Case Studies

There are many things that can be accomplished with tree plantings on livestock and poultry farms. Whether you need a windbreak, snow control, visual screening, odor reduction or to improve neighbor relations, a properly designed plan can meet all of your objectives. 

Case study 1: Hog barn with a basic tree planting

Farm description: Ben Waigand, hog farmer

Goals of tree planting: Improve relationships with neighbors, provide a windbreak, control snow

Trees planted: Two rows of hybrid willows on the north and west sides

Thoughts on his tree planting: “If you are putting up a new building, I would factor in the cost of planting trees so they are there from the beginning. Neighbors will see the trees and know you are doing everything you can to not have a negative impact on them.” - Ben Waigand

Year 1: Ben planted two rows of hybrid willows at his hog barn in the spring of 2011. This photo was taken shortly after the trees were planted.

Year 2: After only one growing season (this photo was taken in the spring of 2012), the trees had grown significantly and were ready to continue growing.

Year 3: At the conclusion of three growing seasons, the trees are well-established and are providing wind protection, snow control, visual screening and more!

Case Study 2: Hog barn with multi-row, multi-species tree planting

Farm Description: Ryan Reed, hog farmer

Goals of tree planting: Improve relationships with neighbors, protect the environment, control snow

Trees planted: Two rows of hybrid willows, two rows of pine trees, 1 row of bushes

Thoughts on his tree planting: Ryan said seeing the results of his tree planting has been one of the most rewarding experiences since he started farming. The tree planting and his efforts to be a good neighbor have significantly improved his relationships with neighbors. When asked why he decided to plant trees, Ryan responded, "Give me a good reason NOT to plant them."

Photo 1: After only two years of growth, the Reed's tree planting is providing visual screening, helping to improve relationships with neighbors, as well as controlling snow.

Photo 2: The Reed's tree planting with four years of growth! When you drive up to the farm, the only thing you see is the gorgeous, well-maintained tree planting!

Photo 3: Many people have expressed interest in their tree planting and have come to the Reed farm to see if they could do something similar on their farm!

Case Study 3: Turkey barn

Farm Description: Ben Leichty, turkey farmer

Goals of tree planting: Provide a windbreak, control snow, and improve aethetics and neighbor relations

Trees planted: Two rows on the north and west sides; ornamental trees for visual appeal on the south and east sides

Thoughts on his tree planting: “The Coalition had the network and expertise in place to help me plan and install the right trees and shrubs for my turkey farm. Not only did the trees enhance the appearance of my farm, they’re a great windbreak to protect the turkeys and were affordable, too.” - Ben Leichty

Photo 1: The trees, a few short months after they were planted.
They will provide a windbreak and snow protection for the turkey

Photo 2: The two-row tree planting will provide protection from the
wind and snow on both the north
and west sides.

Photo 3: Ben Leichty planted several ornamental trees by the road to help improve the visual aesthetics of the site.

Case Study 4: Cattle barn

Farm Description: AJ and Kellie Blair, cattle farmers

Goals of tree planting: Provide a windbreak and visual screening, control snow

Trees planted: Two rows of hybrid willows on the north side

Thoughts on his tree planting: “Working through the Coalition’s Green Farmstead Partner program has helped us identify cost-share programs and nurseries that have worked with other livestock facilities. It is guiding us through the process of what is best for our barn and our goals. CSIF is a great resource for Iowa’s farmers.” - Kellie Blair

Photo 1: AJ and Kellie built a new monoslope cattle barn in 2010.

Photo 2: In the spring of 2012,
AJ and Kellie decided to plant
trees on the north side of their
barn! They are pictured with
Mark Pingenot of Trees Forever.

Photo 3: AJ and Kellie working as a team to plant their new windbreak.

For more information, or assistance designing a plan personalized for your farm, contact the Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers at 1-800-932-2436.