Benton County farm family receives ‘good neighbor’ award

Benton County farm family receives ‘good neighbor’ award

A Benton County farm family is the March winner of the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award.

Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig presented the award to Todd and Denise Wiley and their four children during a luncheon at the family farm near Walker today.

The Wileys raise hogs from farrow to finish. They care for 1,100 sows and market between 27,000 and 28,000 pigs a year.

“It’s easy to pick up on things in the country that aren’t as good as you’d like and it’s nice to be recognized when you’re working hard to do things well,” Todd said.

The family was nominated for the award by Louise Fleming, the Vinton-Shellsburg High School Ag Education/FFA advisor, who highlighted their care for their animals and service to their community.

“Todd is very invested in the future of agriculture, particularly in swine production,” Fleming said. “He is truly up-to-date with his production practices and does so in the most humane, environmentally and economical means possible. Todd has been completely involved and completely invested in the community.  He practices servant leadership and never fails to step up for something he believes in.”

Todd is currently a member of the Benton County Board of Supervisors. He’s also a member of Vinton-Shellsburg High School Agriculture Advisory Committee and the board of Farmer’s Savings Bank and Trust. He also is a livestock evaluation coach for a county livestock judging team. The family is active in educating the community about modern livestock production and regularly brings animals into schools and donates them to FFA for a county fair exhibit.

“I’m glad Louise nominated us and I’m glad that the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers and WHO Radio work together to put this on,” said Todd.

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.