Eastern Iowa Stocker/Feeder Forums PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Friday, 08 March 2013 16:03
The Iowa Beef Center and Iowa Cattlemen’s Association will be sponsoring two programs this month for small and medium beef and dairy operations. Any cattle operations with less than 1000 animals in outside yards are invited to attend to learn more about how  environmental regulations and inspections may impact their operation.

Both programs start at 10 AM and will conclude about 3 PM. The keynote speakers are Stephen Pollard from EPA, and Gene Tinker or Bill Ehm from IDNR. They have been asked to address fly-overs, inspections and environmental compliance- all topics of high priority for Iowa livestock operators regardless of size and scope of operation. Justine Stevenson, ICA Director of Government Relations and Public Policy, will provide an update on policy, administrative and other hot topics the Iowa Cattlemen's Association is working on in 2013.

With high feed costs producers need to evaluate and seek out feedstock options to manage through high feed input costs. Dr. Dan Loy will discuss current use of alkali treatment to increase the digestibility and value of corn stalks in cattle rations. With the current challenge on producers' minds being the availability of water for summer 2013, there's no doubt that it's important to have a plan in place to insure cattle are managed appropriately to avoid heat stress and other issues this summer. Greg Brenneman & Byron Leu, or Dan Huyser & Denise Schwab, ISU Extension engineer and beef specialists, will focus on considerations producers can use to navigate through a hot dry summer if this is a reality.

The programs will be held March 21, at the Mahaska County Extension Office in Oskaloosa, and March 22, at the Jones County Extension Office in Monticello. Please RSVP your intent to participate by calling the ICA office at 515-296-2266 by Friday, March 15. Lunch will be provided free of charge thanks to local business sponsors.


Dairy Farmers and Workers Raise Deep Concerns Over TPP Trade Deal PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by G Munroe   
Tuesday, 05 March 2013 16:44

Farmers, Workers, Processors Fear Unfair Competition from New Zealand Dairy Industry

(WASHINGTON) Congress should not approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal without carefully considering the impact on vulnerable U.S. dairy farms and workers. That was the message delivered today by 11 national organizations representing dairy farmers and dairy industry workers in a letter to eight key members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

The TPP has the potential to become the biggest trade deal in history.  As the 16th round of talks gets underway today  in Singapore, negotiators now include Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, the United States and Vietnam.  Other Pacific Rim nations – notably Japan, the Philippines and Thailand – are watching the talks closely, with an eye to joining the controversial trade pact.

U.S. dairy interests are especially concerned that the trade deal will damage family farmers, dairy processors and consumers.

The letter states the pending trade deal could have tremendous impact on where and how dairy products are produced and processed.

“New market access for New Zealand’s monopolistic dairy sector would be especially damaging to U.S. dairy farmers and those who produce and process nonfat dry milk, butterfat or cheese,” the letter states.

To make sure the U.S. dairy industry won’t be decimated by the TPP, the letter urges Congress to adopt new trade policymaking procedures rather than reinstating so-called “fast-track” authority.

“Congress must make sure this trade deal doesn’t open the door to unfair competition,” said Rome Aloise, international vice president for the Teamsters and head of the union’s dairy conference, which represents 30,000 dairy workers throughout the supply chain. “The dairy industry is too important to our economy and to our food supply.”

Aloise added the Teamsters would not support any trade deal that provides lesser protections to workers than to corporations.

Ben Burkett, a farmer and the president of the National Family Farm Coalition, explained why his group joined the call to Congress, “This letter elevates an issue so important to our dairy farmer members and to all consumers. The future of our nation’s 60,000 dairy farmers is at stake.”

"National Farmers Union supports trade agreements that benefit U.S. agriculture and promotes societal goals of healthy communities, feeding the poor, economic justice, human rights, and a sound environment. If those high standards are to be met in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Congress needs to weigh in on the terms of the agreement now, before the negotiations are concluded," said Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union.

“It’s especially important that Congress review the impact of the TPP on the U.S. dairy industry because the deal has been negotiated in complete secrecy,” said James P. Hoffa, general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

The letter was sent to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas of Oklahoma and Ranking Member Collin Peterson of Minnesota; House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp and Ranking Member Sander Levin, both of Michigan; Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Ranking Member Thad Cochran of Mississippi; and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana and Ranking Member Thad Cochran of Mississippi

The letter was hand-delivered today to Capitol Hill by representatives of the ad-hoc national “fair trade” coalition, consisting of the Citizens Trade Campaign, Family Farm Defenders, Food & Water Watch, the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/ Land Assistance Fund, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, League of Rural Voters, the National Farmers Union, and Rural Coalition/Coalicion Rural.

An example of the letter can be found here.

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Over 150 Organizations call on Congress to Fix Disastrous Farm Bill Extension PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Y. Armando Nieto   
Friday, 01 March 2013 13:41

Over 150 local and national organizations wrote to the full Congress today urging support for Senate Appropriations Chair Barbara Mikulski’s proposal to end direct farm subsidy payments and use a small portion of the savings to restore funding for critical farm bill programs that were left out of the fiscal cliff deal passed on December 31st 2012.   The farm program changes are part of a larger bill to stop automatic across-the-board budget cuts and substitute a larger, targeted, balanced package of spending cuts and tax loophole closings

The direct payment program had been eliminated in the 2012 Senate-passed and House Agriculture Committee-passed farm bills but was nonetheless then included in the Farm Bill extension, while funding for dozens of other cost-effective programs included in those bills were zeroed out.

The letter stated “A fiscal package compiled by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would correct the disastrous farm bill extension measure contained in the New Year fiscal cliff deal…As supporters of sustainability and equity, we believe the package or one substantially similar has merit as a fairer farm bill extension and a pathway to a better approach to deficit reduction than across the board cuts. “

Among other provisions, the American Family Economic Protection Act would use savings from the elimination of direct payments to reinstate funding for programs eliminated in the extension deal, including $452 million for agricultural research, rural development, renewable energy, and support for local, organic, specialty crop, beginning, and disadvantaged farmers.

These small but vital programs help farmers expand their businesses and meet the growing demand for local, healthy and organic food. They also spur job creation, build healthy rural communities and support a new generation of farmers to replace the aging farmer population.

The Mikulsi-Murray-Reid proposal would also restore funding to the Conservation Stewardship Program for the 2013 farmer sign-up, funding that was inadvertently left out of the continuing resolution that is currently funding government programs.  It would also provide immediate funding for livestock and other farm disaster assistance, another item left out of the fiscal cliff farm bill extension deal.

The bill would also remove all Farm Bill spending from the automatic budget cuts referred to as sequestration.  Sequestration, which is scheduled to take effect on Friday, March 1, will otherwise reduce farm commodity and conservation program support by between $6 and $7 billion.

The letter’s signatories, including Community Food and Justice Coalition, Rural Coalition, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, National Family Farm Coalition, Environmental Working Group and Union of Concerned Scientists “call on House, Senate, and White House leaders to work immediately toward a comprehensive deal that averts the sequester, finishes real appropriation bills for this fiscal year, and corrects the farm bill extension so that it actually extends the full farm bill while beginning the long overdue job of reforming subsidies.”

The groups also pledged to continue work with Congress to complete a full and fair Farm Bill that mitigates disasters, protects natural resources, provides equity and inclusion, constructs a new and economically viable future for agriculture and rural communities, and assures healthy food for all consumers.  For full letter, go here

Eastern Iowa Hay Producers Association Annual Meeting & Conference To Feature Cover Crops PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Thursday, 28 February 2013 10:54
Area hay and forage producers are invited to attend the 30th Annual Eastern Iowa Hay Producers Association Annual Meeting and Conference on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at Buzzy’s in Welton. Registration will begin at 10:00 a.m. with the program scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m.

This year’s conference features the use of cover crops and is co-sponsored by the Iowa Learning Farm. Mark Carlton, Extension Field Agronomist, will discuss cover crops for feed, soils, and soil nutrient management. Sarah Carlson, Research and Policy Director for Practical Farmers of Iowa, will moderate a panel discussion of farmers who have been using cover crops in various

The annual meeting of the Eastern Iowa Hay Producers Association (EIHPA) will take place shortly after lunch and will include their election of officers and directors.

Following lunch a tour will be hosted to view fall seeded rye at the Engel Family farm north of Welton. J.C. and Neal Engel will share their experience with growing cover crops to reduce erosion following chopped corn and to supplement grazing for the cow herd.

Registration for the conference is $30 and includes a membership to EIHPA and meal. Tickets can be purchased at the door. Certified crop advisor credits have been applied for. This conference is sponsored by EIHPA, Iowa State University Extension & Outreach, the Iowa Beef Center and the Iowa Learning Farm.

The Eastern Iowa Hay Producers Association provides educational workshops and field days for forage producers in Jackson, Jones, Clinton, Cedar, Scott and Muscatine counties. However, forage producers from other counties are also welcome to participate. For more information contact Denise Schwab at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Kevin Brown at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 563-872-4475.


Morel Mushroom Certification Offered on April 4, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Monday, 25 February 2013 09:16
Mushroom hunters who would like to legally sell morel mushrooms in Iowa need to complete a morel mushroom certification workshop. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Bettendorf, Iowa will be offering the course on Thursday April 4, 2013 from 1 to 4 pm.

“The aim of the workshop is to help assure that misidentified mushrooms are not sold as morels,” said plant pathology professor Mark Gleason. “To meet the need for this training, we are offering a three-hour certification workshop on identifying morels and false morels.” Certification lasts for three years, so those who certified in 2010, when the Iowa law requiring certification first took effect, will need to recertify this year.

The agenda for the workshop includes:
• Pre-training identification test
• Presentation on recognizing morels and false morels as well as other species of wild mushrooms
• Examination of fresh and preserved morels and false morels
• Post-training identification test (and re-testing as needed)
• Wall-size and wallet-size training certificates

Those interested in attending the workshop should preregister by emailing Mark Gleason at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or calling 515-294-0579 by Monday, March 26. Preregistration is important, allowing appropriate space and materials to be available at all training venues. The workshop fee is $50 per person, payable at the training. Cash or check accepted; no credit cards.

Additional questions about the workshops can be directed to Mark Gleason, 515-294-0579 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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