DES MOINES —The Iowa Finance Authority\'s Agricultural Development Division has a variety of tools to assist beginning farmers trying to obtain enough capital to start farming, said Steve Ferguson, ag program specialist. IADD, established in 1980, was the first program of its kind in the country, Ferguson said. There are 19 states that have patterned beginning farmer programs after Iowa which has the largest program in the country. Operating expenses for the IADD are derived from modest application and service fees paid by program participants as well as interest from a trust fund. It receives no state dollars.
NORTHWOOD, Iowa — While Wisconsin has banned spring county fair pig weigh–ins due to concerns about spreading Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus, or PEDV, Iowa is moving ahead with its county fair weigh–ins, state officials said. On Feb. 11, Paul McGraw, state veterinarian at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, issued a ban on spring weigh–in of pigs in preparation for Wisconsin county fairs.
For National FFA Week, which was Feb. 15 to 22, Agri News talked to state FFA officers from northern Iowa. This week we are featuring Dylan Brockshus, Northwest State Vice President. Q: Tell us about yourself. A: I\'m currently a freshman at Iowa State University studying animal science. I was raised and have lived on a family–owned dairy operation that is three miles north of a small town called Ocheyedan. I went to high school at Sibley–Ocheyedan High School where I was an extremely active student. For sports I did football and wrestling and had success in both of those. I was also in our high school concert band, marching band, chamber choir, concert choir, mens glee and show choir. I also served on our Student Leadership team for 3 years and was extremely busy with all of the FFA functions at Sibley–Ocheyedan.
AMES, Iowa — It\'s the work of organizations like the Iowa Soybean Association through its Environmental Programs and Services and On–Farm Network that will make the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy/Water Quality Initiative successful, said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, a Spirit Lake farmer.
AMES, Iowa — Western corn rootworm resistance to Bt corn is increasing, and if farmers hope to maintain Bt traits as tools, they need to diversify their management, said Aaron Gassmann, Iowa State University assistant professor of entomology, at the recent On–Farm Network Conference in Ames. \"In addition to insect resistance management through non–Bt refuges, sound integrated pest management is essential,\" Gassmann said. \"Any pest management strategy that imposes mortality on a pest population will select for resistance. Farmers need to look at a rotation of tactics rather than layering of traits and insecticides.\"
DYERSVILLE, Iowa — Doug O\'Brien, USDA deputy under secretary for rural development, toured FarmTek\'s hydroponics, aquaponics and fodder systems Friday in Dyersville. \"Here we have a really innovative business with 250 employees in a town of less than 5,000,\" O\'Brien said. \"These are good jobs — engineering and advanced manufacturing — in a high growth industry. It\'s not some fancy Silicon Valley thing, FarmTek is responding to and meeting demand for different types of agricultural production systems. That\'s exciting because it\'s more evidence of what we\'ve seen a lot at USDA — people in rural and urban communities who are interested in growing their economy\'s local and regional food systems. They\'re interested in cultivating and supporting that interest in where food comes from and who raises it.\"
ELKHART, Iowa — The Iowa Food Systems Council\'s Food Access and Health Work Group today announced the need for more gardeners to reduce food insecurity in Iowa. With more than 400,000 Iowans who do not have regular access to healthful food,
DYERSVILLE, Iowa — FarmTek\'s focus has always been involved in agriculture but its customers have led the company into the world of local food production, and business is booming, Dave Buchheit, vice president of operations, told a group of USDA officials who toured the business Feb. 28.
NASHUA — Nashua Plainfield FFA Alumni will hold its inaugural annual meeting at 6 p.m. March 15 in the Nashua Plainfield Junior High School Commons. The organization is open to anyone who wants to support the local FFA chapter and agriculture
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — Iowa State University Extension climatologist Elwynn Taylor is forecasting a 166 bushel per acre national average corn yield for 2014, but in the coming months that could change. Taylor, who spoke at last week\'s Hawkeye Farm Show at the UNI–Dome in Cedar Falls, watches the El Nino–Southern Oscillation, which measures changes in ocean temperature off the coast of South America.