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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Dustin Vande Hoef
515/281-3375 or 515/326-1616 (cell)


Award to be presented September 6 at the West Chester Heritage Building

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today announced that Rob and Jean Stout from Washington County have been named the winners of the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award.  The Stout family has a swine finishing operation and also raises corn and soybeans.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey will present the award to the family on Wednesday, Sept. 6 at the West Chester Heritage Building, 510 Main St., in West Chester.  The “Big Show,” which airs on both WHO and WMT radio, will broadcast live from the presentation from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“Congrats to Rob and Jean Stout and their family on winning this award that was created to highlight livestock farmers who care for their animals, protect their land and serve their neighbors and community.  The Stout family are deserving recipients and it is my honor to help recognize all of their hard work,” Northey said.

The family was nominated for the award by Greg Brenneman with ISU Extension and Outreach.  Brenneman highlighted the family’s care for their animals, stating, “Rob is Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus) certified as well as Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) certified in order to provide the best production practices in animal well-being, food safety and public health.” 

Brenneman also highlighted the work by the Stout family to protect the environment.  “Rob has used no-till planting since the early 1980s in his corn and soybean production.  He also has installed grass waterways, terraces, and buffer strips to further reduce soil erosion.  Rob has been using cover crops the past 10 years to build soils, stop erosion and reduce the loss of nitrates,” Brenneman added.

In addition to the work on the farm, the Stout’s are active in the community.  Rob has served on the SE Iowa Ag Research Association board and cooperated in on-farm research with Iowa State University and the Iowa Learning Farms.  Rob and Jean are also active in the West Fork Crooked Creek Water Quality and Soil Health Initiative.

The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor award, made possible through the financial support of the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers, recognizes Iowa livestock farmers who take pride in doing things right. This includes caring for the environment and their livestock and being good neighbors. It is named in memory of Gary Wergin, a long-time WHO Radio farm broadcaster who helped create the award.

Anyone interested in nominating their neighbor for the award 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  They can also visit the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers website to submit a nomination electronically at


Mailing Address: IDALS,  Wallace State Office Building,   502 E. 9th Street,  Des Moines, IA 50319:     PH: 515-281-5321
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