Iowa Counties Big in Livestock are the Healthiest

05-23-2013 in Livestock

Reprinted with permission of the Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman

The annual report ranking Iowa’s healthiest counties is out, and once again, many of the state’s top livestock producers top the list. This survey, conducted by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, looks at a wide range of factors, such as childhood poverty and access to doctors.

The strong showing of big livestock counties, of course, flies in the face of often-repeated claims by activists that livestock production is a detriment to human health. It shows that increased economic activity from livestock production is a big factor in improving health and the overall quality of life.

Sioux County is the healthiest county in the state, according to the survey, and it is also a livestock powerhouse, leading the state in both hog and cattle numbers.

Nearby Lyon County is second on the healthiest list and is eighth in pork production and second in cattle numbers. And the third healthiest county in Iowa is Winneshiek in the heart of the state’s dairy country. It is 12th overall in the number of cattle and fourth in dairy cattle numbers.

You can find the overall county health rankings here:

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