DES MOINES — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey announced that Wayne and Char De Meulenaere from Iowa County have been named the winners of the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award.
Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig will present the award to the family on Thursday, February 22. The ceremony will be at the American Legion Hall in Victor, 601 3rd St. 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.
“Livestock farms and livestock farmers, like the De Meulenaere family, add so much to our communities and our state. This award is an opportunity to highlight families raising livestock that do such a great job caring for their animals, protecting the land while also serving their community,” Northey said. “I want to congratulate Wayne and Char and the entire De Meulenaere family on this award.”
De Meulenaere Farms is a three-generation dairy, stock cow and grain farm. Wayne and Char farm with their son Kraig and grandson Keegan. The family operates a Grade-A dairy and milk 90 cows in a 12-stall herring-bone parlor. They also raise corn, soybeans, hay and oats as part of the farming operation.
The family was nominated for the award by their neighbor Larry Beyer. In his nomination, Beyer highlighted the family’s effort to protect the environment, utilizing rye cover crops, grassed waterway and minimum-tillage. They also have permanent pasture on hilly land.
The De Meulenaere family is also very active in the community. They regularly host tours on their farm, including students from local schools and from the Boys and Girls clubs in Cedar Rapids. Wayne and Chare are 50-year members of the Iowa County Cattlemen and ran the grill for numerous community celebrations over the years
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 Communications@
— Iowa Department of Agriculture
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