Family honored with good neighbor award

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


As they walked through the throng of family and friends who visited their shop Friday to congraduate them on receiving the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award, Rob and Char Brenneman reflected on how they earned the award.

During the ceremony, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig presented the award to the Brennemans. The show was broadcast live on both WHO and WMT radio. The Brenneman family runs a swine and grain operation in Washington County. Brenneman Pork, Inc is a fully integrated, family run swine and grain farm. In addition to Rob and Char, their children Tim and Erin Brenneman, Amy and Kyle Ihrig, Cari and Nate Strabala, and Jenna and Tyler Grout are involved in their operation. The family was nominated for the award by Kurt and Heather Hora, who are past Good Farm Neighbor Award winners and who also farm in Washington County.

?We are thrilled to be part of this wonderful community and this county and we?re thrilled to have great neighbors and great people we get to work with every day,? Rob Brenneman said. ?The secret is we?re the parents and we are the ones who have the choice every day to be good or to be not so good. We choose every day to be the best we can be in every thing we do, be it being a neighbor or a parent or a friend or whatever it is.?

The family?s focus is on raising quality pork in an efficient, humane, and environmentally responsible manner. They are also very involved in the community and regularly host visitors, including students from local elementary schools.

In their nomination, the Horas stated, ?Rob and Char and the whole Brenneman family are leaders in the community. They are always supporting community events and going out of their way to make sure that there is a positive face put on agriculture.?

?The Brennemans are real leaders in animal care, environmental protection and community involvement and it is an honor to present them with the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award. It is important we recognize and highlight livestock farms like the Brennemans? who contribute so much to our state and rural communities,? Naig said.

?We just want to share our values with our children and the people who work for us and hopefully it shows,? Char Brenneman said.

The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor award, made possible through the financial support of the Coalition to Support Iowa?s Farmers, recognizes Iowa livestock farmers who take pride in doing things right. This includes caring for the environment and their livestock and being good neighbors. It is named in memory of Gary Wergin, a longtime WHO Radio farm broadcaster who helped create the award.