Iowa Coalition

(Brian) I’m Brian Waddingham, Executive Director of the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers. And the Coalition has now been around for a little over 11 years with the sole mission of helping Iowa’s livestock farmers exceed the rules, help find the best sites for new livestock barns and feedlots, bring the next generation back to the farm, as well as develop neighbor relation plans when growing livestock farms. Our services are free and confidential to livestock farmers due to the generous support of Iowa’s seven major commodity groups- the cattlemen, the corn growers, Farm Bureau, Iowa Pork Producers, the Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Turkey Federation and Midwest Dairy – allow us to go out, sit down with the farm family one-on-one and really find out where they’re at today, where they want to get to and what resources they have available and then we make that happen for them. (Kent) I’m Kent Mowrer, Senior Field Coordinator with the Coalition. How we help the Jargo family is, first off they’ve got a couple sides of their operation, they feed cattle here in northeast Iowa, they have open lots as well as they were proposing a new confinement, deep pitted cattle barn. So what we came in and helped them with first off, they wanted to make sure their open lots were in compliance with both DNR regulations or Iowa regulations, in addition to the EPA regulations. So, we came onto their farm, evaluated their operation, made some suggestions on how to change their controls and bring them both into state and federal compliance. Next we took a look at the rules we have here in Iowa where they’re building the confinement. We do have quite an extensive set of regulations and provide them input on where’s the best place to site that barn, both beef regulations as well as to minimize any issues with neighbors. (Ryan) There was a 200 head outside lot here with two buildings, load-out facility that we tore down with the influence of the coalition, family friend Larry Johnson we decided to go ahead and put up a cattle confinement, total confinement with deep pit manure control and being able to maintain the manure and being able to use it on the crop ground as we need versus a deep bedded barn. We’d had to haul in more… make more round bales and use that… manure wouldn’t have been as valuable as what we’re gonna have in the deep barn. (Brian) Today we’re probably seeing more cattle questions, getting on more cattle farms to answer questions about open feed lot compliance, as well as putting up new cattle barns, especially deep-pitted mono slopes for feeding cattle as well as hoops to calve in. (Ryan) So we decided, wife and I and the bank and we had an accountant that helped us, and we decided to go ahead and pursue the 480 head barn, make it more efficient for the cattle and ourselves for feeding and management of manure. (Kent) There’s several counties in this area that have seen an increase in cattle feeding. We’re seeing a shift of cattle to Iowa, the feeds here. We can handle the manure from these facilities and utilize it in our cropping operations. So it makes a lot of sense. There’s a lot of cattle coming from the eastern United States and the southeast United States back to Iowa to be fed and marketed. (Ryan) I guess on our behalf, anybody thinking about putting any type of facility, whether it be confinement, deep-bedded, open lot building, I would definitely encourage them to talk to the coalition. They will help you get designs, get people to talk to, help you with the DNR regulations, rules making sure you’re on top of it, helping you pick out a spot. They’ve been very helpful with us doing that and they’re very good help to anybody. (Boys) We love Iowa hay!

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