Secretary Naig honors Kauffman family with Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig presented the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award to the Arlyn and Sue Kauffman family, owners of Green Ridge Family Farm in Weldon, Iowa.

“The Kauffmans are great advocates for the agriculture community,” said Naig. “Their operation demonstrates the benefits of layering conservation practices, including no-till soil management, cover crops and nutrient management practices to make their farm more productive and sustainable for future generations.”

Family involvement and environmental stewardship are priorities of this Decatur County farm. The Kauffman family raises corn, soybeans, alfalfa, rye, oats, triticale and wheat. All conventional grain production acres have been transitioned to no-till with cover crops. These methods allow for reduced herbicide use. The family has implemented extended crop rotation systems and alternates primary crops with legumes each year, which replenishes soil nutrient levels and improves water quality.

In the livestock sector, the Kauffman family manages a cage-free, pasture-raised laying hen barn and has a small cattle herd. They feed the hens approximately two million pounds of ground feed per year, which is all blended at their feed mill. They implement a detailed manure management plan and utilize chicken manure as a natural fertilizer on their crop fields. The Kauffman family has implemented specific conservation practices on their operation to reduce erosion and improve water quality, including building terraces and using cover crops. Additionally, they have installed solar panels on their property, which provides all of the electricity necessary for their livestock and poultry production.

Arlyn and Sue Kauffman’s five children are actively involved on the farm. Arlyn Kauffman’s father helps out, in addition to sharing equipment with his uncles and cousins.

Sarah Bowman, director of industry affairs at the Iowa Poultry Association, nominated the Kauffman family for the award.

“Every member of the family plays an important role in the success of the farm,” said Sarah Bowman. “Arlyn attends annual meetings to stay up-to-date on good farming practices. He then passes along what he learns to his wife and children, so they can carry out the same husbandry techniques.”

Arlyn Kauffman is involved in a variety of organizations to stay informed on emerging conservation practices and to continuously advocate for farmers. He is an active Practical Farmers of Iowa member and serves on the Iowa Poultry Association Environmental Committee. He is also Humane Farm Animal Care  certified.

Arlyn and Sue are involved heavily in their community by volunteering as an administrator, principal and teacher at the church school when it is in session, as well as leading the congregational choir and teaching Sunday school. They are large supporters of the local FFA chapter and provide tours of their farm to many groups.

The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award is made possible thanks to financial support from the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers. This award recognizes Iowa livestock farmers who take pride in caring for the environment, 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.