Wessling Family Recognized for being a Good Neighbor

10-08-2012 in Green Farmstead Partner

Three years ago, Bruce Wessling had a new hog barn that was easily visible from Highway 30. Wessling, who farms near Grand Junction, wanted to do something to improve the eye appeal of his new barn.

In September of 2009, the Wessling family partnered with the just-launched Green Farmstead Partner (GFP) program, offered by the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) with the help of Trees Forever and the Iowa Nursery and Landscape Association, to plant trees. They were the first family to participate in the program.

“At first, I was concerned about airflow through the building, but the trees aren’t big enough to stop it, and, working with the Coalition, I was able to get the resources in order to know which trees would help with airflow,” Bruce said.

With the help of GFP participating nursery Advanced Greenscapes, the Greene County family planted hybrid willow, cedar and evergreen trees, as well as shrubs. Today, the trees are providing visual screening from the road, while improving the looks of the farm and controlling snow.

Bruce’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by neighbors. In fact, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture just named the family the recipients of the October Wergin Good Farm Neighbor award.

In the nomination, neighbor Steve Fisher said “the Wesslings are a great example of how good neighbors take care of the environment and community.”

He went on to explain Bruce and his wife Jenny volunteer significant amounts of time and provide leadership to local and state organizations. They also “provide facilities for their kids and other young people to raise 4-H livestock,” he said.

In addition to their tree planting, Wesslings also used the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers to navigate the rules and regulations before building the hog barn and communicate their plans with neighbors.

“If you’re thinking about doing something on your farm, it helps to talk to someone and get reassurance about your decision,” Bruce said. “CSIF is always ready and willing to give you good information about rules and regulations, planting trees and talking to your neighbors about plans for your farm.”

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