The livestock industry is vital to Iowa agriculture and contributes billions to our state’s economy. Iowa farmers take great pride in caring for their animals and producing safe, high-quality food for consumers here in Iowa, across the nation and around the world.
The Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award is designed to recognize the livestock farmers that go above and beyond when caring for their animals, the land and also their community.
Recognizing these “Good Farm Neighbors” is one of highlights of my job as Iowa Secretary of Agriculture.
We have so many good neighbors in this state, both on the farm and in town, and this award is just one opportunity to recognize and thank those that have made a difference in the lives of their neighbors.
And, the families that have been recognized do a wide variety of things that make their neighbors think to nominate them for this award.
Some have been nominated after helping on a neighbor’s farm after a sickness or injury in the families. Others have been selected for moving snow and helping with chores. This January’s winner was nominated by their local FFA instructor for helping teach his students about modern pork production.
Regardless of the reasons they are nominated, all demonstrate a deep commitment to caring for their animals while also serving their neighbors and entire community.
If you have a livestock farmer that lives near you that you think qualifies as a Good Farm Neighbor, I hope you will consider taking the time to nominate them. It is easy and a great way to bring attention to these farmers that make rural Iowa a great place to live.
Anyone interested in nominating their neighbor should write a letter or e-mail explaining why their neighbor should receive this designation. Applications may be submitted to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Attn: Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award, Henry A. Wallace Building, Des Moines, IA 50319 or emailed to Communications@iowaAgriculture.gov.
The nominations are then sent to a committee consisting of farmers, agriculture group representatives and officials from government agencies that selects the winners.
The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor award is made possible through the financial support of the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers, which is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that works with farmers to advocate and help implement on-farm best-management practices that assist Iowa’s farm families in raising livestock responsibly and successfully.
The Coalition is a joint partnership involving the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Poultry Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Turkey Federation and Midwest Dairy Association.
The award is named in memory of Gary Wergin, a long-time WHO Radio farm broadcaster who helped in its creation.
So, help us recognize these livestock farmers and consider nominating a good farm neighbor near you for this award!
Northey, a fourth generation corn and soybean farmer from Spirit Lake, is serving his second term as Secretary of Agriculture. His priorities as Secretary of Agriculture are promoting the use of science and new technologies to better care for our air, soil and water, and reaching out to all Iowans to tell the story of Iowa agriculture.