In 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 Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) conducted the survey at the recent FFA state convention. More than 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 livestock farm.

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. “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 percent 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.