Multi-generational Palo Alto County farm family shows dedication to their community while demonstrating good stewardship of their land and cattle

06-10-2024 in Good Farm Neighbor

WEST BEND, Iowa (June 7, 2024) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig honored the Streit Family from Palo Alto County with the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award during an event at the family’s farm near West Bend on Friday, June 7. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Grant Menke presented the award on behalf of Secretary Naig.

Streit Livestock Inc. was established in 1992 by Tony and Diane Streit. The farm has been in the family since 1971 when Tony’s parents, Gerald and Ellen, purchased it. Gerald and Ellen raised Tony and his six sisters, Vivian, Michelle, Myra, Joyce, Sarah and Becky, at this farmstead. Tony and Diane moved back to the farm in the 1980s when the rural economy was struggling as a result of the effects of the Farm Crisis. They started in hog production but eventually transitioned to cattle. Today, the farm operation includes Tony and Diane as well as their son Logan, his wife Amber and their four children. Tony and Diane are also the parents of two daughters, Lindsey and husband Justin Zinnel and their three children of Spencer, and Courtney and husband Ryan Fannon and their two children of Humboldt.

“Farm families like the Streits are essential to the vitality and vibrancy of our rural communities and I am pleased to present them with the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award,” said Secretary Naig. “The Streits are an example of a hardworking multi-generational farm family that gives back to their neighbors in many ways while also being good stewards of their cattle, their farmland and our natural resources.”

The family farm includes 400 acres of corn, which is harvested for both grain and silage, as well as soybean production. Additionally, the Streits seed 40 acres of rye in the fall as a cover crop and chop it in June. They then reseed those acres to millet and chop it in September. Conservation is important to the family as they utilize minimal tillage, seed cover crops, have placed acres in CRP and have established a 100-year wetland easement next to the Des Moines River. They have planted many trees over the years, including a family tradition of adding to their windbreak every spring.

The Streits’ cattle feedlot is used for both custom and personal use. They have long-time customers and are proud of the relationships they have formed. Calves arrive at their feedlot between 400-500 pounds. They will feed them until they are approximately 800 pounds, before they head elsewhere to be finished for market. By deploying computerized feed systems custom-built by a past employee, Dustin Johnson, they ensure that the total mixed ration (TMR) meets all the nutritional needs of their animals. The family is BQA (Beef Quality Assurance) certified, and they are members of the Palo Alto County Cattlemen’s Association.

A strong connection to the community is important to the Streit family. Tony served on the Palo Alto County Conservation Board for 20 years and previously served as a school board member. The family is actively involved in the Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in West Bend, which includes Tony’s service as a Deputy Grand Knight of the West Bend Knights of Columbus.

The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award is made possible through a partnership with the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF), The Big Show on WHO Radio, and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Now in its 20th year, this award recognizes Iowa livestock farmers who take pride in caring for the environment and their livestock while being good neighbors. It is named in memory of Gary Wergin, a long-time WHO Radio farm broadcaster who helped create the award.

 

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About the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Led by Secretary Mike Naig, the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship serves the rural and urban residents that call Iowa home. Through its 14 diverse bureaus, the Department ensures animal health, food safety and consumer protection. It also promotes conservation efforts to preserve our land and enhance water quality for the next generation. Learn more at iowaagriculture.gov.

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