NICOLE HASEK | JEFFERSON HERALD The Eason extended family with Mike Naig (fourth from left) after receiving the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award.NICOLE HASEK | JEFFERSON HERALD Megan Holz, James Holz, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, Bill Frederick, Melissa Frederick and Sen. Jesse Green with the Ag Leader Award for Conservation certificate at Iowa Cover Crops.

Two agriculture awards given to Greene County locals


Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig made two stops in Greene County on Friday to present the Eason Family with the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award and to deliver Iowa Cover Crops their Ag Leader Award for Conservation certificate they earned in February. 

“Clearly, [Iowa Cover Crop] has been doing amazing things in the last 10 years, it was a no-brainer to be able to present you with this,” Naig said.

Iowa Cover Crop was started in 2014 by Bill Frederick and James Holz, who met in 4-H in Greene County. They offer seeds and applications to farms throughout the Midwest based on the individual farmers’ needs.

Naig said the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award is about recognizing family livestock farms,  their positive impact on the economy, the treatment of their livestock, land management, conservation practices and the family’s work outside of the farm.

“In this case, you’ve got a family that has been involved in everything from the church heavily, to 4-H, the county fair, FFA and just giving back to the community in a variety of ways,” Naig said.

The Scranton family farm has a Beef Quality Assurance certificate for the 3,000 cows they have capacity for. With performance beef software and partnerships with Iowa State University, the Eason Family Farm has helped improve the beef industry by participating in research projects, according to a press release.

The Eason Family Farm was named a Heritage Farm in 2021, meaning it has been in the family for 150 years. The 1,200-acre farm grows corn, soybeans and hay. For the past decade, they have been using rye as a cover crop to protect and benefit soil, nutrients and water quality.

Fourth-generation family members Bob Eason and Peg Eason run the farm with their son Curt Eason, his with Angela Eason, their daughter Linda Schroeder and her husband Dave Shroeder. The sixth generation, sons of Dave and Linda, are Ryan Shroeder and his wife Lexi Shroeder, and Brent Schroeder and his wife Amada Shroeder.

“You got the seventh generation of the family running around here, kids today, and that’s great to see,” Naig said. “One of the hallmarks we see oftentimes in a livestock family is that there is room for multiple generations in an operation.”

Iowa Cover Crop was not able to receive their Ag Leader Award for Conservation at the ceremony in February, so Naig visited to give the certificate in person and tour the business.

Naig said meeting with farmers throughout the state, especially before spring planting, helps him connect and understand the needs and concerns of the farmer. 

“It’s great to be in a room full of farmers, there’s always something going on in people’s minds,” Naig said. 

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