Rick and Lisa Plowman from Van Buren County last week were named the winners of the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award. The family has a cow-calf operation and a feedlot in addition to raising corn, soybeans and hay on their farm in rural Douds.

Rick Plowman is District 7 director for the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig made the presentation to the Plowman family, which was  broadcast on the “Big Show,” airing on both WHO and WMT radio.

“Livestock production is vitally important to our state and the families that care for those animals are critical to our rural communities,” Naig said. “The Good Farm Neighbor Award is a great opportunity to highlight the many families who do a tremendous job caring for their animals and protecting the environment while also contributing so much to our communities,” Naig said.

The family was nominated for the award by their neighbor Jennifer Gardner.  

In her nomination Gardner cited their commitment to protecting the land and providing the best care for their animals.

Environmental awareness

“Farming along the Des Moines River, the family has taken great care to ensure their operation is sound when it comes to conservation and exceeding DNR (Department of Natural Resources) requirements,” she said. “The cow-calf and feedlot operations use best management practices for manure handling and pasture management, while being diligent to protect the land from run-off and erosion,” Gardner added.

The family is also very active in the community and within the agriculture industry. Rick currently serves as president of the local school board and is active in the Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Van Buren County Farm Bureau.

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 can be emailed to Communications@iowaAgriculture.gov.