In celebration of Iowa’s diverse livestock industry, the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) is once again proudly sponsoring the Avenue of Breeds at the Iowa State Fair. This is the ninth year in a row for this sponsorship.
The 2019 Iowa State Fair runs Aug. 8-18, and the Avenue of Breeds is one of the fair’s most popular attractions. Located in the northwest corner of the Swine Barn, the exhibit showcases 125 different animals and provides fairgoers with educational information about the livestock displayed. Members of the state’s North Polk FFA chapter volunteer to answer questions from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily as the public visits the exhibit. The FFA members also tend to the animals, taking care of them throughout the fair.
Livestock very important to Iowa
“We are thrilled to celebrate our 15th anniversary this year and our ninth year sponsoring the Avenue of Breeds at the Iowa State Fair,” says Brian Waddingham, CSIF executive director. “Livestock is so important to the success of Iowa, with 1 in 5 jobs directly tied to agriculture. It’s also a terrific way to encourage young people to stay in the rural areas of our state.”
He adds, “We cannot thank the North Polk FFA members enough for their dedicated service to the Avenue of Breeds during the fair. These FFA members accurately depict the daily hard work and dedication of Iowa’s farm families and their efforts make the exhibit a continuous success.”
Fairgoers have the opportunity to get “up close and personal” with more than 55 breeds of cattle, horses, sheep and fish — as well as exotic animals, such as elk and llamas, that are not exhibited in any other barns. “Whether you raise livestock or have never been to an Iowa farm, the Avenue of Breeds is an exhibit everyone can enjoy,” Waddingham says. “If you are interested in learning more about how animals are raised or would like to visit with livestock caretakers, visit the Avenue of Breeds at this year’s Iowa State Fair.”
CSIF celebrating 15th anniversary
CSIF is a nonprofit organization that assists livestock farmers who want help interpreting rules and regulations, guidance on good site locations for barns, counsel on enhancing neighbor relations and tips on how to protect the environment at no cost. For more information, call 800-932-2436 or visit supportfarmers.com.
CSIF was created 15 years ago by farmers to help farmers raise livestock responsibly and successfully. It’s a partnership involving the Iowa Beef Industry Council, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Poultry Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Turkey Federation and Midwest Dairy Association.
Sponsoring ‘Start Smart’ conference
The Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers and Accu-Steel, a manufacturer of fabric-covered buildings, will co-host the Start Smart: Tools for Beginning Farmers Conference at the Iowa State Fair. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Aug. 15 at Penningroth Media Center in the Cattle Barn at the fair.
The Start Smart conference features a lineup of speakers who will help livestock farmers understand the financial programs available to them; provide strategies on ways to manage risk; and provide insight on how to develop a business plan and set up a farm business. “Industry experts will make presentations specifically aimed at providing advice for young and beginning farmers who are interested in producing livestock,” says Waddingham.