CSIF Workshop Highlights Value of Planting Trees on Livestock Farms

06-28-2017 in Events

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – June 28, 2017 – Since 2009, more than 66,000 trees have been planted on Iowa livestock farms through the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) Green Farmstead Partner Program (GFP). To further highlight the value of planting trees on livestock farms, the Coalition recently hosted a first-of-its-kind Green Farmstead Partner Workshop at Frazier Nursery near Vinton. 

Farmers who attended the event learned about the benefits of planting trees on livestock farms, engaged in a farmer panel discussion on establishing windbreaks around barns and feedlots, and took a tour of the nursery guided by father and son co-owners, John and Alex Frazier.

“We partnered with the Green Farmstead Partner program about four years ago, and it’s been a very natural partnership because we’re promoting the same things,” said Alex.

According to landscape and nursery professionals like the Fraziers, a properly designed windbreak not only reduces the impact of winds and inclement weather, but can dissipate odors, shift snowfall and enhance farm aesthetics. These factors combined make trees an effective tool for improving neighbor relations.

“One of the main reasons we plant trees around livestock facilities is to keep our neighbors happy,” said Alex. “Trees can help mitigate odor.”

Investing in Trees

For Doug Albertsen, a workshop panelist and a Benton County cattleman, trees have been a fixture of his family farm for generations.

“My parents put in a windbreak in the 60’s, so I don’t think we ever questioned the benefits of mature trees,” said Doug. “We’re currently in our fourth season of growth on a windbreak we planted around our cattle barn and the hybrid willows are already about 30 feet tall.”

Doug completed the project with the help of CSIF and professional expertise of Frazier Nursery, one of 25 partnering nurseries in the Coalition’s GFP program.

“Planting trees is a visual demonstration of a farmer’s commitment to their land and community,” said Brian Waddingham, CSIF Executive Director. “It’s an example of a best management practice we encourage to help Iowa farm families grow responsibly and successfully.”

The Green Farmstead Partner program was created by farmers to help other farmers who are interested in establishing windbreaks. It is offered by the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers with the help of Trees Forever and the Iowa Nursery and Landscape Association. All livestock farmers are eligible for the program.

CSIF is a non-profit organization that assists livestock farmers who want help interpreting rules and regulations, guidance on good site locations for barns, counsel on enhancing neighbor relations and tips on how to protect the environment at no cost. For more information, call 1-800-932-2436 or visit www.supportfarmers.com.

The Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers was created by farmers to help farmers raise livestock responsibly and successfully. It’s a joint partnership involving the Iowa Beef Industry Council, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Poultry Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Turkey Federation and Midwest Dairy Association.

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