CSIF Aids NE Iowa Family’s Plan for New Cattle Barn

10-28-2014 in Cattle

By: Bethany Baratta, Iowa Farm Bureau

Reprinted with permission from the Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman.

The Cook family had the next generation in mind when they called the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF).

Rick and Ann Cook and their son Randy and his wife, Amy, wanted to make it possible for the next generation to return to the family’s cattle farm in Dubuque County.

“I’m glad I got to farm with my dad, and I’d love it if my kids farmed with me,” Randy said. “I mean, that would be something that would make me proud.”

Randy and Amy have two children, Ryan, 11, and Maci, 9.

With the Coalition’s help, the family found a site on their existing farm that could accommodate the farm’s growth. The family built a 499-head gable-roof slatted barn. The Cook family hosted an open house recently at the cattle barn in Worthington; more than 650 people attended.

The family said they visited more than six other farms with different style buildings to determine the best design for their new cattle facility.

“We got a lot of good ideas looking at other facilities and took those, and that’s what we came up with,” Randy said.

They settled on the gable-roof facility because of the air quality in the barns they visited.

“The barns we visited, we liked the quality of the air in them (the gable-roofed facilities) and the airflow through them. Air quality was the main reason,” Randy said.

Construction of the barn began in June, and the first group of cattle were placed in the barn in mid-October. The family plans to finish 750-pound yearlings in the barn. The barn is 63 feet wide by 276 feet long and has four pens. The Cooks chose to have rubber mats installed on the slats for cattle comfort.

Randy said the building turned out “110 percent” better than they anticipated. Rick credits the work of the Coalition in providing guidance prior to construction. “They really helped us out a lot,” Rick said. “They told us what the rules and regulations were. We did it the right way.”

The Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers is a joint partnership involving the Iowa Catt­le­­men’s Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Pork Pro­­ducers Association, Iowa Soy­bean Association, Iowa Turkey Fed­­eration and Midwest Dairy Association. Assistance is provided to Iowa farmers at no cost. Farm families wanting a helping hand can contact the coalition at 1-800-932-2436 or www.supportfarmers.com.

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