Fielding Farmers' Questions, Including Some They Don't Ask

Fielding Farmers' Questions, Including Some They Don't Asl 1

Liz Martin for The Chronicle

Denise Schwab, a beef specialist with the Iowa State Extension Service, diagnosed an illness in Mr. Birker's 90-cow herd. Fencing off a blue-green-algae-covered creek the cows drank from solved the problem.

Ross Butler, lanky and laconic, is waiting with a sheaf of papers when Denise Schwab parks in front of the Blairstown Public Library. It's midmorning and Ms. Schwab, a beef specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, has come down from her office in the Benton County seat, Vinton, because Mr. Butler wants advice about meeting the nutrition needs of his 110 cows and 75 calves in a drought year.

Even as many cooperative-extension programs have followed Americans off