WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — According to a recent survey of Iowa FFA members, 66 percent of students indicated they plan to farm after completing their education with 92 percent of those students interested in raising livestock or a combination of livestock with crops.
The survey was conducted by the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) at the recent FFA state convention. Over 230 students completed the survey.
Current Iowa Farm Bureau intern and past FFA state officer, Peyton Schmitt says raising livestock is a realistic way to get involved with FFA. “Not everyone has access to large plots of land for growing crops but we are seeing more farmers that support FFA help provide livestock opportunities for students,” said Schmitt. Nearly 90 percent of survey participants indicated that they currently live or work on a farm that raises livestock.
Leah Mosher is a junior in the Grundy Center FFA chapter and has been raised on a 5th generation feedlot, seedstock, and cow/calf beef operation. Mosher has two supervised agricultural experience projects based around her livestock, Breeding Beef and Market Beef. She has also participated in livestock judging and exhibits beef cattle at the county and state fair levels each year. “From my involvement, I have seen the need for organizations, such as the Coalition, that help improve the atmosphere for livestock production in the state of Iowa” says Mosher.
Other survey results include:
- 69 percent of students currently live and work on a farm and 63 percent raise both crops and livestock.
- 67 percent of students have a very positive attitude related to agriculture’s future in Iowa.
- When asked which management practice they would prefer if they raised livestock, 58 percent would be part of a family-run corporation and 27% would operate independently.
Both Schmitt and Mosher expressed interest in returning to the family farm or continuing to be involved after receiving a four-year degree. Raising livestock becomes a lifestyle for many Iowa youth and the services that CSIF provides will continue to be of high interest for both new and experienced farmers.
CSIF is a non-profit organization that provides free and confidential counseling to Iowa farmers that are interested in guidance on site locations for barns, interpreting rules and regulations, enhancing neighbor relations and tips on protecting the environment. For more information, call 1-800-932-2436 or visit www.supportfarmers.com.
The Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers was created by farmers to help farmers raise livestock responsibly and successfully. It’s a joint partnership involving the Iowa Beef Industry Council, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Poultry Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Turkey Federation and Midwest Dairy Association.
— Coalition to Support Iowa Farmers
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