Secretary Naig Honors John and Joan Maxwell with the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award

06-30-2021 in Good Farm Neighbor

Owners of Cinnamon Ridge Farms recognized for advocacy and conservation practices

DES MOINES, Iowa (June 29, 2021) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig has presented the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award to the John and Joan Maxwell family, owners of Cinnamon Ridge Farms in Donahue, Iowa.

“I want to congratulate the Maxwell family on receiving the Good Farm Neighbor award,” said Secretary Naig. “They are great leaders within the dairy industry and their on-farm tours help bridge the gap between producers and consumers.”

The diversified farm in Scott County milks Jersey dairy cows, raises beef cattle, hogs and chickens, and grows corn, soybeans and rye grass. The farm opens its doors to the public regularly for tours, events and to shop in The County Cupboard, which is the family’s farm store carrying homegrown beef, pork and eggs and award-winning cheese, soaps and baked goods.

John Maxwell started his dairy farm after he graduated from college. He quickly identified cover crop usage as a more convenient, cost-effective option to feed his growing dairy cattle herd and has been planting cover crops since 1984. He has found great success utilizing rye grass to provide a high-quality, balanced ration for his cattle while cutting annual feed costs in half. Over the past 40 years, Maxwell has become an exceptional advocate for cover crop usage by sharing his experiences related to environmental, financial and production benefits he has observed firsthand on his operation.

Mitch Schulte, Farmer Relations Manager at Midwest Dairy Association, nominated the Maxwell family for the award.

The Maxwell family remains active in the community by hosting farm-to-table events to connect the public with locally sourced food, as well as supporting the North Scott FFA Chapter and local fire department throughout the year. John has remained heavily involved in advocating for the dairy industry at a state level.

The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award is made possible thanks to financial support from the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers. This award recognizes Iowa livestock farmers who take pride in caring for the environment, their livestock and being good neighbors. It is named in memory of Gary Wergin, a long-time WHO Radio farm broadcaster who helped create the award.


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 12 diverse bureaus, the Department ensures animal health, food safety and consumer protection. It also promotes conservation efforts to preserve our land for the next generation. Learn more at

Media Contact:
Keely Coppess
Communications Director
(515) 326-1616

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