Stray Voltage Final Press Release-Guide Available

Stray Voltage GuideFINAL8-4-2014rvg



Contact:  Laurie Johns, Iowa Farm Bureau, (515) 225-5414,

Regi Goodale, Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives (515) 727-8949

Ryan Stensland, Alliant Energy, (319) 786-4040,

Chris Freland and Sue Ann Claudon, Iowa State Dairy Association, 515-954-5997 and 515-965-4626, and



Iowa Stray Voltage Guide Provides Education to Mitigate Stray Voltage Issues on Iowa Dairy Farms   


WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Aug. 4, 2014 –Low-level electrical current, commonly known to farmers as ‘stray voltage’, can impact Iowa’s dairy cows and other livestock, reducing milk production and affecting animal behavior. A joint effort to provide an educational resource to manage and mitigate stray voltage issues, is now available to Iowa farmers, electricians and utilities. The ‘Iowa Stray Voltage Guide’ ( aims to improve communication and solve problems. 

Sponsored by the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, Alliant Energy, the Iowa State Dairy Association and Iowa Farm Bureau, the information in the 28-page Stray Voltage Guide was developed over that past several months.  The collective group worked together to develop a consensus about the most effective way to provide education and to manage and mitigate stray voltage concerns, keeping in mind the best interests of farmers, livestock and electric utilities. The guide is a contemporary tool to help farmers who are concerned about whether their animals are experiencing stray voltage issues and providesstandard procedures for testing for stray voltage and identifies common causes of stray voltage. 

“We see stray voltage when electrical current is carried on neutral wires, and it often shows up at grounding points, such as livestock watering tanks, fencers or other metallic devices,” says Regi Goodale, director of regulatory affairs, Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives.    

“We’re pleased with the collaborative development of this guide, which will help to address an existing issue for farmers, while also aiding utility workers and electricians, so that stray voltage can be mitigated in the future.”

 “Animals that come into contact with stray voltage may experience tingling sensations or involuntary muscle contractions.  For dairy farmers, it can be subtle to observe, and you may only realize what the problem is when you see high somatic cell counts and poor reproduction,” says Iowa Farm Animal Care Coalition (IFAC) executive director, Denny Harding.

“Stray voltage can cause dairy cows stress and discomfort. Effects can include the loss of 20 percent or more of an animal’s milk production and longer intervals between calving,” says Harding.

     “We’re pleased that Iowa dairy industry partners have worked together in this proactive, cooperative way to help minimize stray voltage,” says Larry Shover, a dairy farmer from Delhi and Iowa State Dairy Association president.  “Keeping our cows healthy and comfortable is vital in our efforts to provide nutritious, healthful and good-tasting dairy products.”

Fixing the situation first involves diagnosing the problem, then coming up with a workable solution. To assist with this process, the Iowa Stray Voltage Guideincludes a farm wiring checklist. 

“Providing an environment where stray voltage does not impact our farmers’ ability to maintain healthy and productive livestock is key, says Tony Harvey, senior agriculture representative, Alliant Energy. “The guide provides farmers with practical information that can be used to find stray voltage sources and provides ways to fix potential issues before they become a problem. We are proud to be a part of this effort that benefits our farmers and their livestock.”   

Farmers can work with their utility provider to identify sources of stray voltage and take steps to mitigate the causes of the problems and access resources to remedy the situation

“Farmers are interested in making sure all the animals on their farm are healthy and in a good environment; consumers expect nothing less.  Having this tool accessible to bring a standard process for identifying unacceptable levels of stray voltage is a win-win for everyone, especially for livestock,” says Harding.



About Iowa Farm Bureau

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to enhancing the People, Progress and Pride of Iowa.  More than 153,000 families in Iowa are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve farm and rural prosperity.  For more information about Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit the Newsroom page on the IBF website at


About the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives

The Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives represents 34 distribution cooperatives in Iowa and six generation and transmission cooperatives providing electricity to approximately 650,000 Iowans in each of the state’s 99 counties. Iowa’s rural electric cooperatives are part of a national network of 1,000 electric cooperatives. These utilities, which serve 25 million Americans in 46 states, work together through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, a Washington, D.C.-based service organization formed in 1942. Information about Iowa’s rural electric cooperatives is available on the association’s website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, which can be accessed via Information about Touchstone Energy is available at

About Alliant Energy

Alliant Energy Corporation’s Iowa and Minnesota utility subsidiary, Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL), utilizes the trade name of Alliant Energy. The Iowa and Minnesota utility is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and provides electric service to 528,000 customers and natural gas service to 234,000 customers in over 700 communities. The employees of Alliant Energy focus on delivering the energy and exceptional service their customers and communities expect – safely, efficiently, and responsibly. Visit or call 1-800-ALLIANT (800-255-4268) for more information. Alliant Energy Corporation is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LNT.


About ISDA

The Iowa State Dairy Association, founded in 1876, is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to providing value to dairy farm families, its members and the dairy industry and to improve the health, well-being and economy of Iowa.



ISDA Announces 2014 Scholarship Winners

The Iowa State Dairy Association (ISDA) has awarded fourteen $500 college scholarships to deserving Iowa students.

“ISDA is excited to award these scholarships,” says Larry Shover, President of the Iowa State Dairy Association. “It’s always fun to review the applications and see so much potential in the students.  The applicants amaze us year after year.”

ISDA is proud to announce the recipients of the scholarships. They are:

  • Courtney Behrens, daughter of Keith and Deneise Behrens of Meriden, Iowa. Courtney is a sophomore at Iowa State University where she is studying Animal Science/Pre-Vet. Courtney was awarded a WIDA Scholarship, funded by the Western Iowa Dairy Alliance.
  • Nicole Engelken, daughter of Tom and Cherrie Engelken of Earlville, Iowa. Nicole is a freshman at Iowa State University where she is studying Dairy Science with a Pre-Vet option.
  • Natalie Hanson, daughter of Robert and Maureen Hanson of La Porte City, Iowa. Natalie is a sophomore at Iowa State University where she is studying Biological Systems Engineering.
  • Tanner Mashek, son of Dennis and Barb Mashek of Calmar, Iowa. Tanner is a freshman at Northeast Iowa Community College where he is studying Ag Business and Dairy Science.
  • Stephanie Pausma, daughter of Richard and Elaine Pausma of Melvin, Iowa. Stephanie is a freshman at Dordt College where she is studying Biomedical Engineering. Stephanie was awarded a WIDA Scholarship, funded by the Western Iowa Dairy Alliance.
  • Michele Ries, daughter of Dale and Karen Ries of New Vienna, Iowa. Michele is a sophomore at Iowa State University where she is studying Dietetics.
  • Cody Sacquitne, son of Gary and Nancy Sacquitne of Decorah, Iowa. Cody is a junior at Iowa State University majoring in Dairy Science Pre-Vet with a minor in Microbiology.
  • Alison Sandbulte, daughter of Shawn and Jami Sandbulte of Rock Valley, Iowa. Next fall Alison will begin her freshman year at the University of Northern Iowa where she plans to study Biology. Alison was awarded a CPDX Scholarship funded by the Central Plains Dairy Expo.
  • Sarah Schelling, daughter of Matthew and Cheryl Schelling of Orange City, Iowa. Next fall Sarah will begin her first year at LeMars Beauty College where she will study Cosmetology.
  • Mariah Schmitt, daughter of Carl and Terry Schmitt of Fort Atkinson, Iowa. Mariah is freshman at Iowa State University where she is double-majoring in Dairy Science and Public Service & Administration in Agriculture.
  • Jason Schuster, son of Don and Barb Schuster of Zwingle, Iowa. Jason is a junior at Iowa State University where he is studying Agricultural Engineering.
  • Josh Simon, son of Tom and Shirley Simon of Farley, Iowa. Josh is a junior at Iowa State University studying Agricultural Engineering.
  • Megan Van’t Hul, daughter of Mark and Deb Van’t Hul of Rock Valley, Iowa. Megan is a sophomore at Dordt College where she is studying Nursing. Megan was awarded a CPDX Scholarship funded by the Central Plains Dairy Expo.
  • Logan Worden, daughter of Dennis and Joan Worden of Oelwein, Iowa. Logan is a junior at Iowa State University where she is studying Dairy Science and Agricultural Communications.

“Thank you to all the students who applied,” continues Shover, “ISDA is proud of the outstanding dairy farm youth in our great state and we look forward to all the exciting things yet to come for these students.”

Each of the fourteen recipients will receive $500 for the 2014 fall semester to help with tuition costs, room and board, textbooks or other education-related expenses. Recipients will be recognized at the Dairy Iowa meeting on June 4 at the Heartland Acres Agribition Center in Independence, Iowa. All scholarship applicants are the child, grandchild, employee, or child of an employee of a current ISDA member. Applicants were evaluated on their participation in school and extracurricular activities and on an essay specifying future plans and how life on a dairy farm has influenced him/her.