WEST DES MOINES, IOWA (July 2, 2020) Taking on the challenge of improving Iowa’s water-quality is a tall task with all Iowans vested in the results.

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA (May 7, 2020) — Iowa farmers and rural communities face mounting challenges and uncertainty as disruptions to meat-processing plants impacted by COVID-19 have created a bottleneck in the supply-chain with major negative impacts for both farmers and consumers.

DES MOINES, IOWA (March 1, 2019) — Secretary Michael R Pompeo is coming to Des Moines March 4, 2019, to discuss how the American Agriculture industry’s embrace of free enterprise and innovation lifts the economy of all, through trade and the promotion of American exports.

IFBF Has Invested More than $80 million in Rural Iowa in a Decade

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa - March 11, 2014 -- Iowa Farm Bureau's Renew Rural Iowa program, which has helped more than 2,500 Iowans successfully own and grow their business since the program launched in 2006, is bringing new offerings to Iowa entrepreneurs in 2014.  New seminar content, online curriculum, exclusive peer forums for those who qualify and financial advice are now available to Iowa entrepreneurs to help grow their existing business.

"We're excited about the new offerings to our program this year that will feature 'the best of the best' national business leaders, including Mike Kleis, president of Renaissance Executive Forums of Iowa, and Joel Bennett, lead consultant with Veel Hoeden Consulting, to help rural Iowa businesses flourish," said Sandy Ehrig, IFBF economic development administrator. "IFBF has always believed that strong, vibrant rural communities are the fabric of Iowa and we are committed to helping them thrive for the long-term; that's why we've invested more than $80 million in rural communities in the last decade."

The online curriculum, Renew Rural Iowa Pathways, is available at www.renewruraliowa.com and is designed to provide entrepreneurs with advice and critical business data needed to hire and retain the best employees and also help entrepreneurs put together a profitable business plan.  "Pathways offers guidance in areas of organization management, marketing and sales, product and service, financials and funding and even exit strategies," said Ehrig.  "Pathways curriculum can be customized, too, so you have a menu of options for training that suit your needs whether you're in manufacturing, retail or service industries.  A live concierge is also available for individual consultation."

"Select business owners who attend a Renew Rural Iowa seminar and wish to grow themselves and their business can apply to join exclusive peer forums after completing an interview and assessment.  These peer forums enable business leaders to learn from each other in a confidential environment and enhance their ability to lead their business.  Integrity, quality, profitability and people are the foundations for a successful future and that is the life goal of all who participate in our special peer forums," said Ehrig.

Organizers say those who work with Renew Rural Iowa in 2014 will learn how to identify the obstacles to their business growth and find new pathways to success.  Renew Rural Iowa (RRI) is an IFBF initiative, launched in 2006, to support new and existing businesses through education, mentoring, and financial resources.  More than 35 seminars have been held around the state since then, connecting entrepreneurs, business leader mentors and finance opportunities.  For more information, go to www.renewruraliowa.com/.                               

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About Iowa Farm Bureau
The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to enhancing the People, Progress and Pride of Iowa. More than 153,000 families in Iowa are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve farm and rural prosperity. For more information about Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit the online media center at www.iowafarmbureau.com.

Bi-Partisan Agreement Saves Taxpayers Millions While Maintaining Vital Farming Safety Net

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa - January 28, 2014 -- Iowa Farm Bureau farmers are pleased to finally see an apparent compromise reached in a long-overdue 2014 Farm Bill, just reached this week by Congress.  The Agricultural Act of 2014 means farmers are doing their part to help reduce the federal deficit through this streamlined bill.  The Agricultural Act of 2014 calls for an end to direct payments, while strengthening vital risk management tools.  The bi-partisan bill also strengthens conservation efforts to protect land, water and wildlife not only now, but for future generations.

"We knew that the strength and reliability of our nation's food production means farmers have to be able to make plans.  Our farmers faced devastating drought one year, and floods the next.  So, for our farmers, the backbone of the bill lies in maintaining the strength of the crop insurance program; with crop insurance, farmers can invest in their own risk management by purchasing insurance policies so they are protected in difficult times.  That means we can keep doing what we do best: grow reliable, safe food choices for consumers," said IFBF President Craig Hill.

"The soon-to-be finalized Farm Bill also provides a permanent livestock disaster assistance program for farmers and ranchers affected by natural disasters, such as those winter storms which devastated cattle herds in the Northern Plains last spring," said Hill.

"This bill isn't perfect because there are some things we wish would've been included, but in the nature of compromise, it took some give and take to bring agreement. Having a new Farm Bill finally on the books brings assurance to many Iowa farmers both today and for the next few years," said Hill.

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Iowa Farm Bureau Helps Bring Cover Crop Workshops and Expert Insight to Iowa Farmers

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa - January 20, 2014 - Iowa farmers have made significant long-term progress protecting Iowa's soil and water resources while actively working to improve conservation practices.  To accommodate farmers' desire to learn the latest conservation methods, 45 one-hour sessions about cover crops, sponsored by Iowa Farm Bureau, will be offered during the 2014 Iowa Power Farming Show held January 28-30 in Des Moines.  The cover crop workshops are included with the $6 admission ticket.

Farmers have shown great interest in adding cover crops to their operation and the workshops and educational sessions will address the latest practices that improve soil health, maintain organic matter and increase productivity.  "Iowa farmers have shown great innovation developing conservation plans on their farms," said Rick Robinson, IFBF environmental policy advisor.  "Protecting the land has always been a top priority for Iowa farmers, so we are proud to help bring these cover crop workshops to the Iowa Power Farming Show."

Each day, the workshops will feature five overview sessions in the morning and afternoon on cover crop basics, seeding, termination, integrating with livestock, and four daily in-depth sessions on aerial and high-clearance seeding.

"Workshop attendees will learn the benefits of cover crops, find direction on choosing the right cover crop seeds, receive information on application and termination of cover crops, and learn more about how cover crops fit with a livestock operation," said Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture.

On all three days, grain marketing analyst Elaine Kub will speak from noon to 1 p.m. in Rooms 104-106.

For more information on the 2014 Iowa Power Farming Show visit www.iowapowershow.com.  To hear firsthand accounts of diverse conservation practices farmers are using or to learn about upcoming field days and other conservation events, visit www.iowafarmbureau.com/conservationcounts.

About Iowa Farm Bureau
The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to enhancing the People, Progress and Pride of Iowa. More than 153,000 families in Iowa are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve farm and rural prosperity. For more information about Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit the online media center at www.iowafarmbureau.com.

SAN ANTONIO - January 16, 2014 -- Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) voting delegates helped secure the strength and commitment to the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) this week, as voting delegates took up the RFS and other priority issues for Iowans at the 2014 American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas.

IFBF voting delegates joined more than 350 other state Farm Bureau delegates to find national consensus on a variety of legislative issues.  A high priority for Iowa is the RFS, which adds nearly $12 billion, or about 9 percent, to Iowa GDP and supports nearly 83,000 jobs.  Despite federal threats to weaken the RFS, Iowa voting delegates worked to approve policies to continue support of renewable fuels tax incentives for the production of biodiesel and to continue funding for next-generation cellulosic and biomass fuel research and installation of blender pumps and improved infrastructure.

Iowa delegates also led the charge to approve a new policy to protect proprietary data that is collected when farmers use GPS or automated software operating systems, available and readily used now in planting, spraying, field planting preparations and harvest equipment. AFBF delegates agreed such private and unique information gathered wirelessly and stored on 'Cloud' based computer servers should not be eligible for release under the Freedom of Information Act.

"IFBF farmers also worked to secure the prioritization of an affordable crop insurance program in the Farm Bill, which Congress still works to approve.  But we wanted to secure the national consensus and continued federal support for a crop insurance program to assure strong farmer participation.  Iowa has faced several weather challenges in recent years: a flood one year, drought the next, and in unpredictable weather cycles and uncertain markets, such a tool is vital to the sustainability of farming in Iowa," says IFBF President Craig Hill.

AFBF policies are developed by Iowa and Farm Bureau representatives of 49 other states to secure grassroots lobbying strength in the 2014 legislative session.

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About Iowa Farm Bureau

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to helping farm families prosper and improve their quality of life.  More than 153,000 families in Iowa are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve economic growth, educational improvement, and environmental quality in their communities.  For more information about Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit the online media center at www.iowafarmbureau.com.

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA - January 14, 2014 - Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) members will continue to work to advance Iowa's water quality and soil conservation efforts, protect property taxpayers, and improve Iowa's road and bridge infrastructure in the 2014 legislative session.

A strong push to continue to improve soil and water quality is one of several priorities identified by IFBF members.  "It's very important to maintain the momentum we have already seen for these voluntary conservation efforts by Iowa farmers through the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy," said Craig Hill, IFBF president.  "The strong demand last fall for water quality and soil conservation funds which were allocated during the 2013 legislative session clearly shows that farmers are stepping up to reduce nutrient loss and improve the soil for generations to come."

In 2013 the Legislature allocated on-going and one-time money to implement the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, and the majority of that money has been allocated.  Iowa Farm Bureau will seek an additional $10 million in one-time funding to continue these new efforts in crop management and watershed projects.  In addition, Farm Bureau will advocate for one-time funds to help address the $18.5 million backlog of conservation cost-share projects to reduce soil loss, where demand has significantly outpaced cost-share funding, as well as one-time money to help close Iowa's remaining ag drainage wells.  "Allocating one-time funding for these important conservation projects is an ideal use for the state's ending fund balance," Hill said.

Ensuring that property taxpayers' contributions to the mental health system remain limited and controlled will be another emphasis for Farm Bureau during the 2014 legislative session.  As a result of previous mental health reform legislation, the current funding formula for property taxes is set to expire, and will need to be addressed this session.

Farm Bureau members will also advocate for increased funding for Iowa's roads and bridges, many of which are deteriorating and in need of repair or rebuilding.  Studies have shown that an additional $215 million per year is needed to meet the critical needs of Iowa's aging roads and bridges.  "Our delegates have strongly supported policy which says that any additional revenue for transportation infrastructure should be generated from the state's fuel tax," Hill said.  "Increasing the state fuel tax, which has not been increased since 1989, would ensure that the users of the roads, including out-of-state motorists, are paying directly for infrastructure repairs."

An increase in the user fee would also reduce pressure on Iowa's property taxpayers.  In fiscal year 2013, rural property owners paid over $153 million in property taxes to their local roads and bridges.  Additionally, with no other alternatives to pay for the needed repairs, more and more local governments are turning to bonding as an alternative source of revenue, with this debt being financed by local property taxpayers.  "This is a disturbing trend that we have seen throughout the state, and it will only continue into the future until the fuel tax is increased to cover road and bridge funding needs," Hill said.

Farm Bureau will also push for a continued commitment to agricultural research that adds value to ag products, aids the environment, increases farm efficiency, and improves health and safety.  In order to accomplish that, Farm Bureau will work to increase state funding for the Iowa State University (ISU) Ag Experiment Station and other ISU research programs.

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About Iowa Farm Bureau

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to helping farm families prosper and improve their quality of life.  More than 153,000 families in Iowa are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve economic growth, educational improvement, and environmental quality in their communities.  For more information about Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit the online media center at www.iowafarmbureau.com.

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, January 13, 2014 - Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF), Iowa's largest grassroots farm organization, received several honors, including the Pinnacle Award, a top honor of national achievement at the American Farm Bureau Federation's (AFBF) 95th Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas.

State Farm Bureaus were presented awards at the kickoff of the AFBF meeting January 12 to recognize their excellence in membership achievement and implementation of outstanding programs serving Farm Bureau members in 2013.

The Pinnacle Award is the highest level award and is given to the most outstanding state in each membership group. To be eligible for the award, a state must have achieved membership quota for the year and have the most President's Awards in its membership group.  IFBF received four President's Awards, given to the most outstanding entry in each membership group for each program area.

The Awards for Excellence are awarded to state Farm Bureaus that have demonstrated outstanding achievements in six program areas: Education and Outreach; Leadership Development; Member Services; Membership Initiatives; Policy Development and Implementation; and Public Relations and Communications. IFBF received an Award of Excellence in all six categories.

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About Iowa Farm Bureau

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to helping farm families prosper and improve their quality of life.  More than 153,000 families in Iowa are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve economic growth, educational improvement, and environmental quality in their communities.  For more information about Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit the online media center at www.iowafarmbureau.com.

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA - January 10, 2014 - When it comes to meat, poultry and dairy products, "price" and "taste" drive most purchasing decisions of Iowa grocery shoppers, according to new research from the Iowa Farm Bureau Food and Farm IndexSM, conducted online by Harris Interactive® in November and December of 2013.  Nearly 8 in 10 Iowa grocery shoppers cited price (79% for meat/poultry; 80% for dairy) and taste (76% for meat/poultry; 77% for dairy) among the most important factors to them when buying meat, poultry and dairy products.  That finding on price was consistent, even among higher income Iowa grocery shoppers (those who make $75,000 or more).

The next most important considerations for Iowa grocery shoppers are "food safety" (39% for meat/poultry; 40% for dairy) and "nutrition" (41% for meat/poultry; 37% for dairy).

The Iowa Farm Bureau Food & Farm IndexSM surveys Iowa residents between 20 and 60 years old who have primary or shared responsibility for household grocery shopping; 502 such respondents were interviewed for this wave of research. It is the first in a semi-annual survey of Iowans to study the factors driving their food purchases.

Iowa grocery shoppers read labels

While the survey points to the common sense food priorities of Iowa shoppers, it also shows they're hungry for more information about how or where their food is grown or raised.  About two-thirds of Iowa grocery shoppers (68%) pay attention to such labels on their food.  Among those who do, the highest percentages say labels indicating that the food was raised in the U.S. (50%) give them the information they are seeking, followed by raised locally (43%), hormone free (36%) or antibiotic free (32%).

"This survey shows us there is an opportunity for farmers to share how they raise farm animals

or use antibiotics to protect the animals' health and that's an important issue because here in Iowa, where we lead the nation in several types of meat production, there are too many Iowans who don't understand the 'big picture' of antibiotic use on the farm," said Dr. Scott Hurd, DVM, PhD and Associate Professor, Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Hurd, who served as Deputy Undersecretary for Food Safety at the USDA in 2008, directing all federal meat and poultry inspection, says advances in feed, housing and veterinary medicine guide the care of all food chain animals and by law, there are strict withdrawal guidelines.  "That means no animals are on antibiotics when they go into the food chain, so there are zero antibiotics in meat.  Furthermore, Iowa farmers are also subject to standards of care on the farm which require regular supervision, ongoing research and certification programs to make sure animals raised in Iowa are kept safe, well-fed and pain-free," he said.

Farmers agree the Iowa Farm Bureau Food and Farm IndexSM shows a need for conversations to continue with consumers. "This shows us that Iowans believe their food is safe, but they want information about their food, so this is an opportunity for all farmers to connect with them and clarify a few things.  Since many Iowa shoppers pay attention to labels that claim the food is 'raised hormone free', they need to know that all foods come from living organisms and all living organisms have hormones.  In fact, science has long documented (http://www.usmef.org/growth-hormones-in-cattle/) that meat or dairy products have a fraction of the amount of hormones that cabbage contains.  This is an opportunity for critical food safety dialogue," said Craig Hill, Iowa livestock farmer and president of IFBF.

Farmers more trusted than doctors regarding food safety questions (Click here for Infographic)

The Iowa Farm Bureau Food and Farm IndexSM also showed that when it comes to the most trusted sources about food safety information, farmers (26%) ranked higher than dietitians/nutritionists (16%), medical professionals (11%), the government (7%), food companies (5%) or chefs/cooks (2%).

Additionally, 50 percent of Iowa grocery shoppers ranked farmers in their top three - the highest

percentage for this status - followed by dietitians/nutritionists (46%).

Methodology

Harris Interactive conducted the survey online on behalf of the Iowa Farm Bureau, within the United States from November 21-December 2, 2013.  A total of 502 Iowa residents aged 20-60 were surveyed, who have primary or shared responsibility for grocery shopping for their household.  For a complete methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Laurie Johns at ljohns@ifbf.org.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight.  Known widely for the Harris Poll, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research across a wide range of industries.  For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

For more information on the Iowa Farm Bureau Food and Farm IndexSM, please visit Iowa Farm Bureau at www.iowafarmbureau.com.

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About Iowa Farm Bureau

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to enhancing the People, Progress and Pride of Iowa.  More than 153,000 families in Iowa are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve farm and rural prosperity.  For more information about Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit the online media center at www.iowafarmbureau.com.

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