Through the Gate // December 2023

12-21-2023 in Through The Gate


A Look Back at 2023


Despite the ongoing challenges with markets and the weather, the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) was busy helping livestock farmers grow successfully and responsibly in 2023. CSIF staff continued to see steady interest from farmers wanting to add livestock to help diversify their operations as well as increased interest in planting windbreaks on their farms through the Green Farmstead Partner Program.

The CSIF team responded to nearly 700 calls and made 86 free and confidential farm visits during the year to assist Iowa’s farm families. The calls came from a variety of sources, from new and beginning farmers to existing and well-established farmers, all interested in adding livestock to the farm. Since 2004, we have helped more than 5,230 livestock and poultry farm families successfully and responsibly grow their farms.

We saw continued, but cautious, growth on livestock and poultry farms throughout the year as farmers looked for new opportunities to grow or maintain their family farm or to bring family members into the business. Many farmers also wanted CSIF staff to visit their farm and confirm they were incompliance with local, state and federal rules and regulations.

Our mission of helping Iowa’s farm families grow successfully and responsibly is still as important to the state today as it was nineteen years ago. Our pre-emptive approach of helping farmers start raising livestock or grow their existing farms has proven to be successful – and in many cases – essential to reaching the farm family’s goals.

If you have questions about starting or growing your livestock farm, give the Coalition a call anytime.

Brian Waddingham, Executive Director





Rules, Regulations, and the Future of Your Farm


As we heard during our Farming for the Future Conference, there are amendments to some rules and regulations that have the potential to go into effect as early as the spring of 2024. These rule changes pertain to karst and alluvial soils. While these changes won’t affect every livestock producer looking to build new or expand, they will affect some areas of the state more than others.

With the northeast portion of Iowa having a heavy presence of karst soil, the amended rule could make it tougher for farmers to build or expand new livestock facilities. When we look at the amendment to the mapping of the flood plain on the sitting atlas, things begin to get less confusing. This helps ease the decision-making process, but with that, farmers will no longer be able to petition the map to get approval to build in an area that is marked as a floodplain.

Both changes are in the process of being approved, so keep your eye out for that. As always, if you or someone you know is looking to expand or add new livestock feeding operation and has question on rules and regulations, give CSIF a call. We are your one-stop shop for all livestock related questions.

Kody Havens, Field Specialist



The Fenceline Podcast


Farming for the Future with Iowa Corn

Welcome to the Farming for the Future Series! This episode takes us to Marion County, where we hear from Iowa farmers about the important relationship between corn & livestock and take a look at the future of the corn industry in Iowa.

Listen on your favorite podcast app.




Industry News & Updates


In the Cattle Markets

Cattle markets have continued their retreat to lower prices.  Current futures prices are similar to those observed in March or April of this year – if the contract was traded.  But, on the positive side, the decline has slowed and is showing modest signs of the down-move weakening.

Continue Reading

Iowa Cattlemen’s Association Names New CEO

Iowa Cattlemen’s Association (ICA), the leading grassroots organization supporting Iowa’s beef cattle industry, is pleased to announce Bryan Whaley as their new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective December 4, 2023. Whaley brings many years of experience leading successful teams, serving customers, and a deep-rooted passion for the cattle industry that will be invaluable to the future of the association.

Continue Reading


Upcoming Events


Farming for the Future Friday

January 5 | The Big Show

LIVE on The Big Show from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

ICA Cattle Producer Forum

January 8 | Armstrong, IA

Free educational event for members; $25 for non-members. Learn More

All Things Beef: Calving Management

January 9 | Afton, IA

Looking for a refresher on calving? The Jan. 9, 2024, session of the All Things Beef workshop series in Afton could be just the ticket. Learn More

ICA Cattle Producer Forum

January 11 | Nevada, IA

Free educational event for members; $25 for non-members. Learn More

2024 Cattle Market Update and Outlook Webinar

January 11

Record cattle prices in 2023 have softened heading into 2024 and recent placements of cattle on feed have been above a year ago, pushing the on-feed inventory up. What does 2024 have in store for cattle feeders and cow-calf producers? Learn More

Farming for the Future Friday

January 12 | The Big Show

LIVE from Cass County on The Big Show from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

Iowa Beef Center Feedlot Forum

January 16 | Sioux Center, IA

Feedlot Forum 2024 is designed to help producers transition through a variety of big changes. Learn More

Iowa Dairy Days

January 16-30

Iowa dairy producers will hear about raising their “dairy best heifers” during the 2024 Dairy Days events hosted by the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Dairy Team. Learn More

“Take Root” Farm Continuation Workshops- Shelby County

January 18 + January 25 | Harlan, IA

Iowa Farm Bureau’s “Take Root” program helps farmers develop a comprehensive, managed approach for their family farm’s continuation and growth from the roots up – helping ensure that what you’re doing today will create an enduring legacy for future generations. Learn More

Farming for the Future Friday

January 19 | The Big Show

LIVE on The Big Show from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

ICA Cattle Producer Forum

January 22 | Underwood, IA

Free educational event for members; $25 for non-members. Learn More

Iowa Pork Congress

January 24-25 | Des Moines, IA

For 50 years, the Iowa Pork Producers Association has been putting together the Iowa Pork Congress, an event that combines business, education, achievement recognition, and social get-togethers for those whose daily lives depend on pork production. Learn More

Driftless Region Beef Conference

January 25-26 | Dubuque, IA

This conference brings together beef producers for an educational program that focuses on the needs of this production region. Learn More

BQA Workshop

January 26 | Dubuque, IA

Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) works to protect consumer confidence in our beef supply and to return more profits to producers. All individuals who have the opportunity to influence the quality and handling of cattle are encouraged to become certified. Learn More

Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference

January 26-27 | Ottumwa, IA

This concentrated one-day conference focuses on management and production practices that contribute to making the cow-calf business profitable and competitive on a long-term basis. Learn More

IFBF Young Farmer Conference

February 2-3 | Altoona, IA

Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) invites all young farmer members between 18 and 35 years old to register for the IFBF Young Farmer Conference. Learn More

ICA Cattle Producer Forum

February 5 | Welton, IA

Free educational event for members; $25 for non-members. Learn More

Farm Transitions Conference

February 8-9 | Ames, IA + Online

Whether you want to begin farming, you are looking to transition your farm to the next generation, or you are a producer somewhere in between, this conference is for you! Learn More


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