BV County Farm Family Receives Good Farm Neighbor Award at Iowa Pork Congress

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig presented the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award to Mike and Michelle Ehlers and their family, Buena Vista County pork producers.

The award was presented Wednesday at the Iowa Pork Congress in Des Moines.

“The Ehlers family is a conservation leader and a great resource for neighbors and other farmers who want to improve soil health and water quality on their farms,” ​​said Secretary Naig. “Their high level of animal care and involvement in the community make them deserving recipients of this award.”

The Ehlers family raises corn, soybeans and hogs on their farm outside of Marathon. They are leaders in implementing conservation practices including low disturbance manure spreading, strip tilling, no-till and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) buffer strips. They began seeding cover crops in 2015 and have continued to increase seeded acreage for cover crops. The Ehlers family also planted pollinator habitats and installed a bioreactor that improves water quality in the Raccoon River watershed. They carefully manage the nutrients in their manure because it is the main source of nutrients for their farms.

Mike and Michelle Ehlers and their family take great care to ensure their animals are healthy. High-quality food, good air quality and sufficient space are all part of this goal. They have also implemented wet-dry feeders to reduce water wastage on their farm.

Mike and Michelle Ehlers are presidents of the Buena Vista Pork Producers Association. Michelle is a local 4-H leader, and the family is active in many local community organizations and events. They held local field days on their farm focusing on low-disturbance manure spreading, soil health, and using conservation practices. Mike and Michelle also participate in the special hog program in Buena Vista County by delivering hogs to the fairgrounds. They work with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach to provide 4-H members with a show pig that wouldn’t otherwise have one of their own to show off.

The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award is made possible through the financial support of the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers. This award recognizes Iowa livestock producers who take pride in caring for the environment, their livestock, and being good neighbors. It is named after Gary Wergin, a longtime WHO radio farm broadcaster who helped create the award.

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