Farming is a tradition for the Moffitt family of Warren County. And last week, the family was recognized for their efforts in continuing that tradition by raising livestock and crops responsibly in the state.
Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig presented Maurice and Marie Moffitt, and their sons Kurt and Damen and their families, with the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award. The award is made possible through the financial support of the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF).
In its 13th year, the award recognizes Iowa farm families who raise livestock while caring for their environment and their community.
"We’ve got a great agriculture industry in this state. It’s worth fighting for, it’s worth promoting, it’s worth everything we can put into it. And we want everybody to know that. We want everybody to know the great stories about the things that go on in our communities," Naig said.
And the Moffitt family is a great representation of that, Naig said.
Maurice began his farming career after attending Iowa State University.
Back then, he raised cattle, hogs and crops with his dad.
Now, Maurice said he’s fortunate to be raising cattle and growing corn, soybeans and hay with his sons, the sixth generation on the farm.
"It’s a family operation and it’s very enjoyable to be farming with your sons," Maurice said. "I might not be farming at this age if I wasn’t farming with my two sons. There’s people at my age that have retired. But really on a family farm you don’t retire: you transition or slow down."
The farm is truly a family affair, said Bret Thies, a neighbor who nominated the family for the award.
"It’s the little things that are important to this family; not only hard work, not only modern technology, good equipment, love for their animals," Thies said. "They’re also involved in their kids and grandkids."
He said the Moffitt family is ‘neighborly,’ and pitches in when he and other families need help on their farms.
While Kurt and Maurice work closely to care for the cattle, son Damen focuses his efforts on conservation practices. He’s worked to shape waterways on the farm and built terraces.
"We definitely want to save the soil for future generations, and prevent as much nutrients from leaving the farm as we can," Damen said.
The family said the award was ‘humbling,’ and said it’s important for them to care for their farm and their community to preserve both for future generations.
"I don’t know that we really do anything different than anyone else around here," Kurt said. "It’s just the way we do things; we get along and have good relationships with other people and enjoy life."