Behind Every Hog Barn is an Iowa Farmer

posted on Saturday, April 21, 2018

“One of the toughest things Iowa farmers have to manage is how they grow and become profitable enough to support the next generation,” said Dave Stender, Iowa State University Swine Field Specialist. “They have to figure out if the total farm income can support their children, and then their spouses and families. Land availability and the price of land, especially in Iowa, can really dampen their dreams.”

Previous issues of Homegrown Iowa have discussed how livestock growth strengthens rural communities and adds value to corn and soybeans. We’ve also talked about the ways livestock manure restores soil health by adding organic matter, which results in reduced nutrient loss and soil erosion.

This time, let’s focus on the farmers—the people and families behind the hog barns, and why, how and where they carefully choose to grow their livestock farms. In this issue you’ll learn about just a few of the careful considerations farmers make around barn location and how they will best utilize the nutrients.

You’ll also meet four Iowa farm families—Trent Hatlen, Kevin and Chase Ellingson, Dylan, Joe and Bridget McKee and Clint Dohlman. You’ll see that farming today can look different, but that’s okay. Instead of one farm family shouldering all of the responsibility, oftentimes you see partnerships between the landowner, the neighboring crop farmer, the barn owner, the barn’s manager and a production company, just to name a few.

The takeaway is—behind every hog barn there are many farmers involved and working hard to provide for their families and make a living in rural Iowa. Read the latest issue of Homegrown Iowa here