Steve and Becky Kerns of Taylor County were named winners of the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award last week during the Iowa Pork Congress in Des Moines.

“Steve and Becky Kerns are true leaders in the agriculture industry while also doing things right on their farm in how they care for their animals, protect the environment and serve their neighbors,” Iowa Agriculture Sec­­retary Bill Northey said. “It is great to be able to recognize a deserving family like this in front of their peers during the Iowa Pork Congress,” Northey said.

 The Kerns operate a diversified crop and livestock operation.  They care for 500 sows in a farrow-to-finish operation.  They also produce breeding stock and market hogs for high-end restaurants and specialty stores.  

The family also has a 30-head cattle herd for grazing highly erodible acres.

The family was nominated for the award by their neighbors Ryan and Alle Baily. In their nomination, they highlighted the family’s care for the environment and also their active involvement in the community.  

Steve is a past-president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association and still serves on two of the association’s committees.

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.

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