Mitchell Co. hog farmers receive 'neighborly' award

Mitchell Co. producers receive ‘Good Farm Neighbor Award’

Deputy Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig, Karl Fox and Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers Executive Director Brian Waddingham .

The Fox family of Mitchell County was recognized Aug. 11 as the newest recipients of the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award during a ceremony at the Fox Farm near Elma.

Deputy Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig presented the award at an open house with family, friends and neighbors.

“Along with running a clean operation, the Fox family is also very active helping neighbors and their community,” said Brian Waddingham, executive director at the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers. “This award recognizes Iowans like the Fox family who show who we’d all like to have as a neighbor.”

The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor award, sponsored by CSIF, recognizes Iowa livestock farmers who take pride in caring for the environment and their livestock, and being good neighbors.

Fox custom feeds cattle and hogs, raises corn for silage and also does custom field work. He has three children who also are active on the farm, along with 4-H and FFA.

In addition to their work on the farm, the family is very active in the local community and in ag industry groups. Karl is active on the school board, president of the Mitchell County Agricultural Society, a Mitchell County Farm Bureau board member and a St. Peter’s Catholic Church finance committee member. He also has been involved in the county corn growers and pork producers associations.

“It’s hard to be a good neighbor unless you have better neighbors,” Fox said. “Our fathers and grandfathers came here and settled this area since the late 1800s and we’ve been a tight-knit community ever since. I’m honored and glad to have the opportunity to be recognized. It’s nice to open our home and farm to show how we help feed the world.”

Rod Koch, who serves on the Mitchell County Farm Bureau Board, nominated Fox for the award. In the nomination, Koch highlighted Fox’s passion for serving agriculture, noting he holds leadership roles in numerous organizations “not just to look good, but (he) actually contributes.”

The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award, presented by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Iowa Ag Radio Network in partnership with CSIF, is presented nine times annually to an Iowa farm family who raises livestock. It’s given in honor of distinguished WHO Radio farm broadcaster Gary Wergin and recognizes families who take pride in being good neighbors and stewards of the land.