Three lawmakers with a unique combination of names led an effort in the Iowa House to recognize the “economic importance” of Iowa’s pork industry. The Iowa House passed the resolution to coincide with the annual Iowa Pork Congress, which wrapped up Thursday. Representatives Joel Fry of Osceola, Tom Moore of Griswold and Rob Bacon of Slater read the resolution aloud, then the house speaker summed things up: “House Resolution 3: Fry, Moore, Bacon. All those in favor say aye. All those opposed say no.”
There were no naysayers, but a few pun-lovers took note. Perhaps house members named “Best” and “Salmon” and “Fisher” who could collaborate on a statement in the future.
(O.Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)
Iowa is losing about one-thousand of its historic barns every year and a new film aims to inspire people to preserve some of the barns that still stand. Quad Cities-based filmmakers Kelly Rundle and his wife, Tammy, have created “The Barn Raisers,” which will premiere this weekend in Davenport. “We’re taking a look at vintage Midwestern barns through the lens of architecture,” Rundle says. “What does the way the barn was built tell us about when it was built and who built it, what its purpose was and we’re also trying to get at who those builders were and they’re a little bit of a mystery in most cases.”
Besides being very practical and useful for the farmer, Rundle says barns are “magnificent and important structures” that hold the stories of America’s past. “I think part of what led us to this particular story is my own experience growing up exploring my grandfather’s dairy barn in Wisconsin,” Rundle says. “As we traveled over the last three or four years to make the film, I was able to revisit a lot of those things I remembered as a child.”
The 57-minute movie will debut on Saturday at the Putnam Museum. “In addition to the premiere on the Putnam giant screen in Davenport, we expect there will be other showings in the region and the film will also air on PBS stations throughout the Midwest,” Rundle says, “so, we’re looking forward to sharing this film with everybody.”
Rundle says he hopes this movie will be used by barn preservation organizations around the country to further their efforts. “‘The Barn Raisers’ is a companion to our Emmy-nominated film, ‘Country School: One Room, One Nation,’ and in that film we focused on country schools in Iowa, Wisconsin and Kansas,” Rundle says. “We turned to those states for this particular project and then added also Michigan and Ohio.”
The Rundles run Fourth Wall Films. Dates for the movie’s airing on Iowa Public T-V have not yet been announced.
The president of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) says he’s “very disappointed” with President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of talks on the Trans Pacific Partnership. John Weber of Dysart says the pork industry worked hard to make sure T-P-P would be good for pork producers. However, “All is not lost,” according to Weber. “We haven’t lost anything we currently have. We lost opportunity,” Weber says. “We are optimistic that we can work with this new administration in developing…perhaps bilateral agreements or some other combination of those Asia Pacific countries and regions. Believe me, we’re going to be involved in that and hopefully gain market access for pork.”
The bigger concern right now, Weber says, is the renegotiation of NAFTA — the North American Free Trade Agreement. “That is going to have to be a smooth and gentle process, if they’re going to massage the trade with both Canada and Mexico, or agriculture could be in big trouble in a hurry,” Weber says.
While the trade issues are concerning, Weber says, NPPC is looking forward to the regulatory relief promised by the new administration.
(Reporting by Ken Anderson, Brownfield Ag News via Radio Iowa)
Elsewhere across Iowa…
Officials with the Women, Food and Agriculture Network (WFAN) invite women who own or manage farmland in Taylor County and surrounding counties, to participate in a free discussion focused on the CRP (Conservation Reserve Program). The meeting begins 8:30-a.m. Feb. 14th in Lenox with registration, coffee and resource sharing at the Lenox Community Center (210 E. Dallas St.). It includes lunch, and an afternoon field trip to view CRP plantings and other stewardship practices. The meeting concludes with a dessert and wrap-up session by 3-p.m.
Women landowners who attend the meeting will learn to improve and protect their soils and water, through the use of targeted CRP practices. Special maps will be used to show how protecting your soil can be profitable. You’ll also learn how local agency staff can help you understand the CRP program and application process.
Reserve your place now by calling Erin Ogle at 712-523-2118, or by email at Erin.Ogle@ia.nacdnet.net. Reservations are needed by 4-p.m. Feb. 10th. For more information, visit www.womencaringfortheland.org, or call Carol at 641-430-2540.
You’re invited to join Iowa State University Extension & Outreach Field Agronomist, Aaron Saeugling, and Iowa State University Farm Coordinator for Southwest Iowa, Jim Rogers, for a one-hour presentation covering the newest farm trials conducted across the state. The Ag Input Meeting for Montgomery County will be held on Friday, February 10th from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm at the Extension office in Red Oak.
Do you have crop input questions for 2017? Do you wonder what research Iowa State University is doing in southwest Iowa? Do you value independent research results? Would you like to see demonstrations conducted on farm fields? ISU’s Saeugling and Rogers will also answer participants’ questions about crop input in the upcoming growing season.
Ag Input Meetings will be conducted all across southwest Iowa this winter. There will be one held at the Montgomery County Extension Office located at 400 Bridge Street, Suite 2 on Friday, February 10, 2017 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Complementary cookies and coffee will be served. There is no fee to attend and pre-registration is not required. For more information contact Montgomery County Extension at 712-623-2592.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach connects the needs of Iowans with Iowa State University research and resources.We provide education and partnerships designed to solve today’s problems, prepare for the future and help Iowans make informed decisions.
The Montgomery County office is located at 400 Bridge Street in Red Oak. You can contact us at 712.623.2592 or through our website at www.extension.iastate.edu/montgomery or “like” Montgomery County-IA Extension on Facebook.
Some Iowans are worried about the impact on the state’s billions of dollars in exports after President Trump signed an order Monday to pull out of talks on the Trans Pacific Partnership. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says trade is vital to several Iowa industries, chiefly agriculture, manufacturing and services. “You’re playing with fire when you talk against trade agreements that maybe could be better for the United States,” Grassley says. “I wouldn’t make any judgments that Trump’s wrong for trying to get a better deal for America. If he can do that, I’ll support that.”
Iowa exported more than 13-billion dollars in products during 2015 and Grassley fears Trump’s action could hurt the Hawkeye State’s options for overseas trade. “Particularly with Japan, I think it will,” Grassley says, “but if he follows it up quickly with some sort of bilateral negotiation with just Japan, particularly to help agriculture, it would fill that vacuum.”
Iowa sent one-point-one billion dollars in exports to Japan in 2015. The T-P-P involves the U-S and 11 other countries, including Canada, Mexico, Peru, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. As promised during the campaign, Trump signed an executive order which pulls the U-S out of future negotiations on the proposed partnership. “It may sound like I’d just be blaming Trump maybe hurting Iowa,” Grassley says, “but let me tell you, TPP would’ve had a very difficult time in the Congress getting a majority vote even if Obama was president.”
Grassley says people will appreciate that the new president is trying to get a better deal for American products. “Who can argue with that, but we don’t know yet, but he’s going down that road,” Grassley says. “We’ll just have to wait and see. I hope he’s successful. In the meantime, I hope he doesn’t hurt American agriculture in the process.”
Many agriculture commodity groups, including the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, supported the T-P-P as a way to stimulate trade.
Iowa U.S. Senator Joni Ernst said she was “Disappointed in [Monday’s] executive action to withdraw the United States from TPP. With one in five jobs in Iowa dependent on trade, access to new markets is critical to our state’s economy. However, we must not let this stop our country from pursuing increased trade opportunities for our exporters. With the growing demand for our agricultural products across the world, it is imperative that we ensure a level playing field for American farmers and manufacturers to have a fair opportunity to compete in these markets. Under this new administration, I will continue to advocate for ways to work together toward a stronger trade agenda on behalf of Iowans.”
DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today (Tuesday) announced that Kirk, Kent and Kevin Swanson from Montgomery County have been named the winners of the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award. Northey will present the award to the family on Thursday, January 26th. The ceremony will be held at the Coalition to Support Iowa Farmer’s booth (1923) at the Iowa Pork Congress, which is held at Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.
Northey said “The Swanson family does things right in how they care for their animals, protect the environment and serve their neighbors and community. It is great to be able to recognize a deserving family like this in front of their peers during Iowa Pork Congress. Iowa is fortunate to have outstanding livestock farmers like the Swanson family all across the state and I encourage anyone to consider nominating a livestock farmer in your community for this distinguished award.”
Kirk, Kent and Kevin own 4 K Farms, which is a farrow-to-finish hog business with 20 boar studs and also sell semen to other hog farmers. The family was nominated for the award by their neighbor Dennis Carlson. In his nomination Carlson highlighted the family’s care for the environment and also their active involvement in the community. The Swanson family has planted a wind break and also uses cover crops, buffer strips and terraces to prevent erosion and protect water quality.
They are also active in the community including regularly hosting tours of their farm. The family has helped many young 4-H students get started showing pigs by providing starter pigs and hosting a workshop to help them care for their animals. Kirk is also the Montgomery County Fair Swine Superintendent and also regularly judge’s swine shows.
The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor award, made possible through the financial support of the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers, recognizes Iowa livestock farmers who take pride in doing things right. This includes caring for the environment and their livestock and being good neighbors. It is named in memory of Gary Wergin, a long-time WHO Radio farm broadcaster who helped create the award.
Anyone interested in nominating their neighbor for the award should write a letter or e-mail explaining why their neighbor should receive this designation. Applications may be submitted to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Attn: Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award, Henry A. Wallace Building, Des Moines, IA 50319 or emailed to Communications@iowaAgriculture.gov.
Landus Cooperative invites area growers to a series of informational sessions to learn about results from the largest farmer-owned cooperative research plot in the nation.
Landus Cooperative’s agronomy team will highlight four years of data from the cooperative’s 184-acre Research Plot in Farnhamville, Iowa as well as results from nearly 90 corn and soybean seed plots statewide. The Landus Cooperative Research Plot was home to 19 different projects last year.
“This is a mass of field data results not available by any other farmer-owned agronomy retailer in the nation,” explained the cooperative’s director of agronomy, Todd Claussen. “Our team has done the work to drill down to actionable steps our growers can take to improve their bottom line.”
Sessions will focus on the return on investment (ROI) for a variety of management practices and issues including Sudden Death Syndrome, the impact of seed rate as compared to planting date as well as the benefits of fungicide.
Registration for all events begins at 9:30 a.m. with the meeting beginning at 10:00 a.m. In the KJAN listening area, meetings will be held Tuesday, Jan. 31st in Atlantic, at the Cass County Community Center, and in Carroll on Feb. 7th at the Carrollton Inn.