Paustain Family of Scott County Receives Good Farm Neighbor Award

08-06-2015 in Awards

The Paustian family of Scott County was recognized Monday as recipients of the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award during a ceremony at the Paustian Farm near Walcott, Iowa. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey presented the Paustian family with the award at an open house with family, friends and neighbors.

The family was nominated for the award by Will Moon, president at the Iowa-80 Group. With more than 2 million customers a year at the “World’s Largest Truck Stop,” the family farm is just 1,600 feet from their corporate office. “To me, the Paustians are proof that when hog barns are ran right, you don’t smell them,” he said.

“The Paustians hog sites are well kept – the sites are routinely mowed and include grass buffer strips and trees planted around the barns,” Brian Waddingham, executive director at the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers, said. “In addition to keeping their farmstead looking nice, the Paustians also add a nitrogen stabilizer to their manure which reduces odor and improves nutrient uptake by the growing crop. It’s farm families like the Paustians who we’d all like to have as a neighbor.”

“Our goal is to just do the best farming we can and be the best neighbors we can,” Mike Paustian, recipient, said. “We’re certainly pleased that one of our neighbors decided to nominate.”

The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor award, sponsored by the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF), recognizes Iowa livestock farmers who take pride in caring for the environment and their livestock, and being good neighbors.

Established in 1856, the farm includes a 1,000 sow farrow to finish hog operation that raises 22,000 head of pigs annually. They also raise corn and soybeans that they use to supply feed to the hogs. All of their feed is milled on the farm.

The Paustian’s farm is a multi-generation operation. Kent and Marcia Paustian and Kent’s brother Ross are all actively involved as well as Ross’s son Tom and Kent’s son Mike and his wife Amy.

In addition to their work on the farm, the family is very active in the local community and in ag industry groups. In addition, Ross is currently serving in the Iowa House of Representatives.

The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award, presented by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Iowa Ag Radio Network in partnership with CSIF, is presented nine times annually to an Iowa farm family who raises livestock. It’s given in honor of distinguished WHO Radio farm broadcaster Gary Wergin and recognizes families who take pride in being good neighbors and stewards of the land.

To nominate a deserving livestock farmer or farm family, contact Waddingham at or (515) 225-5531.

The Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers was created by farmers to help farmers raise livestock responsibly and successfully. It’s a joint partnership involving the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Turkey Federation and Midwest Dairy Association.

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