the shared approach Iowa's ag community takes to sustain the growth of one of the state's most vital occupations. "CSIF's member organizations represent a broad cross section of Iowa agriculture and issues important to rural communities," Floss says. "However, we all recognize the fundamental role livestock, dairy and poultry farming plays in the overall economic health and social well-being of our state, from creating jobs to providing the funds needed for better roads and schools."
CSIF, launched in 2004, has provided assistance to nearly 1,500 farm families. Services include helping farmers choose good locations for new farms, to help farmers use environmental safeguards to protect air and water quality, and to follow all rules and regulations and enhance relations with neighbors. The organization does not lobby, develop policy or charge for its services. CSIF is headquartered in Des Moines. Farmers wanting assistance are encouraged to contact the coalition at 800-932-2436. Go to www.supportiowasfarmers.com.