Secretary Naig to Present the Preston Family with the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award

07-07-2023 in Good Farm Neighbor

DES MOINES, Iowa (Jul. 7, 2023) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig will present the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award to the Preston family during an event at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 10, at their family farm at 4402 100th Ave, Swea City.

Preston Farms is a diversified family farm that grows corn, soybeans and alfalfa as well as maintaining a cow/calf herd. It was established in 1926 by Earl and Gladys Preston. Earl and Gladys’s son Virgil and his wife Marjorie Preston began farming in 1948. While Marjorie is still part of the farm today, it is now primarily operated by their son Paul and his wife Jane Preston, who joined in 1975. Their sons and daughters-in-law, Jared and Sara and Chad and Corrin, joined the farm in 2011. The children of Jared and Sara (Nora, Maggie and Croix) and Chad and Corrin (Kash and Landry) are now the fourth generation on the farm today. Paul’s brother Mark Preston and Mark’s son Mitch Preston also help seasonally. Paul and Jane are also the parents of a daughter Erin, who is married to Tony Brown, and they have two sons, Jacob and Carter.

“Generation after generation, the Preston family has demonstrated a deep passion for agriculture, but just as importantly, they place a high value on being active in their community, church, school and many other organizations,” said Secretary Naig. “I am pleased to present the Preston family with the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award because of their commitment to the land and their livestock, their dedication to their community and their engagement in many agricultural organizations.”

A high standard of animal care is important to the Preston family. They are certified via the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program and work closely with their herd veterinarian and vet clinic staff to ensure that their cattle remain healthy. They’ve constructed hoop buildings to help protect their cattle from the elements. For the last decade, they have utilized embryo transfer technology to carefully select traits and genetics that advance the herd’s quality and productivity. As a result, they have become a reputable source for seedstock as well as suppliers of calves for 4-H and FFA projects.

The family incorporates proven conservation practices into their farming operation. They utilize buffer strips on all their fields that include waterways. Each year, they utilize cover crops on their corn silage acres. Their hoop buildings help to reduce wear and tear on their dirt cattle lots, which in turn reduces runoff.

The Prestons are actively involved in the community and with advocating for agriculture. Paul serves on the local drainage district committee and the entire family is active in the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Swea City. They are involved in the Kossuth County Farm Bureau, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and North Central Iowa Ag in the Classroom, where they have helped launch several programs including the successful “Adopt-A-Cow” initiative. Sara coaches youth sports, serves on a fundraising committee for the local pool, judges for FFA and 4-H, speaks at 4-H and FFA events and volunteers with CommonGround Iowa.

The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award is made possible through a partnership with the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) 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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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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