March 24, 2014. The peer group will meet at the East Central Iowa Coop in LaPorte City.  The topic will be monitoring  your environmental impact and Angie Rieck-Hinz of Iowa State University will be the featured speaker.  The Benton County Farm Bureau will be providing dinner.

January 23, 2014. A meeting featuring a four producer panel discussion on raising cows inside including hoop and mono slope buildings was held.   Denise Schwab presented information on performance differences and considerations on the costs of the buildings.  The group enjoyed ribeyes grilled by the Tama County Cattlemen.

August 29, 2013. The East Central Iowa group met at 6:30 p.m. at the Jim Thoma farm, near 13345 Fox Rd, Jesup to learn more about his mono slope deep-pit confinement and working facilities. ISU Extension ag engineer Greg Brenneman talked about the value of manure. Buchanan County Cattlemen grilled burgers. Directions: from the Gilbertville exit on I380, go east 2.5 miles, north1 mile, then east 1/2 mile. Call Denise Schwab at 319-472-4739 for more specific directions.

August 7, 2013. The group met at Ben Olson’s pasture south of Vinton. Ben talked about the work he did on the pasture including seeding improvement, subdivision, installing a watering system that pumps water from a pond to tire waterers, and how he constructed his tire waterers. Tina Cibula from Tama County NRCS shared information on their cost share programs.

March 5, 2013.The peer group met in LaPorte City  with dinner and  “Accessing Capital” presentations by Steve Ferguson, Iowa Ag Development Authority;   Jason Hunziker, USDA Farm Loan Program;  Jason Gates, Farm Credit Services of America, Cedar Falls office; Dan Flaucher, Bank Iowa, Independence.

January 2, 2013. “Market Outlook” meeting and discussion with Dr. Lee Schultz, ISU livestock economist from ISU.  Ken Birker from Vinton and Todd Wiley from Walker also shared their thoughts on opportunities in livestock production. 


Core Counties

Benton, Black Hawk, Buchanan and Tama



Denise Schwab, EC IA Beef Specialist, or 319-472-4739



Benton, Black Hawk, Buchanan & Tama County Cattlemen associations, Benton and Buchanan county Farm Bureaus