Thursday, May 20, 2004

Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers“Growing Communities…One Farmer at a Time”
Contact: Aaron Putze, APR
515-225-5414 - cell 515-975-4168


WEST DES MOINES, IA – May 20, 2004 – Information released May 19 by the Washington D.C.-based Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) critical of Iowa’s livestock farmers ignores the facts and twists reality. It also does a disservice to the vast majority of farm families that care for their families, neighbors, communities and environment, according to the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF).

CSIF is a not-for-profit group formed to help families stay viable on the farm and in their communities by assisting them in managing the rules and regulations covering animal agriculture.

In EIP’s own report titled “Threatening Iowa’s Future,” the group alleged that livestock farmers put profit ahead of environmental stewardship and blamed state officials for allowing it to happen. Members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement – including a beekeeper from southwest Iowa– joined the EIP in making claims that farm families raising livestock were not sufficiently regulated and used production practices that threatened air and water quality.

“The carelessness of EIP’s assertions makes it obvious that they are not from Iowa because they do not know how farm families live, work and raise livestock,” said Kendra Gilbert, a sixth-generation farmer from Nashua. “As a livestock producer, I do everything I can to protect the health of my family and neighbors, comply with some of the nation’s most stringent regulations and take great pride in creating jobs and economic benefits for my community.”

Gilbert said the EIP report ignored multiple rounds of regulations passed by the Iowa Legislature since 1995 covering everything from the siting and construction of animal facilities to the storage and application of animal nutrients.

For example, manure management plans filed and paid for by livestock farmers detail where and how much animal nutrients can be used and must be updated annually. Those that apply manure to cropland must be certified to operate state-of-the-art equipment that injects manure six inches underground, reducing odor and protecting water quality.

Using animal nutrients is beneficial to both the environment and the nation’s economy. Nearly 2,400 head of hogs can provide sufficient nutrients to eliminate the need for applying conventional nitrogen on 250 acres of cropland. “Livestock provides farmers with a natural fertilizer that degrades naturally and reduces our dependence on foreign sources of energy,” Gilbert said. “That’s good for farmers, good for the environment and good for Iowa.”

In their report, EIP says that pollution from livestock facilities is generating high nitrate levels in water sources.

Not true, according to Randy Pleima. As general manager of Mahaska Rural Water Systems Inc., Pleima monitors the quality of the water he distributes. Since 1996, nitrate levels have dropped from 1.5 parts per million to .2 (EPA suggests 10 ppm or lower) as overall water quality has improved. Asked why, Pleima doesn’t hesitate. “I think better farming practices being used by farmers is the biggest reason,” including the construction of state-of-the-art livestock facilities and knifing animal nutrients into the ground.

The CSIF questioned the EIP’s motives. One of EIP’s most critical sources of funding is the Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF). According to the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), the RFF has assets of more than $56 million and funds dozens of organizations including those critical of specific kinds of farms and farming practices.

Recipients of RFF funding, according to the CCF, include ICCI ($30,000 in 2001) and the Environmental Working Group (nearly $400,000 in 2000-2001). And, from 1998-2000, the EIP contributed $130,000 to Waterkeeper Alliance, a group headed by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. that has rallied against livestock farmers around the nation, including Iowa, and threatened to sue farmers out of business. “We have the attorneys now who have money and they know what they’re doing,” says Kennedy. “They are the best in the country and we are going to put an end to this (pork) industry.”
“Research conducted last year found that nearly 80 percent of Iowans not directly involved in agriculture hold a positive view of animal production in the state,” said Tim Niess, CSIF Executive Director. “Farm families look forward to continuing to build upon this strong consumer support while protecting the environment and providing jobs for nearly 140,000 Iowans.”


The CSIF was launched May 11, 2004. Its mission is to grow Iowa communities one farmer at a time. Six prominent farm groups founded the organization: Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association; Iowa Farm Bureau, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Poultry Association and Iowa Soybean Association. For more information about the CSIF, the importance of livestock production and the truth behind activist groups operating in Iowa, log on to

May, 2004

Animal Agriculture: At Home in Iowa

1. Iowa’s livestock farmers contribute more than $5 billion to Iowa’s
$91 billion economy (measured in Gross State Product). That means animal agriculture is responsible for nearly 5 percent of the state’s economy.
"Economic Importance of Iowa's Cattle Industry", Dr. John Lawrence, ISU Professor, Dr. Daniel Otto, ISU Professor, 2000,
"The Economic Importance of the Iowa Pork Industry", Dr. Daniel Otto, ISU Professor, Dr. James Kliebenstein, ISU Professor, 2000.

2. Nearly 140,000 Iowans are directly and indirectly employed because of livestock production. This is equal to nearly 7 percent of the state’s workforce (1.93 million workers) and nearly the populations of Ft. Dodge, Ottumwa, Iowa City and Cedar Falls…combined!
"Economic Importance of Iowa's Cattle Industry", Dr. John Lawrence, ISU Professor, Dr. Daniel Otto, ISU Professor, 2000,
"The Economic Importance of the Iowa Pork Industry", Dr. Daniel Otto, ISU Professor, Dr. James Kliebenstein, ISU Professor, 2000.

3. The cattle and pork industry collectively provide over $3 billion in personal income to working Iowans.
"Economic Importance of Iowa's Cattle Industry", Dr. John Lawrence, ISU Professor, Dr. Daniel Otto, ISU Professor, 2000,
"The Economic Importance of the Iowa Pork Industry", Dr. Daniel Otto, ISU Professor, Dr. James Kliebenstein, ISU Professor, 2000.

4. Livestock production provides more than $77 million in county/local government revenues and more than $400 million in state government revenue resources.
"Economic Importance of Iowa's Cattle Industry", Dr. John Lawrence, ISU Professor, Dr. Daniel Otto, ISU Professor, 2000;
"The Economic Importance of the Iowa Pork Industry", Dr. Daniel Otto, ISU Professor, Dr. James Kliebenstein, ISU Professor, 2000;
Regional Economic Models, Incorporated (REMI), Version 5.2, 2003.

5. Livestock and poultry consume 33 percent of Iowa’s annual corn crop (650 million of
2 billion bushels).
1997 Census of Agriculture, USDA; Analysis conducted by Dr. John Lawrence, ISU Professor, 2003;
Analysis conducted by Dave Miller, IFBF Director of Commodities, 2003.

6. Livestock and poultry consume 26 percent of Iowa’s annual soybean crop (130 million of 500 million bushels).
1997 Census of Agriculture, USDA; Analysis conducted by Dr. John Lawrence, ISU Professor, 2003;
Analysis conducted by Dave Miller, IFBF Director of Commodities, 2003.

- continued on next page -

7. Iowa’s pork industry supports 87,000 jobs while Iowa’s cattle industry supports 49,900 jobs.
"Economic Importance of Iowa's Cattle Industry", Dr. John Lawrence, ISU Professor, Dr. Daniel Otto, ISU Professor, 2000,
"The Economic Importance of the Iowa Pork Industry", Dr. Daniel Otto, ISU Professor, Dr. James Kliebenstein, ISU Professor, 2000.

8. There is a significant correlation between the 54 percent decline in Iowa’s cattle inventory in the last 30 years and the decline in rural k-12 school enrollment in the last 20 years.
National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS),; "Iowa's Counties: Selected Population Trends,
Vital Statistics and Socioeconomic Data", 1990 – 2001; Microsoft Excel, Office 2000.

9. Simply doubling Iowa’s January 1 cattle on feed (from 955,000 to 1.9 million) would add $33 million to Iowa’s annual corn crop and create over 3,200 new jobs in Iowa!
National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS),;
Regional Economic Models, Incorporated (REMI), Version 5.2, 2003

For more information, log on to

Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers
Growing Communities… One Farmer at a Time

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

The following was written by Darcy LaTourette, Wichita, KS who is a conservative with a ranching background and writes political commentary in her spare time.

Ted Turner is opening a restaurant in Wichita. As enticing as the menu at Ted’s Montana Grill may be, the man behind the restaurant is as unpalatable as they come.

Jane Fonda’s ex husband, for those of you who have forgotten, is the man who, at a speech to Brown University graduates in 2001, praised Fidel Castro, stated that the 9-11 attackers were “brave, at the very least” and that “the reason that the world trade center got hit is because there are a lot of people living in abject poverty out there,” and said that Americans “lack an understanding of a willingness to die for one’s country.”

As heinous and irresponsible as these comments are, one would think that the founder of CNN would have done his homework. The majority of the attackers were from Saudi Arabia, one of the richest nations on the planet, and they were funded by Osama bin Laden, who, last time I checked, hardly qualified as a poverty-stricken man. Lest we forget, Turner’s brainchild, CNN, also contracted with that bastion of religious tolerance Al Jazeera at the beginning of the war in Afghanistan so that CNN could achieve better battlefield coverage of the war. This from a man who called his rival Rupert Murdoch, whose company owns Fox New Channel, a “warmonger.”

As if that weren’t reason enough to turn your stomach, Ted Turner is also the man who in 2001 called Catholics celebrating Ash Wednesday in the CNN newsroom “a bunch of Jesus freaks;” who called Christians “losers” and “bozos” (Citizen Turner: The Rise of An American Tycoon, 1995), and referred to Christianity as “an intolerant religion.” Pardon me, Ted, but as I recall, the majority of terror attacks committed in the world today are committed by Islamic fundamentalists, not Christians.

His liberal peace-loving sensibilities motivated him to ridicule the Pope at a pro-abortion conference in Washington DC, during which he said that if he met the Pontiff, he would tell him to “get with it,” while in the next breath calling the Ten Commandments “obsolete” and saying “if you are only going to have ten rules, I don’t know if (a rule against) adultery should be one of them.” He went on with a vulgar joke concerning Polish soldiers using their feet to clear land mines, asking the audience if they had “ever seen a Polish mine detector.”

Turner also seems to have anti-Semitic views. He is reported as having said, "I have other reasons for disliking him other than he wears full-length coats and is a Jew.” Turner was quoted by the Guardian of London in June 2002 as saying, “The Palestinians are fighting with human suicide bombers, that's all they have. The Israelis ... they've got one of the most powerful military machines in the world. The Palestinians have nothing. So who are the terrorists?” Ever consistent, he argued that poverty and desperation are the root cause of Palestinian suicide bombings.

Ted Turner wants you to eat at his restaurant, but do you know what he really thinks of you? At a speech to a CNN sponsored forum for foreign journalists in 1996, Turner called his fellow Americans ignorant, stating "The United States has got some of the dumbest people in the world. I want you to know that. We know that. It's a disgrace.” (Reuters, May 10, 1996).

According to Reuters, in July of 1997, Ted called for a national vote on replacing Francis Scott Key’s Star Spangled Banner with a “less warlike” anthem, because in his own words, “we believe in democracy and liberty.” In an interview with in February 1999, Turner said, “We can't even get this country to pay the back dues that we legally owe the United Nations. We're doing a lot of things wrong. The United States is withdrawing from international involvement at a time when we're the only superpower. We can't do that. If we do, it's at our own peril. Basically, if we keep doing dumb, short-sighted, nationalistic things, rather than be thinking what's best for the whole planet and thinking long-term, then we're going to become just as extinct as the dodo.” Turner’s philosophy of environmental management, in his own words, is “just to leave the environment alone and try to get the introduced species out of there. Cattle came from Europe, while bison evolved on the Great Plains, and they're the right animals to be there.” Hear that? Ted wants you to get rid of your cattle and raise buffalo.

Turner claims to be a staunch environmentalist, yet he recently signed a contract to DOUBLE the number of gas wells on his wilderness ranch in New Mexico. This from a man who is vocally opposed to drilling for oil in Alaska…he must not own enough property there!
Ted is also a vocal supporter of population control. The father of five takes a simplistic and simple-minded approach to population control, suggesting that “if every woman in the world voluntarily stepped up and said, 'I'll only have one child,' and if we did that for the next 80 to 100 years, that would reduce the kind of suffering we're having…We could have 10 billion people living below the poverty line, or we could have two billion people living well and having color TVs and an automobile.” His support for population control, and his billion dollar donation to the UN, supported such population control methods in China as a program in which “births must be approved by the government, involuntary sterilization is routine for any woman with two children, and enforcement includes sending officials into the countryside to check on compliance,” according to former enforcer Gao Xia Duan, in testimony before the US House International Relations Committee. Turner’s comment? "People who abhor the China one-child policy are dumb-dumbs, because if China hadn't had that policy, there would be 300 million more people in China right now."

I don’t know about you, but I’ve lost my appetite.

© 2004 D. LaTourette
Wichita, KS

Sunday, May 16, 2004

The following paper received a 100% score for Lanae Koons, student Kansas State University.

Trent Loos, a 6th generation farmer/rancher originally from Quincy, Illinois, is an Agricultural Activist. Mr. Loos was born into the farming and ranching business, with a background in the production of hogs and cattle, a tradition he still continues today. He believes that farming and ranching is the backbone of the country and hopes to see other youth continue this heritage. He did not attend college and believes that not doing so benefited him, so that he did not become the conformist college teaches young minds to be. Four years ago he decided that he wanted to become a spokesman for agriculture, educating those on food and livestock production. He currently has his own radio show, which airs on an average of 100 stations daily and writes columns for 4 papers on a weekly basis.
When asked how he views agriculture, “it’s a way of life, we have long been coached to organize it as a business; however if it were a true business there would be fewer people left due to the absence of monetary gain, one must be aware that provided there is no monetary gain, there is a great sense of family atmosphere, pride and a sense of accomplishment.”
He feels that ethics plays a tremendous role in agriculture, though its perception has changed. In the 1930’s a graduate from Kansas State University would have received their degree in animal husbandry, however today, college graduates are receiving degrees in animal sciences. He feels that we need better spokesmen for our ever changing agriculture industry, an industry that is ever leading to the corporate side. The perception of “for the betterment of animals” is no longer present it seems. When he himself must make ethical decisions he bases that on personal experience and the science that is given from universities such as Kansas State University.
In the future he sees that some decisions are not to implement unnecessary burdens, but to enact laws to protect a vocal minority every resource industry has seen, from fisherman to loggers. Agriculture must stand up so that it does not happen to them. Some activist groups may not think this pertains to them but it pertains to everyone who eats, and that IS everyone. He intends on creating changes that the agricultural industry has waited too long to do. He wants to create a better environment and situation for people and animals alike.
Mr. Loos currently benefits the agricultural sector by motivating people to get involved within the industry, mainly those whom have never thought about running for an office, or by bringing awareness to student campuses. He brings to light issues that are current, and empowers people with the tools and knowledge to get involved in the process in which they are interested in seeing a change.
He works with other trade organizations representing membership groups with a common goal in the agriculture industry. He also works with farmers and ranchers to do what they do best, which is supplying a cheap abundant food supply to the world. It is also felt that the people who are most affected should be the ones to make decisions. On a local level, agriculture needs more “grass roots” representatives to be the decision makers, instead of someone on a national level whom was not raised in agriculture, or has no real understanding of it.
When asked what the biggest international issue is he replied, “ one world, one government; if we want to globalize we must equalize across the board in all societies; the standard of living which the Untied State has strived so hard to obtain will be diminished, so that we can increase the standard for thirds world countries. Why would we build such a great and prosperous nation and then let it diminish for a standard?”
For us, as a country to save rural America; we must quit telling our kids there is no opportunity there. His advice for those entering the work force is to follow your passion. Do not allow others to talk you into going into production if you do not want to. The average age of the farmer is older than a Florida retirement community, which means that many farmers want and desperately need a younger generation to take over their operation. However, so many have been convinced that there is nothing in it to benefit them, they go on to suffice their monetary wants and needs. Follow your passion.

Lanae Koons
12305 Elm Slough Rd.
St. George, KS 66535

"If you want something bad enough, you can make anything happen!"