Delaware County Family Improves Cattle Performance With Help From CSIF

09-02-2016 in Cattle

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – September 2, 2016 –  When the Ryan brothers, Mike, John and Pat, decided to build a monoslope cattle barn on their farm, they knew they could turn to the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) for siting assistance.

“They had all the previous experience of working with other people who went through the same things we were going through,” said Adam Ryan. Adam is Mike’s oldest son and plans to return to the family farm. He will be the first of his generation to join Ryan Bros. Inc., a joint partnership between the brothers and their families.

In addition to positioning the farm for the next generation, the Ryan brothers recognized new facilities were a necessity for the future success of their cattle operation, which had previously been managed on open lots. Transitioning cattle under roof fit into the Ryan’s succession plan by reducing their time spent on labor and improving cattle performance.

“As time evolves you see the things people are doing better,” Pat explained. “Every time it rained or snowed the barn kept moving up on the list.”

In 2015, the Ryan’s began construction of their 999-head, monoslope cattle barn. The barn was filled for the first time on March 6 this year, and an open house was held in August. Over 850 friends, neighbors and community members attended the event to tour the new facility and learn about the benefits of raising cattle under roof.

The design of the monoslope barn protects cattle from inclement weather, providing ideal conditions for increased rate of gain and improved feed efficiency.

“It’s the same ration, same cattle, same everything, just a different environment,” Mike said. “They don’t get hot, and they’re not stressed.”Ultimately, an increase in cattle performance has allowed the Ryan’s to be more competitive in the sale ring, a key benefit of having cattle under roof.

The Next Generation

Reflecting on his future role on the farm, Adam says it’s not just about the cattle or the technology. For him, it’s about managing the farm as a family function to make room for his brothers and cousins, just as his father and uncles have done before him.

“It shows me that they trust the next generation with everything they’ve done,” he said.

The Ryan brothers encourage other farmers to contact the Coalition with their questions regarding rules and regulations, separation distances and neighbor relations issues.

“They have an open door policy, and really helped us through the transition. Call them anytime,” the brothers agreed.

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 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.

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