Through the Gate // April 2023

04-27-2023 in Through The Gate

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Good Farm Neighbors: Volkert Family

On April 13, CSIF, The Big Show, and the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship recognized the 170th Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award recipients.

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 Ida County 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.

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Providing Assistance Following Storms

In response to the damage caused by recent storms across much of Iowa, the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) is providing on-farm resources to help livestock farmers get their questions answered about options and considerations for their farms.

If your farm sustained damage to its livestock and poultry barns, open feedlots or even windbreaks, now may be a good time to have the Coalition come out to your farm and assess your best options for moving forward. Some farmers may just decide to replace damaged buildings while some may want to take the opportunity to relocate and improve facilities.

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CSIF Partnerships


Ames Landscaper Joins Green Farmstead Partner Program


Controlled Access Invests in CSIF

Landscape Legends of Ames has been designated a participating landscape professional in the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers’ Green Farmstead Partner Program.

“I’m excited to join the program,” says Nick Coburn, owner of Landscape Legends. “At Landscape Legends, we are passionate about enhancing the environment – whether that is through planting trees or improving the water quality in farm ponds. We look forward to working with the Green Farmstead Partner Program because our values so closely align.” In addition to Landscape Legends, Nick also owns Controlled Ponds of Iowa, LLC, a company dedicated to improving water quality in farm ponds.

  Controlled Access is the latest partner to provide support of Iowa agriculture through an investment in CSIF.

Security has become increasingly important to protect livestock. Controlled Access specializes in the installation of automated gates and security cameras on livestock and poultry farms. They work on all types and sizes of livestock and poultry farms.

“Controlled Access is very proud to support the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers”, said Cory Coburn, Manager with Controlled Access. “The Coalition has been a huge asset to livestock farmers by providing a clear understanding of the rules, regulations, and resources needed to grow in an environmentally responsible matter. We look forward to assisting livestock and poultry farmers with their on-farm security needs to give them piece of mind that their livestock and buildings are secure.”

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Nominate a Good Farm Neighbor!



The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award recognizes Iowa livestock farmers who take pride in doing things right and go above and beyond as environmental stewards and animal caretakers. It is an opportunity to tell the story of responsible livestock farming in Iowa and highlight the families who make it so successful.



  1. Family operation
  2. Active in their community
  3. Produce livestock or poultry to the highest animal care standards
  4. Dedicated to conservation and/or environmental stewardship on their land


The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award is made possible by the financial support of the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers and is presented with the Iowa Department of Agriculture + Land Stewardship and The Big Show.

If you know a family deserving of the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award, submit the nomination form to the CSIF team!


In the Industry


Undeniably Dairy Grants

Available to Midwest Dairy farmers, dairy groups, and agricultural organizations, Undeniably Dairy Grants help turn great ideas for promoting the dairy community to consumers into reality.

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Tell IPPA Your Favorite Iowa Tenderloin

Iowans love breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches, and restaurants across the state pride themselves on serving up unique renditions of this regional staple. The Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) is once again asking loyal fans to vote for their favorites.

The 21st annual Iowa’s Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin Contest is underway, with online nominations accepted through June 5. The winning restaurants are announced in October.

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Apply for the 2023 Century & Heritage Farm Program

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig encourages eligible Iowa farm owners to apply for the 2023 Century and Heritage Farm Program now through June 1.

The program was created by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation to recognize families who have owned their farms for 100 years and 150 years, respectively.

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Deadline Extended for 2023 Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award Nominations

The deadline to nominate individuals or families for the 2023 Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award has been extended to May 15, 2023.

Farmers and landowners who invest in conservation practices, such as cover crops, wetlands and edge-of-field practices and incorporate best management practices into their operations to improve and protect the state’s natural resources are eligible for the award. Successful nominees must also actively serve as leaders in the agriculture community.

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May Beef Month

May 1-31 
May is Beef Month in Iowa. Join Iowa beef producers in celebrating the month and enjoying the high quality, nutritious, mouth-watering beef that Iowa is known for around the world.


Join the Coalition, The Big Show, and the Iowa Department of Ag & Land Stewardship from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. as we recognize the latest Good Farm Neighbor Award winner in Iowa County! Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. with a short program at noon where Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Naig, will present the award to the family.

Four-State Dairy Nutrition & Management Conference

JUNE 7-8 | Dubuque, IA
The Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference presents the latest research on issues concerning the dairy industry including feed efficiency, calves and transition cows.

World Pork Expo

JUNE 7-9 | Des Moines, IA
The world’s largest pork industry-specific trade show brings together pork producers and industry professionals from around the world for three days of education, innovation and networking.

Iowa Turkey Federation 2023 Summer Meeting

JUNE 13-15 | Moravia, IA
The Iowa Turkey Federation’s Summer Meeting will be at the Honey Creek Resort June 13th – 15th.



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