New barn helps SW Iowa cattle farmers avoid the mud

John McCarthy, a cattle raiser near Red Oak, discusses the monoslope building on his cattle farm. McCarthy and his wife, Greta, worked with the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) to determine the siting and other requirements for the building. PHOTO/BETHANY BARATTA

After battling rain and mud in a feedyard for years, John and Greta McCarthy thought there had to be a better way to raise their cattle.

“Thanksgiving weekend was 35 degrees, and we had 7 inches of rain. Cattle were standing down here in the old lot belly-deep in mud and shivering,” John said.

They knew that wasn’t good for cattle health or working conditions.

“We were looking to do something,” Greta said. “Land prices were higher, and we already had cattle in the pasture, so we invested in a building.”

More than 200 people traveled to the McCarthys’ farm last week near Red Oak to check out a monoslope facility the family is using to raise their...

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