Extension Staff Assist New Dairy Farm Family in NW Iowa

Chris Mondak, Dairy Field Specialist, Nancy Jenson, Pocahontas County Extension Director;  Ron Hook, Farm Management Field Specialist; and Kris Kohl, Ag Engineering Field Specialist, Northwest Area

Problem Statement: 

ISU Extension has been committed to economic development projects that support Iowa’s dairy industry and promote rural community vitality.   One of the projects dedicated to these goals is the Iowa New Farm Family Project to encourage relocation of Dutch farm couples to selected counties in the state.  When a Dutch couple, Johan and Jolanda Koezen, decided to relocate their family and dairy operation to Pocahontas County in NW Iowa, ISU Extension staff realized the family would need assistance to become adjusted to community life and agricultural practices in Iowa.

Programmatic Response:

ISU Extension staff combined resources to provide a network of assistance and resources to the new farm family relocating to Pocahontas County in NW Iowa:

·       Kris Kohl, ISU Extension Ag Engineer assisted with manure management plan.

·       Ron Hook, ISU Extension Farm Management, assisted with business plan and projections

·       Nancy Jenson, County Extension Education Director – Pocahontas County, helped the newcomers become familiar with community members and resources, and served as key local contact for numerous details involved in setting up a new household in a new and unfamiliar country.

·       Chris Mondak, ISU Extension Dairy specialist, established an Advisory Team for the Koezens to ensure they would get comprehensive, coordinated help from all those needed to help get a new farm established: professional dairy veterinarian, nutritionist, local crop growers, ag engineer, financial planners/accountant, production records specialist, milk plant, builders, and banker.


1.      After only 1.5 year residency in the Rolfe, Iowa community, the family has made good progress in establishing a household and community involvements thru CEED support:

·       Tour of community and introductions from necessary resources supported medical contacts, vehicle purchase, car registration, cell phone, home purchases, and Farm Service Agency contacts.

·       School visits and enrollment support for the family

·       Acreage purchase.

·       Family participates in many community and school events.

2.      Within the 1.5 years of residency in the Rolfe area, the Koezen’s have made notable progress in establishing a successful dairy operation with the help of those on the Advisory Team:

a.      Acquired land to build a new dairy, and made arrangements to purchase, house and feed heifers to start a new herd. 

b.      Completed manure management plan.

c.      Set up systems for financial accounting and production records management

d.      Made agreements with local crop farmers to contract for corn silage.

e.      Completed major construction of new compost-pack style dairy barn for 400-head dairy herd, modern milking parlor, feed storage area, and manure storage system.

f.      Began operation of new farm May 2008.

g.      Hired and trained workers for the milking parlor

h.      Established good relationships with veterinarian, nutritionist, and heifer-raiser.

i.      Held an Open House in October 2008 to welcome in the community to view the new facility, and to express appreciation to all who helped the dairy farm come into existence.  500 visitors attended

We respect the commitment the family has made to re-locate, and remain dedicated to assisting their transition to their new Iowa community and to the networks in the Iowa dairy community.


110  Dairy

Page last updated: April 7, 2009
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu