Farm animal care practices have changed a lot, even in the past few years, thanks to advances in technology and extensive research into farm animal well-being.

Now more than ever, Iowa farmers want to be transparent about how they care for farm animals.

The Iowa Farm Animal Care (IFAC) coalition - a first-of-its-kind network of professionals, vet­erinarians, animal behavior scientists and farmers - is committed to addressing Iowans’ questions regarding farm animal care. 

If you have questions about something you see on a livestock farm, feel free to call IFAC so animal health experts can follow up, says Mike Telford, IFAC executive director. 

IFAC works closely with an advisory committee of experts from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship; Iowa State University; the Iowa Department of Transportation; the Animal Rescue League of Iowa; and the Iowa Sheriffs and Deputies Association, which is often the first responder in cases involving animal neglect.

“We want to assist (farmers) and make sure they are successful and that they have all the tools that they need. We also want to answer questions that Iowans have about standards for farm animal care,” Telford says.

You can contact IFAC by calling the helpline at 800-252-0577, or sub­mit a question online at

All questions and reports are kept confidential. However, you will be asked to provide a farm’s location and your contact info so an expert can get back to you with a response, Telford explains.

“We want people to feel free to call and know that their identity is safe,” Telford says.

In a few instances, a call has alerted the IFAC experts to a problem on a farm that needs to be addressed.

Sometimes, it’s a hobby farmer who may be inexperienced at raising farm animals. Or in extreme cases, it could be a farmer who is experiencing financial strains or mental health issues, Telford says.

If so, then a team of Iowa State University animal health and well-being experts follow up and visit the farm to give recommendations for improvement.

“I certainly encourage neighbors or anybody else to give us a call,” Telford says. “And when they do call, I thank them profusely. There isn’t any way we can address a concern if we don’t know about it.”

For more information about IFAC or to learn more about how farmers care for their farm animals year-round, visit

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