Leaders in Iowa are lauding efforts of the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF), which helped 225 families that raise livestock in 2007, up from 220 the previous year.

Since its launch, CSIF has assisted 519 hog farmers, 142 dairymen and 18 poultry-turkey farmers.

Specific services provided by CSIF include helping farmers follow rules and regulations, protect air and water quality by reducing odor transport via vegetation plantings and biofilters, and properly storing, transporting and utilization of manure as fertilizer.

The coalition also advises farmers prior to constructing new livestock farms and hosting open houses and ribbon cuttings upon their completion.

“The coalition’s work is critical, given the complexity of today’s regulations governing animal agriculture, the desire of farm families to do things right and the importance of sustaining a strong livestock industry to the betterment of our economy, including Iowa’s booming renewable fuels sector,” relates Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. “CSIF works to keep families involved in agriculture, reinforces the public’s trust in how livestock is raised and gives farmers added assistance to protect the quality of Iowa’s rivers, lakes and streams.”

Northey adds that CSIF’s dedication to helping grow family farms has become a model for other states.

Farm families interested in making responsible changes to their operations should contact CSIF at (800) 932-2436 or www.supportfarmers.com. Services are free.