Through the Gate // May 2024

06-03-2024 in Through The Gate

Committed To Doing Things Right

Committed To Doing things right Brian Waddingham, CSIF executive director, took the call and came to Dickinson County near Spirit Lake to see Lambert’s farm for himself.

“Making that call is one of the best things I’ve done for my family and my farm,” says Lambert.

Lambert wanted to move his cattle into confinement. The mere mention of that can be a hot-button issue in some locations. Lambert’s proximity to the Iowa Great Lakes had the potential to create concern.

“It’s a sensitive area,” says Lambert.

Spirit Lake is the largest natural lake in Iowa. It’s north shoreline skirts Minnesota and it is connected to 5 other lakes including East and West Okoboji where more than 100,000 tourists visit each year. The Lakes serve as the water source for much of the area.

“Brian looked at the water flow and helped determine the right site for the barn,” says Lambert. He walked him through the rules and regulations, the EQIP process to help with financing, and advised him on ways to talk to his neighbors, some of whom were understandably apprehensive. “He was patient and understood the sensitivity.”

Continue Reading


Good Farm Neighbors


Chuck and Kay Struthers

Cattle, Crops, Conservation and Community Define Multi- Generational Story County Farm Family

Read More

Bear Creek Dairy

First generation Poweshiek County farm family is dedicated to their community, livestock and land

Read More


FFA Student Survey Shows High Interest in Careers in Agriculture, Concerns With Start-Up Costs


At the 2024 Iowa FFA Leadership Conference shows that 70 percent of students would like to farm in the future but continue to have concerns about high start-up costs. Of the 191 members who completed the survey, now in its 19th year, 55 percent currently live on a farm.

Preparing students for career success is a pillar of FFA. This is evident among the responses of Iowa FFA members, with 94 percent planning to continue their education after completing high school. Additionally, 82 percent plan to farm or work in an ag-related field.

Caleb Lentz, a senior at Nashua-Plainfield High School, lives on his family’s diversified crop and livestock farm. He plans to obtain a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education. “I’ve had experiences growing up on the farm and in FFA that have led me to pursuing a career as an ag teacher. Although I don’t plan to return to the farm full-time, I’m open to continue helping when I can,” he said.

Nearly 48 percent of respondents indicated that high start-up costs are a primary obstacle to new and beginning farmers. This is an 8 percent increase from last year’s survey results.

Continue Reading


Industry News & Updates

Happy Turkey Lovers Month!

June is Turkey Lover’s Month! It is a little-known fact that Iowa ranks seventh in the nation for turkey production and is home to two of the leading turkey processing plants in the industry. West Liberty Foods and Tyson Foods, the state’s renowned plants, do not sell whole turkeys; instead, they excel in producing further processed items such as deli meats, sausages, and convenient ready-to-eat products for consumers to enjoy every day.

Iowa’s turkey industry significantly benefits a variety of farmers across the state. The dry manure, a byproduct of turkey production, is applied to fields, enriching the soil with nutrients essential for crop growth. Throughout its lifetime, a turkey consumes a bushel of corn and a third of a bushel of soybeans. Upon reaching maturity, turkeys are sent to one of Iowa’s two processing plants. This cycle adds substantial value to Iowa’s agricultural and rural economy.

Join us in celebrating June Turkey Lover’s Month by serving turkey on the grill, in a burger, on a salad, or in a classic turkey sandwich!

HPAI Detected in a Flock of Commerical Layer Chickens in Sioux County 

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have detected a case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in Sioux County, Iowa. The affected site is a flock of commercial layer chickens.

HPAI is a viral disease that affects both wild and domestic bird populations as well as lactating dairy cattle. HPAI can travel in wild birds without those birds appearing sick, but is often fatal to domestic bird populations, including chickens and turkeys. With supportive care, dairy cattle recover with little to no mortality associated with the disease.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is strongly encouraging Iowa poultry producers and dairy farmers to bolster their biosecurity practices and protocols to protect their flocks and herds. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has biosecurity recommendations for dairy herds to utilize. In addition, the Department has numerous other biosecurity resources for poultry producers and livestock farms to reference on its website. Farmers or farm workers who interact regularly with both dairy and poultry or who interact frequently with other farm workers in poultry or dairy, should take extra precautions to limit possible transmissions.

Continue Reading

How can you Celebrate Dairy Month?

Dairy farmers, sharing your story with your community is an important part of growing trust in dairy. Midwest Dairy has compiled a list of resources you may find helpful in sharing your story, including radio ad scripts, a social media content calendar for June, shareable videos, and more.

Learn More

Upcoming Events

World Pork Expo

June 5-6, 2024 | Des Moines, IA

The world’s largest pork industry-specific trade show brings together pork producers and industry professionals from around the world for two days of education, innovation and networking.

Register & Learn More

Iowa Turkey Federation Summer Meeting

June 11, 2024 | Ames, IA

Join the Iowa Turkey federation and ITF board for 2 days of networking, tours and fun.

Register & Learn More

Innovation to Profit Summer Series

June 13, 2024 | Paton, IA

Join the ISA Research Center for Farming Innovation this summer to discuss project outcomes in your area and how they are impacting farmer productivity. From oxbow restoration and edge-of-field practices to replicated strip trials and nutrient management, gain insight on local efforts in conservation and productivity.

Learn More

Iowa Farm Bureau Economic Summit

June 14, 2024 | Ankeny, IA

Get an in-depth look at world macroeconomics, international commodities and geopolitics, and discuss important topics like land value trends, U.S./Mexico trade agreements, grain market outlooks, and the status of the U.S. meat supply chain.

Learn More

Mowrer Good Farm Neighbor Award

June 21, 2024 | Boone, IA

Join the Coalition, The Big Show, and the Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. as we recognize the latest Good Farm Neighbor Award winners, the Mower family – farmers in Boone County!

Brinegar Family Good Farm Neighbor Award

July 1, 2024 | Ottumwa, IA

Join the Coalition, The Big Show, and the Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. as we recognize the latest Good Farm Neighbor Award winners, the Brinegar family – farmers in Wapello County!


Meet the Newest Members of the team

Kueker Joins Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers

Megan Kueker has been named Communications Specialist for the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF).

Kueker will communicate the Coalition’s mission and services by sharing the success stories of Iowa’s farm families who have grown their livestock farms successfully and responsibly using on-farm best management practices.

A native of West Union, Iowa, Kueker grew up on a diversified crop and livestock farm. She graduated from Iowa State University in May 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications.

Read More

Coalition Welcomes Johnson as 2024 Communications Intern

Johnson will be a Sophomore at Iowa State University (ISU) this fall studying Agriculture and Life Sciences Education and horticulture. In addition to her studies, Johnson is a member of Sigma Alpha Professional Sorority, AgEds Club, and helped to start The Country Swing Club. Before attending ISU, Johnson grew up on her family’s heritage farm located in Bondurant, Iowa. Growing up, she was actively involved in both 4-H and FFA and spent most of her time working on her swine livestock project.


Continue Reading

Recommended News

Through the Gate // April 2024

  CSIF – Because Confidence Matters   Bryce and Brian Sampson of Story County are confident they can handle anything that comes at them in their crop and livestock operation....

Read More
Through the Gate // March 2024

  ALBERT FAMILY PRESENTED WITH THE 180TH WERGIN GOOD FARM NEIGHBOR AWARD   Valley Green Farms is a multi-generational family farm located near Brandon in Northeast Iowa. Operated since 1972...

Read More
Through the Gate // February 2024

  20 YEARS OF BEING GOOD FARM NEIGHBORS   “The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award just speaks of Iowa. It defines us,” says WHO Radio Farm Broadcaster Bob Quinn. WHO...

Read More