The Puetz family of Plymouth County received the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award last week in Le Mars in honor of their on-farm conservation efforts.

Plymouth County Farm Bur­eau members Bob and Lisa Puetz accepted the award from Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig on Sept. 9.

“Bob is a true pioneer and leader when it comes to conservation. He has adopted multiple practices on his fields and is a resource to his fellow farmers who are interested in improving soil health and water quality on their farms,” Naig said. “Bob’s actions make him a great neighbor and a deserving recipient of the award.”

Puetz Farms includes row crops and a feeder pig nursery. 

According to a release from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), Bob Puetz is seen as a trailblazer in implementing conservation practices. 

He was introduced to no-till farming in his younger years after learning the importance of soil health and water quality from his father, Evon. 

In addition, he uses contour planting, terraces and cover crops on his farms, which are located on the rolling hills of Plymouth County. These land-based practices help channel and protect water, as well as prevent soil erosion. 

In recent times, Bob Puetz has added Conservation Reserve Program waterways on three farms that are seeded to switchgrass. He is in the process of adding 30 acres of filter strips along the Deep Creek on his property to prevent runoff.

Bob Puetz has held numerous leadership positions in his community. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Deep Creek Water Quality Project, as well as vice president of the Plymouth Soil and Water Conservation District, and is a member of the Plymouth County Pork Producers Association. 

Puetz also has been recognized as a Master Pork Producer by the Iowa Pork Producers Association.