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

04-12-2023 in Good Farm Neighbor

DES MOINES, Iowa (Apr. 11, 2023) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig will present the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award to the Volkert family during an event at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 13, at the Cobblestone Inn in Holstein.

Owned and operated by brothers Lane and the late Larry Volkert and their families, “Volkert Brothers” started in 1970 upon Lane and Larry’s return from service in the Vietnam War. The brothers grew up on the family farm, which has been in the family for 117 years. The farm received its Century Farm recognition in 2006. Lane and Lori are the parents of three daughters and have seven grandchildren. Larry, who passed away in 2020, and Janet have two daughters and four grandchildren.

“The Volkerts have not only been good stewards of their land and livestock, but they have demonstrated a deep commitment to their community and an admirable record of service to our country,” said Secretary Naig. “Iowa is blessed to have great farm families like the Volkerts and I am pleased to present them with the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor award.”

The Volkerts raise corn, soybeans and hay while also feeding cattle and hogs. They incorporate conservation into all aspects of their operation by utilizing terraces, no-till, minimum till, grassed waterways and headlands. They have built retaining walls in the cattle yards, which work in coordination with a catch basin and a filter strip.

The family members have demonstrated a high level of care for their animals and take pride in ensuring consumers can enjoy delicious and nutritious protein on their dinner tables. They utilize cornstalk bales for bedding and have put in place modern working facilities with tubs, hydraulic chutes and animal-friendly loading facilities.

The Volkerts have been longtime members of the Ida County Cattlemen, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and the Iowa Corn Growers Association. They also have belonged to St. Paul Lutheran Church in Holstein where they have served in various positions on the church council and committees. The brothers both belonged to the American Legion Post 225. Lane served on the Galva-Holstein School Board for six years, the Ida County Farm Bureau Board, and the Ida County Planning and Zoning Commission. Prior to his passing, Larry served on the Holstein Cooperative Elevator Board for six years and was a Trustee in Battle Township for many years.

Larry and Lane were named “Outstanding Young Farmers” in 1980 by the Jaycees. In 1990, they were named the winners of the Ida County Conservation Award in the Quad States Conservation Awards Program.

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.


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

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