Iowa’s leader in pork production has announced a major commitment to odor reduction through a new partnership with the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF).
Iowa Select Farms is partnering with the coalition on its Green Farmstead Partner program, ensuring that each new company-owned, tunnel-ventilated swine finishing barn built will include windbreaks of trees, shrubs and electrostatic fencing as additional odor mitigation strategies. The new partnership was formally announced May 24 at an open house for Iowa Select’s new 4,800-head site near Williams in Hamilton County.
At least 400 friends, neighbors, agricultural and community leaders and suppliers attended the open house and ribbon cutting for the farm. A short program featured comments by Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Julie Kenney, site owner Al Anderson of Williams, CSIF Executive Director Brian Waddingham and Iowa Select Chief Operating Officer Noel Williams. The visitors enjoyed tours of the facility and a pork loin lunch.
The Hale Finisher Farm is on farm land owned by Anderson, who will receive the manure for his cropland. His son-in-law will manage the operation for Iowa Select. The farm features new and old technologies, 80 trees, 82 shrubs and two electrostatic fences, all designed to reduce odor barn by cutting down on the amount of dust that leaves the barn.
“Today’s theme is do things right. These things aren’t required by state law, they’re not regulated by the federal government,” said Williams. “But, they do help us be good neighbors and responsible members of our rural communities.”
The odor associated with pork production is transported on dust particles from hog barns. The trees and shrubs planted around hog facilities help reduce odor, improve site aesthetics and help control snow. The electrostatic fencing technology reduces the amount of dust that leaves the barn. The fence has an electrostatic charge and either slows down or knocks down dust in the air between the fence and the barn.
“Since the program began in 2009, we’ve planted more than 70,000 trees on livestock farms around the state,” said Waddingham. With Iowa Select Farm’s commitment, we’re going to plant even more trees throughout the state of Iowa. I also want to recognize Iowa Select Farms for going above and beyond what’s required of them by visually demonstrating to their neighbors and community their commitment to doing things right by participating in the Green Farmstead Partner program.”
Iowa Select has 800 swine farms across the state and 215,000 sows. More than a billion pounds of pork are produced each year. The company employs more than 1,200 people, contracts with more than 650 farmers and supports hundreds of local businesses throughout Iowa.
All new 4,800-head and 2,400-head Iowa Select sites will include the trees, shrubs and electrostatic fencing. The company will make cost-share options available to all of its contract growers who are interested in adding the buffers.
“We at Iowa Select are proud to do things right and to do things the right way,” said Williams.