Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig presented the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award to the Wulfekuhle family today. Al and Kathy Wulfekuhle are pig farmers near Quasqueton, Iowa. The award was presented live on WHO Radio's The Big Show.
"As we celebrate 'Pork Month' in October, this is a great opportunity to recognize families, like the Wulfekuhles, who are leaders in their communities and take great pride in caring for their land and animals," says Naig.
Al and Kathy were married in 1979, and three days later, they moved 90-bred gilts to a rented farm near Monti, Iowa, to begin their farming careers. Their farm has grown from about 90 sows to an 1,800 sow farrow-to-finish operation.
The Wulfekuhle family prioritizes herd health and animal care. Biosecurity measures are practiced at all of their locations and the Wulfekuhle are always striving to improve animal health. In addition to the work they do on their own farm, Al is collaborating with Iowa State University to start a porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome-control research project.
Besides raising hogs, the family partners with Curt and Cindy Gentz to grow corn and soybeans. Together, these two families utilize waterways, field borders, wetlands, terraces, cover crops and no-till practices to improve the health of their soils and contribute to Iowa's ongoing water quality efforts. All of their manure is tested before it is applied to fields. They also inject the manure at rates that comply with site-specific manure management plans.
Al and Kathy are active in the Iowa Pork Producers Association, and Al served as president in 2016. Within their community, Al and Kathy are members of St. Patrick's Church in Winthrop. Kathy sings in the choir and decorates the church, and Al just retired from the finance committee. They are founding members of the Monti Community Center. They have served as president and board members, and Kathy currently serves as secretary. They are also members of the East Buchanan School booster club and friends of their FFA program. Al is on the county adjustment board and served as president in the past.
The Wulfekuhle family was nominated for the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor award by their friend, Trish Cook, in recognition of their good animal husbandry practices and environmental stewardship efforts.
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.