Iowa New Farms Project

Dale Thoreson - Dairy Field Specialist, Robert Tigner - Farm Management Field Specialist, Kendra Crooks - Youth Field Specialist, Sue McDonnell-  Families Field Specialist, Deb Van Arkel - CEED, Neil Wubben - CEED, and Pat Derdzinski - CEED; Northeast and Central Areas

Problem Statement:
The dairy industry (farms, cows and processors) has been declining in Iowa for many decades. Western Europe is suffering from high priced milk quotas, land and very restrictive environmental regulations, causing dairy farmers to divest their business and relocate elsewhere in the world.
Programmatic Response:
After an initial contact from the Netherlands through a  local agri-business, extension set about a comprehensive, multiple year program to assist local communities in their desire to grow the dairy industry. One means was to attract immigrating dairy farmers from Western Europe into their community. Three communities, Stacyville, Brooklyn, and Butler County were assisted in developing steering committees, town meetings and dairy farm tours for potential immigrants. Three tours have been conducted, four Emmigratia Fairs in The Netherlands have been attended (Extension and communities). Cattle purchasing guidelines have been  developed, local crop growers meetings conducted, materials developed to explain US health care, social security, tax and school systems. Additionally The Netherlands Extension Service (DLV) and  Atlantic Business Development/ Netherlands have developed memorandums of understanding to recruit , select and assist potential immigrants through the immigration process.
In 2005 approximately $2.7 million was invested by the first immigrant farmer. The 38 acres this immigrant farmer purchased was the first Iowa farm land purchased by a non US citizen in nearly 40 years. The farmer invested in the 38 acres and a 350 cow dairy set-up. A neighboring farmer is raising 180 acres of corn silage, 100 acres of alfalfa haylage, and will utilize all the manure nutrients from the dairy. This neighboring farmer is also in the process of remodeling his hog finishing buildings to custom raise the dairy's heifers. Another local farmer is purchasing all the bull calves and finishing them. Nearly all service the dairy needs are being purchased within a 20 mile radius of the dairy adding considerable added value to the $1.3 million in gross annual sales this farm is predicted to produce.

January 6, 2006
109 -- Dairy

Page last updated: July 9, 2006
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