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Secretary Naig to Present the Albert Family with the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig will present the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award to the Albert Family of Buchanan County on Friday, March 22 at 11:00 a.m. The presentation at the Albert’s family farm, located at 1633 330th St., Brandon, is part of the weeklong, statewide Iowa Ag Week celebration.

“Iowa agriculture is special because of multi-generational farm families like the Alberts who take great pride in serving their community while also being wonderful caretakers for their livestock, crops and natural resources,” said Secretary Naig. “As part of Iowa Ag Week, we are celebrating the many ways in which those involved in Iowa agriculture give back to the communities we all call home. It’s only fitting that we present the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award to the Albert Family, given their long and admirable service to their neighbors and the Brandon community.” 

Valley Green Farms is a multi-generational family farm located near Brandon in Northeast Iowa. Operated since 1972 by Craig and Judy Albert, the operation also includes their son Jordan Albert, as well as daughter Jackie Aberle, son-in-law Shawn Aberle, and their children Carson, Gretchen and Kaydence Aberle. 

The family raises waxy corn, non-GMO soybeans and hay. Because conservation is important to them, they utilize strip till, grassed waterways and variable rate technology to ensure a high level of precision. Since 2015, they’ve planted cover crops on their acres, including rye and rye/clover mixes, to keep the soil in place and improve water quality. Craig was the recipient of the Iowa Soil Conservation Award in 2010. The Alberts are members of the Iowa Corn Growers Association and Buchanan County Farm Bureau.

The Alberts also feed cattle and own a cow-calf herd. The family is BQA (Beef Quality Assurance) certified and utilize total mixed rations for optimum performance. They maintain sophisticated records on all cows and feeder cattle. The Alberts are also actively involved in the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. Jordan is on the board of the Buchanan County Cattlemen and Jackie serves as the county organization’s event planner. Craig received the Buchanan County Senior Cattlemen Award in 2015. 

The Alberts exemplify what it means to be a “Good Farm Neighbor.” Judy has served on the Brandon Area Community Board for many years. The family helps with the Annual Cowboy Breakfast and was instrumental in the development of Brandon’s Largest Frying Pan site that brings many visitors to the small town. The family plants an annual sweet corn patch for the “neighborhood” to enjoy. Many years ago, they began an annual tradition of hosting a Thanksgiving meal for anyone in the community or those passing through that needed a hot meal. In 2021, the Iowa State Fair honored the family with the “Way We Live Award.”

The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award is made possible through a partnership with the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF), The Big Show on WHO Radio and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Now in its 20th year, this award recognizes Iowa livestock farmers who take pride in caring for the environment and their livestock while also 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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