Good Farm Neighbor Award Celebrates 15 Years of Recognizing Iowa Livestock Farmers
08-08-2018 in Awards
Contact: Brian Waddingham, Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers, 800-932-2436, firstname.lastname@example.org; Bob Quinn, WHO Radio, 515-245-8847, email@example.com; Dustin VandeHoef, 515-281-3375, firstname.lastname@example.org
WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – August 8, 2018 – The efforts of Iowa livestock farmers to be good neighbors and stewards of the land and water continues to be celebrated on the 15th anniversary of the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award.
The award recognizes Iowa livestock farmers who take pride in doing things right, which includes caring for the environment and their livestock and being good neighbors. It was started by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and WHO Radio and is sponsored by the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF). It is named in memory of Gary Wergin, a long-time WHO Radio farm broadcaster who helped create the award.
“The award was started 15 years ago to highlight families who are going above and beyond to care for their animals and to leave the land in better shape for the next generation,” says Mike Naig, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. “What we have seen as we have recognized the 138 award recipients over the past 15 years is the passion of livestock farmers to improve animal care, protect the environment and serve their state and community.”
A great example of going above and beyond is third-generation pork producer Rob Stout, who since 1983 has utilized no-till on his acres and has implemented several land management practices including cover crops, buffer strips, grassed waterways and even a woodchip bioreactor
on his farm in Washington County.Stout believes that being a good farm neighbor means being able to lead in examples like conservation.
Lucas County cattlemen Mike and Nick Hunter have been committed to implementing conservation practices on their cattle and row crop family farm for more than 30 years. The brothers have adopted multiple practices to prevent erosion on their crop acres.They’ve been no-tilling since the early ‘80s and have established nearly 10 miles of terraces, planted grassed waterways, built ponds, planted 200 acres of filter strips and experimented with cover crops. They believe implementing these practices is the right thing to do to protect the environment, not only for their livestock and families, but for their neighbors and community.
“The Stout and Hunter families are just two examples of the 138 recipients who have been nominated for the award.There are many other families in the state using best practices to care for their land and livestock,” says Brian Waddingham, executive director of CSIF.
“We work with Iowa livestock farm families everyday who go to great lengths to provide the best possible care for their animals and the environment, while still being good neighbors and active community members,” Waddingham says. “We regularly host open houses with farmers of their new livestock barns and have seen the latest technology and innovations they are using to enhance the environment. We also see livestock farmers actively communicating with their neighbors before injecting manure and collaborating regularly with vets on the latest in animal care. And that’s why we’ve been long-time supporters of the Good Farm Neighbor Award.”
“We invite all Iowans to acknowledge their farm neighbors by nominating them for this prestigious award,” says Bob Quinn, farm broadcaster with WHO Radio.
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