Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today announced that Robert and Vicki Achen of rural Wayland in Henry County are the winners of the July "Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award."
"The Achen family is a turkey producer that takes care of their animal, their land and their neighbors, which the 'Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award' was designed to recognize," said Northey. "They are deserving recipients of this award."
More than just a turkey farmer
In nomination the Achen family for the award, their neighbor Darin Graber said, "What makes Robert and Vicki great neighbors and the perfect candidate for this award is their awareness and generosity. When we first moved in last summer and throughout the past year, they both have gone out of their way to assist us in any way they could."
The Achens' raise 100,000 turkeys per year and also farm about 350 acres. Robert is very active within the turkey industry. He has been active in helping farmers implement bio-security improvements. He is currently President of the Iowa Turkey Federation; Board President of Agri-Way Partners, a local feed mill; and a Board member and on the executive Committee of West Liberty Foods, which he helped organize.
The Achen family is also active in the community. Robert has served as president of the local school board and the family has been active with the school's athletic booster club.
Award honors former WHO Radio broadcaster
The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor award is made possible through the financial support of The Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers and Farm Credit Services of America. WHO Radio's Big Show will broadcast live from the Achens' farm on Friday, July 27. Bill Northey will present the award to the Achens' during the broadcast.
The award recognizes Iowa livestock producers who care for their operations and their neighbors and is named for Gary Wergin, a former WHO Radio broadcaster who helped create the award.
To nominate, a neighbor 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 emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.