Manure Manager

News
CSIF launches environmental program


January 18, 2010
By Marg Land

January 13, 2010, Des
Moines, IA – To help livestock farmers safeguard Iowa’s air, soil and water
quality, the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) recently announced a
new on-farm environmental program focused on the planning and installation of
vegetative environmental buffers (VEBs).



January 13, 2010, Des
Moines, IA – To help livestock farmers safeguard Iowa’s air, soil and water
quality, the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) recently announced a
new on-farm environmental program focused on the planning and installation of
vegetative environmental buffers (VEBs).

The Green Farmstead
Partner
program is sponsored by CSIF along with the help of Trees Forever and
the Iowa Nursery and Landscape Association (INLA). It offers timely and
cost-effective assistance to farmers wanting to plant trees and shrubs around
new and existing cattle feedlots, hog barns and poultry buildings.

Planting VEBs provides
numerous benefits for farmers and their neighbors. When properly planned and
installed, Iowa State University research finds that VEBs can reduce odor from
livestock barns by 10 – 15 percent. The installation of trees and shrubs also
improves neighborhood aesthetics, enhances soil and water quality, helps
conserve energy use and creates a more pleasant working condition for farmers
and their employees.

Megan Ritter, CSIF senior
field coordinator, says the Green Farmstead Partner program meets a growing
need that surfaced during the coalition’s work with nearly 1,300 livestock
farmers.

“Since our launch in 2004,
the coalition has worked with farm families throughout the state, from choosing
good locations for new livestock barns and feedlots to being the best neighbors
they can be,” Ritter says. “Along the way, many farmers have expressed an
interest in planting vegetative buffers but didn’t know where to start.

“The Green Farmstead
Partner
program brings together experts to provide the technical resources
farmers need to get the job done and done right,” Ritter adds.

Roger Hunt farms near
Columbus Junction and serves as a field coordinator and design specialist for
Trees Forever. He says the project is just one more example of how farmers and
the environmental community are working together for stronger farms,
neighborhoods and communities.

“Farmers are the
caretakers for nearly 90 percent of Iowa’s land area,” Hunt says. “If we’re
talking about a healthy environment then we’re talking about farmers because
they’ve always had a keen interest in protecting the quality of our air, soil
and water. I have a passion for this kind of work and look forward to
networking with farmers, the coalition and nursery and landscape professionals
from around the state in support of this unique and innovative program.”

Farmers interested in
participating in the Green Farmstead Partner program can get started by calling
the coalition at 1-800-932-2436 or logging on to www.supportiowasfarmers.org.


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