Assistance and advice offered to livestock producers
As escalating production costs cause more stress in agriculture, Iowa livestock farmers who are experiencing hardship can reach out to the Iowa Farm Animal Care (IFAC) coalition for assistance and expert advice.
The most recent Purdue Ag Economy Barometer shows almost 4 in 10 farmers say their farm is worse off financially than a year ago. Overall, the survey found farmer sentiment has plummeted to its lowest level since April 2020.
IFAC, founded in 2013, has two main missions. One is to help livestock farmers who face challenges in caring for their herd. The organization is also an information resource for citizens who may have questions about farm animal care.
IFAC provides a helpline (800-252-0577) for urgent concerns, and an online form (iowafarmanimalcare.org) for inquiries about farm animal well-being.
Requests for help come from many sources and the questions range widely, noted IFAC Executive Director Mike Telford. But more often than not, consumer questions are related to routine production practices, livestock health or weather-related issues and transportation that may be unfamiliar to those outside of agriculture.
“Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation about modern livestock production practices,” Telford said. “Much of my job is to help consumers understand proper animal husbandry practices for that species. If there is a viable issue, we work with the farmer confidentially to help them resolve the issue.”
For farmers experiencing hardship, or for neighbors who notice a problem, Telford said it’s vital they reach out before a situation escalates.
“Our goal is to ensure proper farm animal care and to assist a farmer in need. Sometimes a farmer will fall on hard times and may find it difficult to continue caring for their animals. That’s where IFAC comes in. Family members and neighbors are in the best position to help a farmer in need by giving us a call,” Telford said.
All services provided by IFAC are free of charge and confidential.
“When you call in, you’ll get me, and your information is kept private,” Telford explained.
IFAC is a collaborative effort of the Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Pork Producers in cooperation with Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.
For assistance, or to learn more about the organization, visit iowafarmanimalcare.org or call 800-252-0577.
“Anytime you have a concern, please let us know,” Telford said.
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