Sac County Turkey Producers Presented with Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award

07-24-2023 in Good Farm Neighbor

EARLY, IOWA – July 24, 2023 – Josh and Kelli Berg were presented with the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award by Deputy Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Grant Menke in a celebration at their farm in Sac County on July 14.

To receive the Good Farm Neighbor Award the recipient must be active in their community, produce livestock or poultry to the highest animal care standards, and be dedicated to conservation and environmental stewardship on their land.

“When I think about the term the next generation, I think about the Berg family,” Menke said during the ceremony while highlighting how the family cares for their land, livestock, and community, “The Bergs are just a shining example of the present and future of Iowa agriculture.”

In 2009, Josh and Kelli Berg started farming as mentees to Jym Covey. A few short years later in 2013 the couple formed Berg Enterprises, a diversified family farm.

Today, the Bergs raise corn, soybeans, finisher turkeys and brooder poults. Since 2013, the family has added two 3-barn turkey finisher sites and a 10-pen turkey brooder facility. The family also sold Wyffels Hybrids from 2014-2022 to farmers in their area.

Community involvement is very important to the couple. Having three young children is what drives them to be a part of different committees for the Storm Lake St. Mary’s school. However, that is not their only community involvement. They are actively involved in the Sac County Farm Bureau, with Kelli serving as a past President and Iowa Turkey Federation, with Josh serving as a past board member and Vice President. Kelli has also been a judge for the Iowa Turkey Gobble Up, member of the Sacred Heart Guild, is on the nominating committee for Farm Credit Services of America and is a youth sports coach.

Animal care has been and will always be a top priority for the Bergs. Biosecurity is the Bergs first line of defense against disease, which is why all full-time employees must be Tyson biosecurity certified. The Bergs also utilize technology to ensure their turkeys live in a low-stress environment. At all their facilities they use Maximus Control Systems which allows them to control and monitor the barns humidity, feed availability, water usage, fan times, feed timing, and ventilation. Building upkeep is another way the family raises turkeys to the highest of standards.

Josh and Kelli have been 100 percent no-till in the past, currently all bean acres are no-till. Corn acres are lightly disced to incorporate turkey manure. They also use terraces, buffer strips, and grassed waterways to reduce nutrient loss to reduce nutrient loss. Rotating crops each year has also helped them increase soil health.

Josh and Kelli gave credit to the people and organizations who helped them get to where they are today. “We want to thank each and every one of you,” said Josh, “We are incredibly blessed and truly believe the more you give the more you receive.”

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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