12 Reasons to Call the Coalition
Haley Banwart | Assistant Field Specialist
Since 2004, the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) has assisted over 3,720 Iowa farm families in raising livestock responsibly and successfully. As a trusted third-party resource, CSIF offers a variety of services that are completely confidential and free of charge. The wide range of these services are summarized in the following “12 Reasons to Call the Coalition”.
1. For Educational Opportunities – Each year the Coalition hosts a variety of workshops and conferences, including the annual Farming for the Future Conference, to help farmers learn how to tackle farming challenges such as financial planning, ag lending and risk management.
2. To Celebrate Your Farm Neighbors– The Coalition encourages Iowans to nominate their neighbors for the Good Farm Neighbor Award. The award is presented by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and Iowa Ag Radio Network in partnership with the Coalition, and recognizes Iowa farm families who are active in their communities and go above and beyond as environmental stewards and animal caretakers.
3. To Explore New Livestock Initiatives - As the landscape of livestock farming changes in Iowa, the Coalition strives to keep pace with innovative livestock practices and opportunities. From fish farming to state-of-the-art livestock buildings, the Coalition can help you consider which ventures might be the right fit for your farm.
4. For an On-Farm Assessment – There are opportunities to grow Iowa’s livestock industry, but farmers need a plan for growth. That includes being in compliance with local, state and federal regulations. The Coalition can help you interpret and navigate the rules that apply to your current facilities, helping set your mind at ease about environmental inspections.
5. To Grow Your Operation – The Coalition will help you develop a plan for growing your livestock farm and connect you with resources you need – from ag loan programs to builders and engineers – to grow the right way.
6. For Site Analysis – When adding livestock to your farm, it’s important to make sure you have a good site for a livestock or poultry barn. A thorough analysis by the Coalition takes into account the location of neighbors, public use areas like parks and lakes, topography and prevailing winds.
7. To Keep the Farm in the Family – The Coalition will help you explore options, such as adding or growing a livestock enterprise, that can assist you in bringing the next generation back to the farm.
8. To Install Windbreaks – Working through the Green Farmstead Partner Program, a properly installed windbreak can help control snow deposition, improve the appearance of your farmstead, enhance neighbor and community relations and protect air and water quality.
9. For Help with Neighbor Relations – One of the often overlooked, yet most important steps to successfully growing a farm is communicating with neighbors. The Coalition can help you develop a neighbor relations plan specific to your situation.
10. To Keep Up with Rules & Regulations – The Coalition is a free and confidential resource that can help you navigate and interpret the rules and regulations that apply to your livestock farm.
11. To Implement Best Management Practices – Whether you have questions about manure management, animal health or conservation practices, the Coalition can connect you with a network of industry specialists who are experts in their field and can provide you with the advice you need to improve productivity on your farm.
12. To Set a Good Example for Iowa Agriculture - By utilizing the Coalition’s services, you can gain peace of mind and set a good example for other Iowa livestock farmers. The Coalition advocates for Iowa’s farm families by working beside them and sharing their success stories.
The Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers was created by farmers to help farmers raise livestock successfully and responsibly. It’s a joint partnership involving the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Egg Council, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Turkey Federation and Midwest Dairy Association.
The non-profit, non-partisan organization provides assistance to farmers at no cost. CSIF does not lobby or develop policy. Farm families wanting a helping hand can contact the coalition at 1-800-932-2436.