News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Laurie Johns   
Thursday, 29 November 2012 10:12

94th Annual IFBF Gathering Brings Experts to Des Moines

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – Nov. 29, 2012 – “What would it cost, how long would it take and would the water quality improvement methods impact Iowa’s economy and food costs down the road?”  Those questions and more will be addressed as part of a panel discussion about Iowa’s proposed nutrient reduction strategy and its role in protecting Iowa surface water and reducing the Gulf Hypoxia Zone at the 94th Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) annual meeting in Des Moines.  The December 4-5 meeting will be held at a new location this year: the newly remodeled Veterans Memorial Auditorium.

The panel will feature Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey; Dean Lemke, natural resources engineer with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS); and Dr. Matt Helmers, professor and ag engineer from Iowa State University (ISU).

“The IFBF annual meeting education seminars always draw quite a crowd because they feature  expert advice and guidance on issues that today’s responsible farmers need to know to be sustainable as farmers and community leaders,” says IFBF President Craig Hill.  “We’re especially excited about the Nutrient Reduction Strategy seminar because it is a science-based, detailed study which establishes a benchmark of what strategies farmers, cities and industries in Iowa can do now to reduce nitrogen and phosphorous loss.”

The water quality plan is the beginning of a coordinated, intensified effort to improve Iowa water quality and satisfy the 2008 Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan, which challenged Iowa and other Mississippi River basin states to find ways to reach a 45 percent reduction in nutrients into the Gulf, which cause concerns for marine life.  IDALS, Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and ISU researchers studied the issue for two years; they’ll discuss their draft plans and options for conservation with farmers at the IFBF meeting in Des Moines.

“One thing this study will illustrate is that conservation is not a ‘one size fits all’ issue.  There are literally thousands of types of soils, multiple terrains and many land uses in this state, and we have to continue to feed a growing world from the same amount of land.  This plan needs to focus on feasible solutions that help us make the real, immediate improvements our farmers are seeking, while being fiscally responsible,” says Hill.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey agrees.  “We will discuss Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy which studied several science-based management practices, including cover crops, wetlands, and nitrogen application timing, and looked at their impact on food production, farm profits, and water quality,” says Northey.  “Iowa farmers know the importance of protecting the land and water and have shown increasing willingness to voluntarily implement management practices to improve Iowa’s water quality and downstream waters.”

Members can register for the 2012 IFBF annual meeting at their county Farm Bureau offices.  For more information about the annual meeting, visit



Evaluating Your Estate Plan – A Workshop for Farm Families PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Thursday, 29 November 2012 10:08
Talking about estate planning is difficult and implementing an estate plan can be even harder. Questions often include: Who needs to be involved? What information do I need to gather? When is it the right time to start? Where do I start? How do I decide what to do? The Evaluating Your Estate Plan program can help in the planning process.

The Evaluating Your Estate Plan workshop will be held Friday, December 14th at the Columbus Junction Civic Center, 232 Second St., Columbus Junction, Iowa, with registration starting at 9:00. The program runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and includes lunch and a 100 page workbook. The program will answer estate planning questions and helps prepare participants to work with their estate planning team.

Presenters for the workshop are Melissa O’Rourke and Kelvin Leibold, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach farm and business management specialists. O’Rourke is an attorney experienced in agricultural law and estate planning. Leibold joined ISU Extension in 1987 and has vast experience in working with agricultural clients in farm and business planning.

The one-day workshop will cover the language of estate planning, gift, estate and inheritance taxes, calculating retirement costs, and many other areas vital to creating a good estate plan. The workshop helps those who are confused about building a plan for transferring farm assets or unsure what options are best for their farm operation and family.

Advance registration for the program is required as space is limited. The Evaluating Your Estate Plan workshop costs $50 per person and includes workshop materials and lunch. To register, call the Louisa County Extension office at 319-523-2371 for more information, or visit the Ag Decision Maker website,


ISU Scott Co. Extension Calendar December 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Monday, 26 November 2012 14:27
Dec. 4, 2012: ISU Scott County Extension Council Meeting, Scott County Extension Office, 7:00 pm

Dec. 5, 2012:  Pest Control Operators, Scott County Extension Office, 9:00 am-11:30 am

Dec. 7, 2012:  Private and Commercial Pesticide Applicator Testing, Scott County Extension Office-10:00 am-
2:00 pm

Visit our events calendar at our web site:

News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Heather Lilienthal   
Monday, 26 November 2012 14:10

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – Nov. 20, 2012 – The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) is proud to welcome Farm Bureau employees to new roles this fall.

Jim Gardner has been named IFBF chief financial officer and controller, following the retirement of Jim Christenson.  Gardner will be responsible for directing all financial and technology affairs of the federation; including finance and accounting, information resources and community resources. He will serve as a member of the IFBF executive team and represent the federation on the affiliated companies’ benefits administration committee.

Gardner has been a member of the Farm Bureau family since 1996, serving as the finance and accounting manager. He has worked extensively with the county Farm Bureaus and spearheaded the new county accounting system. He serves as a member of the Insurable Risk, Investment and Exempt Hay committees.

Prior to joining IFBF, Gardner served as audit manager with Meriwether, Wilson and Co., P.L.C. in West Des Moines. He currently serves as treasurer of the Iowa FFA Foundation Finance Committee and chairs its finance committee.

Gardner has also served on the boards of directors of the Iowa Farm Bureau Foundation Council, Dallas Center-Grimes Youth Football, First Presbyterian Church in Grimes, Valley Apparel Co. in Cedar Rapids, and the Wakonda Christian Church in Des Moines.

Gardner became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in 1987 and earned his bachelor of arts degree in accounting from the University of Northern Iowa.

IFBF also welcomes a new staff member to the organization’s field service team. Jeremy Coyle has been named Regional Manager for region 11, which includes the counties of Boone, Dallas, Greene, Polk and Story. Coyle will work with county officers, committees and members to help develop and carry out program activities, organize and assist with the annual membership campaign and supervise the operation of county Farm Bureau offices in the region.

Coyle grew up on a grain and livestock farm near Pisgah in western Iowa.  He is a graduate of Iowa State University where he majored in journalism and mass communications with an electronic media emphasis. Coyle joined IFBF in 1997 and served as the senior producer/writer.

Aaron Siskow joins the Marketing and Communications staff as producer of digital multimedia services. Siskow comes to the IFBF with nine years of experience in the video and digital multimedia field. He was most recently the senior multimedia developer for Farm Bureau Financial Services.

Siskow has extensive experience in writing, producing and directing video and digital multimedia communications. He is the winner of an Iowa Motion Picture Award of Excellence for Lighting Design and the winner of a Research Excellence Award for his outstanding research accomplishments in Iowa State’s graduate program.

In his new position, Siskow will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of IFBF’s video/digital multimedia services including the creation of IFBF’s multimedia presentations, video and television and radio content, helping to share agriculture’s story to our members and all Iowans.

Siskow grew up in Sheffield and is a graduate of Iowa State University, where he studied journalism, earning a bachelor of arts and master of arts degrees.



Soy Checkoff Works to Increase U.S. Soy Use in Aquaculture PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by United Soybean Board   
Friday, 16 November 2012 10:46

It’s no wonder that aquaculture is catching on, considering the growing global population, increasing individual incomes and stronger awareness of the health benefits of seafood. In fact, aquaculture is one of the fastest-growing sectors in global animal agriculture. The farmer-leaders of the United Soybean Board (USB) and the soy checkoff are hooked on these prospective customers of U.S. soy.

Watch the video to hear from checkoff farmer-leader Sharon Covert, soybean farmer from Tiskilwa, Ill., about USB’s work to develop the global aquaculture market for U.S. soybean farmers.

Watch this video to learn more.

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