Doug Erlbacher and Family Honored as First Good Farm Neighbors in Crawford County

08-08-2023 in Good Farm Neighbor

DOW CITY, IOWA – August 8, 2023 – Dow City farmer Doug Erlbacher received the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award on August 1, 2023. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Naig, presented Erlbacher and his family with the award.

“We are celebrating a great family and their commitment to animal agriculture,” Naig said during the award ceremony. “It is my honor and privilege to present the Good Farm Neighbor Award to Doug and his family for their care and concern for their land, livestock, and community.”

The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award, sponsored by the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers, is given to Iowa livestock farmers who are raise livestock successfully and responsibly, care for their land, and are involved in their community. The award is an opportunity to tell the story of livestock farming in Iowa and highlight the families who make it so successful.

Doug Erlbacher operates Erlbacher Farms with help from his girlfriend Katie Tremel and their four-year old daughter Fiona. The fifth-generation family farm consists of a cow/calf herd and calf feeding enterprise, along with corn, soybeans, silage, and popcorn.

To ensure his cattle are taken care of at the highest level, Erlbacher is Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certified. He also has a strong relationship with his herd veterinarian to maintain high herd health. Utilizing the best ingredients to maintain balanced rations and body condition scores are also an important aspect of both cattle operations. Erlbacher is also careful not to mix newly purchased animals with home-raised animals to prevent illness.

Erlbacher utilizes various conservation practices to improve the family’s land, including buffer strips, filter strips, terraces, no-till, vertical tillage, and nitrogen application using split-pass to ensure the timely and optimal absorption of nutrients. Erlbacher has also used cover crops for two decades.

The family is involved in their community through the local St. Joseph Catholic Church. Erlbacher is also a member of the Crawford County Cattlemen and Crawford County Farm Bureau.

Erlbacher wishes to acknowledge his siblings and mother, even though they are not actively involved on the day-to-day operations and pay respect to his father who he farmed with until his death in 2020.

The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award is made possible through a partnership with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and The Big Show on WHO Radio. This award recognizes Iowa livestock farmers who take pride in caring for the environment and their livestock and have demonstrated a commitment to their community. The award is named in memory of Gary Wergin, a long-time WHO Radio farm broadcaster who helped create the award.

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