Secretary Naig Honors Bob Puetz with Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award

Pork producer from Plymouth County recognized for outstanding leadership in agriculture

DES MOINES, Iowa (Sept. 9, 2021) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig presented the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award to Bob Puetz, a pork producer in Plymouth County, at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Le Mars today.

“Bob is a true pioneer and leader when it comes to conservation. He has adopted multiple practices on his fields and is a resource to his fellow farmers who are interested in improving soil health and water quality on their farms,” said Secretary Naig. “Bob’s actions make him a great neighbor and a deserving recipient of the award.”

Puetz Farms includes a row crop and feeder pig nursery operation. Puetz is seen as a trailblazer in implementing conservation practices. He was introduced to no-till farming in his younger years after learning the importance of soil health and water quality from his father, Evon. In addition, he uses contour planting, terraces and cover crops on his farms, which are located on the rolling hills of Plymouth County. These land-based practices help channel and protect water, as well as prevent soil erosion. In recent times, Puetz has added Conservation Reserve Program waterways on three farms that are seeded to switch grass. He is in the process of adding 30 acres of filter strips along the Deep Creek on his property to prevent runoff too.

Puetz uses an umbilical cord to distribute manure from his feeder pig nursery without disturbing a nearby golf course and city limits. Also, he has planted a tree windbreak near his hog facilities to help reduce odor and create wildlife habitat.

Puetz has held numerous leadership positions and is a vital asset to his community. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Deep Creek Water Quality Project, as vice president of the Plymouth Soil and Water Conservation District, and is a member of the Plymouth County Pork Producers Association. He has been recognized as a Master Pork Producer with the Iowa Pork Producers Association. Puetz has been a 4-H leader for 16 years, president of Plymouth County Extension Council, president of Ducks Unlimited and president of a local Pheasants Forever Chapter. Additionally, he is an active member of the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee, a member of the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Le Mars, a past president of the Gehlen Catholic School Board and is a Grand Knight for the Knights of Columbus.

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.

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About the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Led by Secretary Mike Naig, the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship serves the rural and urban residents that call Iowa home. Through its 14 diverse bureaus, the Department ensures animal health, food safety and consumer protection. It also promotes conservation efforts to preserve our land and enhance water quality for the next generation. Learn more at iowaagriculture.gov.

Media Contact:
Keely Coppess
Communications Director
(515) 326-1616           
Keely.Coppess@IowaAgriculture.gov