AgricultureLocal News

Secretary Naig Presents Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig will present the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award to the Bolin family and New Day Dairy during an event at 11 a.m. on Thursday, August 3, at their family farm located at 31000 175th St, Clarksville.

Under the management of Dan and Lynn Bolin since 2011, New Day Dairy milks about 120 cows and includes approximately 200 crop acres. This Century Farm was started by Dan’s great-great grandfather and has passed through the generations. Dave Bolin, Dan’s dad, assumed the responsibility of milking and managing the cows at just 13 years of age. Dave married the neighbor girl, Pam Jensen, and she joined the family operation. Pam’s mother, Mary Jensen, is also part of the management of the farm. Dave and Pam raised a family on the farm and are still an integral part of daily operations. In recent years, a robotic milker was installed, and a guest barn was added. Because of the guest barn, the Bolin family has been able to connect with a wide cross-section of consumers and share the story of Iowa agriculture. While visiting, guests experience life as a dairy farmer, “sleep” with the cows, and learn how farmers care for their animals and land.

“Through their involvement in the community, church, school, and numerous agricultural associations, the Bolins have established themselves as pillars of the Clarksville community,” said Secretary Naig. “The Bolins are deserving of the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award because of their care for their land and livestock, their passion for their community, their desire to serve others, and their dedication to educating consumers about the importance of Iowa agriculture.”

A high standard of animal care is important to New Day Dairy. They are FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) certified through Prairie Farms, their farmer-owned milk cooperative. The cows live in a modern barn designed with cow comfort in mind. The barn protects the cows from extreme temperatures and their living area is kept clean, helping to prevent disease. The cows are milked by a robot named Rita. Rita customizes the milking experience to each cow and can alert Dan of any possible mastitis infections or feed changes which may signal illness. The process is consistent, and cows thrive on consistency. Throughout the life of the animal, feed rations are appropriately adjusted to provide just the right nutrients needed by the calves, heifers and cows.

The Bolin family strives to be good stewards of their land. On their 200 acres, they grow a variety of crops such as corn, hay, peas, barley and oats and these grains and forages feed the cows. In turn, the manure from the dairy is applied as fertilizer to nourish the land and they use minimum tillage practices. Outside of the guest barn, visitors will find a pollinator-friendly garden designed to attract beneficial insects.

Dave and Pam remain active in the community through leadership roles at church. They participate in the Waverly Area Community Band and Dave has served many years on the board of the Butler County Farm Bureau. Pam has served on many dairy specific boards over the years. She currently sits on the Corporate Board for Midwest Dairy. Dan serves on the leadership team in their church and has used his musical talents to entertain residents at the local nursing home. Lynn uses her passion for community and agriculture to tell the story of dairy farming through the guest barn. As a family, Dan and Lynn and their three children are active in 4-H and a local homeschool group.

The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award is made possible through a partnership with the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) and The Big Show on WHO Radio. This award recognizes Iowa livestock farmers who take pride in caring for the environment and their livestock and have demonstrated a commitment to their community. The award is named in memory of Gary Wergin, a long-time WHO Radio farm broadcaster who helped create the award.

 

article courtesy of Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

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