Clarke County Farmer Named July Winner of Good Farm Neighbor Award

07-25-2006 in Good Farm Neighbor

(OSCEOLA, Iowa – July 25, 2006)  Living by the Golden Rule is most likely what made Clarke County farmers Robert (Bill) and Kathryn Bell July winners of the Iowa Good Farm Neighbor Award.

“All our neighbors are such good people,” says Kathryn.  “It’s easy to be a good neighbor.  We just believe in living by the Golden Rule.”

The Bells, who have a purebred Angus and row-crop enterprise, were honored at an award ceremony July 21 at their family farm  near Osceola.  Many family members and friends attended the ceremony and lunch despite the steady – and very necessary – rainfall.

Bill and Kathryn were nominated for the award by their neighbors, Keith and Dorothy Bowlsby.  “Any of our neighbors could have won this award had they been nominated,” says Kathryn.  “We have excellent neighbors.”

Bill started his purebred Angus herd with one heifer as a 4-H project in 1937 at the age of 14.  After serving in the Navy during World War II, he moved with his parents in 1947 to his grandparents’ farm just west of Osceola.  That home is where Bill and Kathryn still live today.

Although they now rent their row-crop acres to another farmer, Bill, 84, and Kathryn, 88, still care for their 25 Angus cows and their calves.  Since they are no longer raising crops, Bill has time to help Kathryn in the garden where they raise vegetables to can, freeze and give away.

“We’ve been farmers all our lives,” says Kathryn.  “We enjoy the variety and freedom of life on the farm.”

Shirley Fouche, a close friend of Bill and Kathryn’s for more than 50 years, attended the ceremony and helped prepare the lunch.  When asked to describe the Bells, Shirley simply stated, “Good people, very good people.  They are hard workers and very proud of their cattle.”

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