Iowa livestock farmers should take a proactive approach as the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) launches a new program to inspect large- and medium-scale livestock operations across the state, agricultural legal experts said last week during a webinar sponsored by the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF).

There are key steps that farmers should take before they are contacted by the DNR to schedule an inspection, and there are important points to follow during and after the inspection, said Christina Gruenhagen, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s government relations counsel, and Eldon McAfee, an attorney who often represents livestock farmers.

"It’s important to be involved in this personally," Gruenhagen said during the CSIF webinar. "This is not something that you want your hired man to handle for you."

The DNR’s new round of livestock farm inspections stems from an agreement the state environmental agency signed with the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The...