Take a virtual tour of Iowa livestock farms and learn more about how farmers raise high-quality, nutritious real meat.

The Iowa Farm Bureau re­­cently launched a video series as part of its “Real Farmers. Real Food. Real Meat.” initiative to bring real stories of sustainable agriculture, animal care and the nutritional benefits of meat and dairy products to Iowans.

Through the campaign’s newly launched video series, Iowans will find themselves on farms across the state, including those of Jarad Weber of Lee County and Mitchell Hora of Washington County. Other videos will feature Colin Johnson of Wapello County followed by many others.

These farmers and environmental stewards will share with audiences the sustainable practices found across their farm acres. Many of today’s livestock farms are continuously improving to meet low- or net-zero emission goals. The United States is a world leader in sustainable livestock production with only 4% of total U.S. emissions coming from this sector.

“We’re at such an exciting time right now to be part of a wide array of solutions. Iowa farmers have the opportunity to offset carbon footprint, improve water quality, reduce flooding and improve the nutrition of our crop that we’re providing to the global market,” says Hora in one of the videos.

According to research from USDA’s Agricultural Research Ser­­vice and Virginia Tech, meatless diets have little effect on reducing carbon footprints, and if all livestock in the U.S. were eliminated, emissions would only drop by 2.6%. 

On-farm practices related to animal welfare, genetics and feed have allowed beef production in the last 30 years to increase by 18% while per-unit emissions have fallen by 8%, and pork production has increased by 80% with a 20% per-unit emission reduction. 

Likewise, dairy and milk production have a bold story to tell with production increases of 48% in the same time frame with per-unit emissions falling by more than one-quarter.

The “Real Farmers. Real Food. Real Meat.” initiative also highlights animal-based proteins as natural sources of the high quality, complete proteins needed throughout a person’s lifespan. 

From vitamin B12 to zinc, real meat and dairy are superior sources of the vitamins and nutrients that promote brain development, nervous system functionality and support immune systems.

Across the state, travelers will be reminded of these health benefits on 50-foot Fareway semi-trailers that feature photos of Iowa livestock farm families with slogans like “Meat. The Original Health Food.” and “Iowa Meat. Nature’s Perfect Protein.”

“It’s funny to have friends and neighbors tell me they saw me on Interstate 80,” says Amy Wilkerson, a cattle farmer in Dallas County who, with her husband, Chad, is one of seven family farmers featured on Fareway’s trucks. “I appreciate Iowa Farm Bureau putting a spotlight on livestock farmers around the state.” 

Watch for more farmer stories and learn more about how meat and dairy products contribute to a healthy lifestyle by visiting www.realfarmersrealfoodrealmeat.com.