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How to protect your livestock farm and beef up security | The Spokesman Speaks Podcast, Episode 46

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Welcome to Episode 46 of The Spokesman Speaks podcast. This episode is all about protecting your livestock farm, featuring expert advice from Indiana ag attorney Brianna Schroeder and Brian Waddingham (Executive Director of The Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers).

Unfortunately, we're all familiar with stories about livestock farms that have been targeted by people and groups with bad intentions. Learn how to reduce your farm's risk of being targeted.

To follow Brianna on social media or ask her a follow-up question, visit aglaw.us/brianna-schroeder.  To contact the Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers, call 800-932-2436 or visit SupportFarmers.com.

Click here to view the transcript +
Narrator: Welcome to the Spokesman Speaks a podcast from Iowa's leading agricultural news source brought to you by the Iowa Farm Bureau. Now here's your host.

Delaney Howell: Welcome to the July 13th edition of the Spokesman Speaks podcast. I'm Delaney Howell, and today's episode is all about livestock farm security, featuring expert advice from an ag attorney and an organization that's dedicated to helping Iowa livestock farmers thrive in their communities. Unfortunately, we're all familiar with stories about livestock farms that have been targeted by people and groups with bad intentions. Of course, no farmer wants to end up in that situation. So how can you reduce the risk of having your farm targeted? For the answer we asked Brianna Schroeder an Indiana ag attorney who presented her farm security advice at the Animal agriculture Alliance's 2020 virtual summit earlier this year, Farm Bureau's, Caitlyn Lamm has the story.

Caitlyn Lamm: Brianna, thank you so much for joining us for this episode of the Spokesman Speaks podcast. Before we dig in here. Can you tell us about your background and how you got into ag law?

Dirck Steimel: Sure, Caitlyn, thanks. My name is Brianna Schroder. I am an ag attorney based in Indianapolis, Indiana. I grew up on a farm actually in Northeastern Indiana. I went to undergrad up in Wisconsin and went to law school and eventually got a chance to start working for more and more ag clients. And it was kind of a cool way to combine my love for agriculture based on where I grew up and the fact that I, I do really enjoy the law as well. So it was kind of a fun way to combine those two interests. So now represent almost exclusively farmers and ag businesses, not just in Indiana, but across the country with various ag issues, anything ranging from livestock permitting to water, permits to insurance issues kind of across the board. And so I've been doing that now for well, a number of years, I guess.

Caitlyn Lamm: That's awesome. Can you tell me what type of farm you grew up on?

Dirck Steimel: Yeah, I just grew up on a little, I think now you'd call it more of a hobby farm. When I was little, my parents were both teachers and we just had, there's about 200 acres. That's been in my family for, I think I'm the maybe fourth or fifth generation I grew up in the house that my great grandparents built. And so we've always just kind of farmed that little plot, just corn and soybeans and still planting wheat up there as well. So that sort of just being around farmers and the barn and know baling straw in the summer, sort of just kept me tied to those farming roots. So when I got a chance to jump back in from the legal perspective, that was a really cool opportunity for me.

Caitlyn Lamm: It's always cool to hear about the different paths that agriculture can take us. I think we can both agree. It's a great industry to be in, and it's always great to have people with your expertise who also have that farm kid background. And I got to listen to a presentation that you gave on farm security during the Animal Ag Alliance's virtual summit, and you offered some really great advice that I thought would be useful for our farmer listeners. As we've heard reports in Iowa of suspicious activity, specifically around livestock farms, a few break-ins have been reported. So I guess to start us off here, what's some advice you may have about general farm security or what measures have served the farmer clients you have had?

Dirck Steimel: Yeah, that's a great question. And I think farm security takes a couple different roles or comes from a couple different perspectives. I mean, one maybe the most obvious is just good old fashioned security and that is making sure that doors and locks work, making sure you have fences where there should be fences. And this all sounds pretty common sense, but you'd be surprised how many times there's a fence or a gate or a lock that everybody knows needs to be fixed, but it just falls to the bottom of the pile. So don't make yourself an easy target. So that's just old school kind of hardening of the facility, making sure that you actually have some security there. It also comes in in other ways, farm security, and that is making sure who is at the farm, make sure you know, what visitors are expected to the farm. So if you've got a feed delivery that you are expecting, knowing who that is and what kind of truck that's going to be, so that you don't fall prey to someone perhaps posing as a driver when they're not really the other way that farm security comes into play these days is it can be really high tech and that can kind of be scaled to the right degree based on the kind of farm you've got for some farms. It might be appropriate to have cameras in different positions, lighting that's automatic, different kinds of high tech solutions, other farms that may be out of the price range or they might not be feasible. And so it might be something a little bit scaled down just to make sure that in areas where it's possible to enter a barn, for example, you've got some lighting that comes on at night getting back to more of that low tech approach. But you know, I've seen clients that have had issues with unwanted visitors where they've been able to at least track down how got in based on some more high tech surveillance that they had. You know, even if you live close to the barns it's possible that there's a nest cam there at the residential doors. So there's all different forms that can take the key is, and I think we're going to talk a little bit later about some of the more interpersonal things that you can do, but just from a very physical sense, there are things you can do to harden your farm, to make it less of an easy target and that every little step counts.

Caitlyn Lamm: I think that's all really good advice. And especially that being observational knowing who's at the farm and what visitors are expected. So speaking of unwanted visitors, so I live in the country and one morning this month I saw a couple inside, a weird vehicle, no plates that looked like they were probably just broke down on the side of our road. But then when I returned from running some errands later that afternoon, the vehicle was there, but the people were gone. So whatever someone probably picked them up, right. But then not an hour later, I see the same couple that I saw earlier walking the property south of mine and they approached my door and they knocked, I was home alone. So like that wasn't about to happen. They eventually left. I thought it was really weird. So I called the County Sheriff thinking, well, if these people needed help, certainly the police would be happy to oblige, right. So I don't know why they came to my house, but when the sheriff came by, it turns out they were breaking into a property south of mine and has stolen some stuff out of a machine shed. And so they were arrested and now I'm glad that I called, but like at first I felt kind of dumb calling the County Sheriff because, Oh, someone's hanging around my road and I don't know who just knocked on my door, but you kind of have to trust your gut. I think. And I know that farmers are trusting people, but at the same time really aware. But sometimes we do get people approaching our doors, who we don't know or trying to get creative and accessing our farms. So what are some good ways to check out if a person is who they say they are? Like you had mentioned, it's important to know what visitors are expected, but we do get some people who just come up to the door sometimes. And what types of like false identities have you heard about people using or other red flags when it comes to unexpected visitors?

Dirck Steimel: Yeah. Well, I mean, I think first of all, you did the right thing. Trust your gut. It's important. And I mean, I have a story of where, where it actually really paid off well to develop a relationship with your local sheriff or police department, especially if you know, you know that your farm could become a target for some of these various activist groups that are out there. It's a good idea to develop that relationship with the Sheriff's office before you have problems, let them know what kind of operation you've got going on. You don't need to give them the specific permitted details, but just that you've got this type of farm operation going on and you're concerned, you've heard of other stories where farms like yours have become a target of these activists. And so you just wanted to give the sheriff a heads up. That also means that down the road, should you see something suspicious people off wandering a field where they shouldn't be poking around the perimeter of a barn that you do call your Sheriff's department? And if it is nothing, they'll come out, check it out and say, it's nothing, but it's good to be vigilant. It's also good. When you find out that there is something going on to let your farmer neighbors know. So if someone is caught poking around the perimeter of a hog barn, it's good to be in communication with some of your fellow farmers in the area to make sure they're on the lookout for the same thing so that they don't become a target or a victim of that. Regarding visitors to the farm, I think there's two things you can do. And one is kind of on the front end. And that is like you said, making sure and your employees know your farm manager or any of the other employees on your farm, know who are we expecting today? Is it a couple loads of gravel from the quarry? Is it a feed truck? You know, who's coming in today so that everyone's aware of that and everyone's on the lookout. The second thing is that when that expected delivery or vet visit, whoever it is when that expected visitor comes to check their identification, finally, you want to make sure that they're escorted around the farm. Especially when, if you've got a rotating drivers or people you don't have a personal relationship with. Welcome them onto the farm, if they're an expected delivery, but ensure that they're escorted around, especially if you've got livestock for biosecurity purposes, for food safety and for farm security purposes. There's no reason that an outside person should be wandering around your farm on escorted. So, you going to make sure your employees are all on the same page who's allowed on? What are they allowed to do? You want to make it very clear that when someone does come onto your farm, that is expected again, let's just use the example of a delivery driver, that it is clear that they are allowed to be on your farm for the sole purpose of making a delivery, not to wander around, not to interact with livestock, but they have limited permission to be there just to make the delivery or conduct whatever business they're there for. So kind of all of those tips together can help to ensure that you don't have people attempting to fake their way in or pose as someone they're not to gain entrance to the farm.

Caitlyn Lamm: Sticking with that people aspect here. So from time to time, I see farmers, I know, put out posts on Facebook, asking for farm help, some seasonal, some were permanent. I'd imagine that most of the time, they probably have some type of connection to the person that they're hiring, or at least they know someone who knows this person, but we know that's not always the case. And so, especially on livestock farms, we know sometimes people try to gain employment for the wrong reasons. So how can you protect yourself from that type of rod? And what other advice do you have in terms of protecting yourself with like employment contracts?

Dirck Steimel: Sure. So this gets to the hiring part. I always think of farm security. You know, you've got the physical security of your farm and then you've got hiring employees, training employees, and remaining vigilant around the farm. Those are all kind of different parts of it. So the hiring portion on the front end, the first thing is you don't, it doesn't have to be made super complicated, but have an actual application that a person can fill out, ask for references, actually call those references. So it does no good to ask for a reference that you don't call asked for contact information from the applicant. I think one thing to always look for is if someone can't give you an address and they say, well I'm new to the area, or I'm just staying with friends temporarily until I find a spot. You know, those should at least send up little warning flags in your mind. Another thing is cell phone numbers. Now my cell phone number is not an Indianapolis area code, but I can really easily explain to you. Well, I went to undergrad, Wisconsin. I've never changed my number since that's one thing you want to be attuned to. If someone comes, applies for a position at a hog farm in Iowa, and they have a California area code, it's at least worth asking, "Oh, this year area code looks like you're from California. What are you doing here in Iowa?" Something along those lines. So you want to have an application you want to actually call references, interview them. If that's possible, if that's feasible, if you can spare the time and have the ability to conduct even a quick interview, that's all important to do. And then I would advise that even if it's a very simple one page document to have an employment agreement. One of the reasons I advise all of my clients to do that is you can do things by contract or agreement that you can't do by state statute. So Iowa, Indiana, a lot of different states we've had different cases from the courts come down where they've basically held that different laws aimed at protecting farms from undercover activists, violate free speech, violate the first amendment, but you can come up with requirements in a contract that you could not do by statute. So for example, you can put, clauses in a contract that's say that employees prohibited from recording livestock in the barns that requires an employee. If they see any kind of environmental or animal health problems to immediately contact a manager, immediately contact the owner. An employment agreement should highlight the importance of animal care you could include rules about afterhours access to different parts of the property. So while trespass laws can provide some protection, they are limited by what some people call the ag gag laws. That can be limited by the first amendment and by freedom of speech. But that same requirement doesn't always apply to a private contract between two people. So, the private parties can do things that a government cannot. So those are just a few reasons why I always suggest, even if it's a one page document, having a very quick employment agreement that says, this is what my job responsibilities will be. I agree if I see any animal or environmental problems to immediately contact the owner. I agree not to record audio or video inside the barns or inside the farm, unless it is for an approved purpose. You can have rules about limiting uses of cell phones and other technology. So those are all things that you can do in a private contract that you can't necessarily do by statute. So that's why I think the employment agreement can be such an important part of farm security. And then finally, like if you find out that a potential hire or someone you actually did hire is an activist, they are undercover, they are working for another group. You know, we all hope that never happens, but if it does happen, that's something you want to share that information with your other farms in the area, let them know this is someone I hired and after two months I found that they were sneaking around taking video, making Facebook Live videos, whatever it is, share that information with your local colleagues so that you can prevent them from also being a target. Again, that's part of the network where we all kind of have to help each other out.

Caitlyn Lamm: Yeah. I really liked that idea. And I love that you say like, it doesn't really have to be complicated either. Because I think we think of those types of contracts and, Oh, I'm going to have to get involved with a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo, but you know, just having something on paper and signed by the various parties, I think obviously most go a long way into helping. And especially when, I mean we talk a lot about activists, but we also know sometimes that there can be disgruntled employees too, who decided to retaliate. And so that can protect farmers from that too. Also, I know that you had mentioned the physical security, the hiring of employees and then the training. Can you elaborate more on the training aspect?

Brianna Schroeder: Yeah. So you've gone through hiring process. You've vetted them. You called the references. You've interviewed them. You decide to bring them on board. Now what it doesn't stop there. Right? You don't just say, okay, I've protected my farm. Now everybody go on your merry way. Training should be frequent. There should be again, this is, if you're on a livestock farm, it's important that you provide that new employee with training about animal care standards. And there are different groups out there that provide training materials depending on what kind of animals you've got on the farm. There's National Pork Producers has information. Your local state industry groups might have information, DFA, United Egg Producers, all these different groups have materials available to help provide training on proper animal care. I think it's important that you also then have existing employees keep an eye out for that new employee. And that serves a lot of different purposes. One that's just good employee training, making sure that if someone's new on the job, they've got someone that's been doing that same job for a while that they can go to and say, I don't understand how this works. What am I missing? Okay, what do we do next? How does this all work together? So that's part of the training process. That's also good because it allows existing trusted employees to help keep an eye on things. So we hear it at the airport when we were allowed to fly. But you know, the idea of when you see something say something that is part of your farm security is your existing employees keeping an eye out. And so if anyone sees any animal care issue or an environmental issue, they say something and that's part of your web of protection. You know, you're not going to have a thousand cameras in your facility, but you're going to have a lot of eyes in there. And having those trusted employees who check in with new hires and report back if they see anything suspicious. So I think that training should be frequent. It should be standardized. I think that's important. You want to make sure that your employees that are in the same position are treated the same. You don't ever want to treat an employee differently based on where they come from or their political views, anything like that. So it's important that you have standardized training that you provide to all of your employees. So if you've got someone working in the farrowing space, you're treating them all the same, providing the same training, all of them, making sure they all understand their duty to report back. If they see anything suspicious and to take good care of those animals and be good environmental stewards. So you're applying the same rules across the board to everybody. So that's kind of the training part of it that can really easily segue into what I think of is just remaining vigilant and that's kind of a combination of everything we've talked about. So it's remaining vigilant by keeping an eye on employees, checking back in frequently with your employees, see how everything's going, make sure nothing suspicious is occurring. It's also being vigilant with kind of that hard physical farm security. If you're okay with it, I've got a real quick story of a livestock farm that I've worked with that was targeted by PETA. And they ended up on PETAs top five videos for a time, which was really unfortunate because the videos were all doctored. And in the end of the day, some good old fashioned kind of gum shoe slew thing is what helped us to figure it out. And that is these videos started coming out and the farmer felt like, well, these aren't accurate that you know this, yeah, that's looks like the inside of my barn, but that's, that's not accurate. That's not what's going on here and sort of ties it all together because we contacted the local sheriff who they had a preexisting relationship with. So the sheriff got very involved in the investigation, not just of the potential for animal harm, but also the breaking and entering and the trespassing. And we were able to look at the videos a couple different times to determine the angle of the cameras. Based on that angle, we went out to the farm and looked in the places where we thought based on the angle, the cameras must've been located and there were dusty prints on the top of storage cabinets and different things. And you could see prints. You could see the dust had been disturbed and eventually we found some hidden cameras that had been placed there. And by watching these videos multiple times, we were able to determine based on the lighting, based on the angles that the videos must've been taken at night and someone must have brought additional lighting with them, but just based on the way shadows were cast and that sort of thing. So we started to figure that part of it out, we were also able to figure out that some of the video was actually taken from elsewhere and sort of spliced in to make it look like it was at this farm when it in fact was not at all there. That was coupled with the fact that these nighttime videos that were taken at the farm were sort of staged. They were basically set up as if they were for a camera crew. So we were able to figure out what doors we thought they entered into based on, again, looking at some of that hardened, actual physical part of the farm used the high tech nature based on the angle of the cameras. And then we talked to all of the employees at the farm to try to find out if they'd seen anything suspicious. So ultimately we were able to figure out the fact that these videos were taken partially at the farm in a staged manner, also taken from other locations spliced together and put up as an attack on this particular farm. And PETA, I think was very upset that we had state veterinarian offices that came out and did inspections didn't find anything wrong. And ultimately the Sheriff continued to pursue the trespass and the breaking and entering once it was determined that there was no cause for animal harm, that that was not a concern that the bigger concern was that someone was out there breaking and entering into these bio secure facilities that were raising animals. So it's attack on the food chain as opposed to an animal health concern. So that story just kind of ties together how all of these different aspects can come to play.

Caitlyn Lamm: Yeah, definitely. And it sounds like vigilance that many different stages is really important knowing your security and it sounds like farm security is definitely one of those things where you'd rather be over prepared than under. And I think these are really great tips for farmers to think about across various parts of their operation. And is there anything that I didn't ask you that you think would be helpful advice in addition to all the other great points you gave us?

Brianna Schroeder: Well, there's a lot of changing legal landscape out there on trespass law. Iowa has just recently signed into effect a new law addressing food operation trespass, Indiana has some specific trespass rules that address farming operations or agricultural operations, other states are following suit. And in part, this is because as I mentioned earlier, laws that specifically target the content of speech and try to regulate a person's conduct based on the content of their speech. Those so-called ag gag laws, that's how those get struck down by the courts. So I think that these much more narrowly tailored trespass laws that seek to protect our food chain and to protect our animal agriculture and other pieces of agriculture that are part of the chain that provides human food in our grocery stores and on our restaurants. And in our fridges, those more specifically targeted laws I think are going to have more success than the broad speech content type laws that we've seen struck down in different states. So I'm interested to see how those laws are treated in the courts. And I think more and more states are going that way. We've also got a number of states that have the, whether it's the purple stripe or neon fluorescent stripe trespassing. So you don't have to post giant signs all over one's property. You can just paint a stripe here in Indiana. It's purple paint, some other, I think Idaho and Montana maybe use orange or other fluorescent paint, but you can mark a property for no trespassing just based on painting stripes on fence posts or trees. So it's all of these new laws coming into play, working together, hopefully to provide a little more legal security to our farms and agribusiness is. So we think that's something just to keep an eye on. Finally, I don't work for any of these groups, but I do think it's important to stay plugged into your different industry groups, whether it be Farm Bureau or Pork Producers, Egg Producers, Animal Ag Alliance groups like that help to coordinate communication between farmers and agribusinesses as well. So that if there's a threat somewhere, people are made aware of it and everybody can kind of be on the lookout. So there's some added value in being a part of those groups as well.

Delaney Howell: I think what's nice about an interview like that is that it offers very specific, practical advice and tips that you can easily start to put into action on your own farm. We certainly appreciate Brianna coming onto the podcast and sharing her expertise with us. If you'd like to follow her on social media or email her a follow up question, we've included a link in the episode notes to help you do that. Here in Iowa, we're fortunate to have an organization that's sole purpose is working directly with livestock farmers confidentially and at no cost to help them prosper in their communities. Of course, I'm talking about the Coalition to Support Iowa Farmers guarding against activist groups is really important, but it's also important for livestock farmers to know the rules and regulations that apply to their facilities, how to pick the best site for a new barn and how to engage with some of those curious neighbors. That's where the Coalition comes in. Brian Willingham is the Coalition's Executive Director, and he recently spoke with Spokesman editor, Dirck Steimel about steps livestock farmers can take to operate responsibly and successfully and how the Coalition can help.

Dirck Steimel: Brian. We're talking about challenges that livestock farmers are facing and just heard about how livestock farmers can improve the security around their farms. We also want to visit about how livestock farmers can mitigate opposition and successfully manage changes to their farms while maintaining good relationships with neighbors. Recently, we've seen some challenges that livestock farmers have had with opposition in story and power sheet, maybe some other counties around the state, especially with neighbors and boards of supervisors. Why do you think that's happening? And what's the number one thing a livestock farmer can do to help mitigate this type of opposition?

Brian Waddingham: Well, I really think that one of the main reasons is that the average adult is now three to four generations removed from farm And really don't know a great deal about modern livestock farming. But also to that point, I think the farmers got a real role to play and that is to help inform and educate their neighbors, their community, the board of supervisors just about how they do raise livestock and poultry today. And really kind of keep in mind that their neighbors may have a very different image in their mind of what raising livestock looks like. If they haven't set foot on a farm in the last 30 or 40 years.

Dirck Steimel: What's the best way for Iowa livestock farmers to work through the rules and regulations that are required as they explore changes to their operations?

Brian Waddingham: Yeah, well, I think probably the number one thing to do is have the Coalition come out. And this is whether you're putting up your first livestock barn or you're growing an existing farm that already has livestock, but we can come right out to the farm visit with the family about your plans and then try to help you figure out a way to get there. And we do all that at no charge and completely confidential due to the generous support of Iowa's farm and commodity groups. And I think really to another important thing to stress is in a lot of these situations, we start working with the farm family three to six months prior to them even wanting to start construction and some cases maybe as long as 12 months in advance of starting construction. So we can come out again and really help site that barn in a correct location. That's going to have a minimal impact on neighbors and the community while at the same time, really making that farmer feel good that they did things correctly by working with the Coalition to make sure they get off on the right foot.

Dirck Steimel: You mentioned siting is so important for a new livestock farm. What does the Coalition do to help a farmer with siting?

Brian Waddingham: Well, again we come right out to the farm and we really feel that siting is the most important aspect of putting up a new livestock barn today because of some of that opposition out there in the country. And you're only going to get one chance to do it. So you might as well take your time and do it right. And so when we come out to the farm you know, in addition to the 200 plus pages of written rules and regulations at the state and federal level, we're also taking into consideration what we call the unwritten rules distance to neighbors, the number of neighbors, the typography predominant wind direction. So we take a look at all of those one we're looking at site in a barn just to make sure we do it correctly. And again, make sure that that site is good with the farmers, good with the neighbors, as well as the community. So they can really have a positive experience and start to realize their dreams.

Dirck Steimel: As we know, Brian relationships with neighbors and the community can be a key to the success of a livestock farm. What are some key actions that livestock farmers can take to build good relations with neighbors, and then who else should they work as they get ready to make changes in their operation?

Brian Waddingham: We encourage livestock farmers to do as far as taking those key actions or steps to enhance neighbor relations is to go out and visit with all your neighbors within a mile of your farm at least annually. So you're almost making it part of your annual business plan to, to visit with neighbors. We encouraged them to bring their family members along with them, especially if they have children and those children can help tell the story of why they're happy to be on that livestock farm and what they look forward to doing every day on the farm. But also if you're a pork producer we always say as a good icebreaker, bring a ham or some bacon. And when you're visiting with those, with those neighbors and really explain what you do and why you do what you do on that livestock farm, how you raise the livestock, how you care for them. And even if biosecurity protocol would allow, maybe offer them to come down and take a tour of your farm sometime. So that's one thing another is just being neighborly, help him move snow in the winter. You know, maybe they need help cleaning up after a storm. Just things like that, that good neighbors tend to do. And then finally you really want to be visible in that community. If you can be on the school board or a church board, coach little league, or at least attend those types of events where people can see you in that community and know you care about that community that you live in, they'll probably be much more receptive to you putting up a livestock barn.

Dirck Steimel: One of the Coalition's initiatives has been the green farmstead partner program, which encourages farmers to plant trees around their livestock barns. How does this program work and why is it important and how many trees have been planted?

Brian Waddingham: Yeah. With the green farmstead partner program started in 2009 to help livestock farmers, plant trees, and windbreaks around new livestock barns and feedlots. In the past 11 years, we've had 28 nursery professionals join the program that we've trained. And what we do is when we visit with a livestock farmer to put up a new barn or feedlot, we then encourage them to plant trees around that livestock barn as a way to enhance neighbor relations. We've all heard that old adage, if you can't see it, you can't smell it. Well, trees do a great job in improving aesthetics around farms, as well as providing some visual screening and even has proven to reduce odor by 10 to 15%. And again we talked a little bit earlier about neighbors and board of supervisors, both of those really like hearing that that farmer's putting trees around the site, because in many cases they don't need to put them up, but this shows that they're willing to go above and beyond what's required or expected of them in order to enhance those neighbor relations and get along well on that community. And to date the past 11 years, we've now planted more than 75,000 trees on livestock farms all across the state of Iowa. So it's one program that just seems to keep growing every year. We've seen more interest here, even despite the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, our calls are up over even the last several years.

Dirck Steimel: And finally, Brian, what steps can a non-livestock farmer take if they hear about a farmer being opposed in their community, and they want to support that farmer?

Brian Waddingham: Well, we would encourage them, even if they don't have livestock to speak up whenever they hear a livestock farmer is being opposed, or whether it's attending a County Board of Supervisor meeting and giving your opinion, it could be at the, even the local coffee shop. If you hear somebody talking about a livestock farmer, putting up a building that's a great opportunity to step up and just really say, well this is why I really respect their decision as a row crop farmer, I need demand for my grains and that hog barn or cattle barn or poultry barn is going to help improve demand, thereby increasing the price that I receive from my crops. But also you're in the stands at a baseball or football game. That's also a great opportunity to talk about the great things that livestock provides in those communities that you live in.

Delaney Howell: Well, it's always good to have a team of experts on your side, and that's exactly what you get with the Coalition to Support Iowa Farmers. If you want to learn more about their free and confidential services, we encourage you to call them at +1 800-932-2436, or head out to supportfarmers.com. Well, that's it for another fantastic episode of the Spokesman Speaks podcast. I'm Delaney Howell and if you've learned something from this episode, and I'm sure you probably have, I'd encourage you to stop now and make sure you're subscribed to the Spokesman Speaks in your favorite podcast app and join us for our next regularly scheduled episode on July 27th. Until next time, I hope you stay safe, protect your loved ones and find new ways of responding to the challenges of feeding our neighbors in Iowa and all around the globe. Thanks for reading the Spokesman and thanks for listening to the Spokesman Speaks.

Narrator: Thank you for listening to the Spokesman Speaks a podcast by Iowa Farm Bureau. Check out more podcasts and articles from the Spokesman at iowafarmbureau.com/Spokesman. You can also find and subscribe to the Spokesman Speaks Podcast in the Apple podcasts, Google play, and other popular podcast apps. We appreciate your ratings and reviews and welcome your feedback at podcast@ifbf.org.


About The Spokesman Speaks Podcast

Since 1934,  The Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman has been Iowa’s leading agriculture news source, and today it is the largest circulation ag newspaper in Iowa. While the Spokesman newspaper is available exclusively to Iowa Farm Bureau members, The Spokesman Speaks podcast is available publicly, reaching farmers on-the-go with stories that matter to them. You can  find episodes of the podcast here or subscribe and listen in your favorite podcast app, such as Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, TuneInRadio, or Radio.com.

We release new podcast episodes every other Monday. Episode 47 will be released on July 27, 2020.



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