Jenny and Bruce Wessling (left), of Grand Junction, receive the Iowa Pork Producers Association’s Iowa Environmental Steward Award from IPPA President Jamie Schmidt, of Garner.

Wesslings named top stewards

Staff Report
Bruce and Jenny Wessling know how to manage their manure — a critical part of keeping the peace between hog producers and their neighbors in 21st century Iowa.

But the only real smell coming from their Grand Junction family farm is the smell of success.

The Wesslings last month were named Iowa’s top environmental stewards by the Iowa Pork Producers Association.

Bruce and Jenny Wessling received the 2013 Iowa Environmental Steward Award and $1,000 cash during the 42nd annual Iowa Pork Congress banquet in Des Moines.

For starters, according to the IPPA, the Wesslings determined the impact prevailing winds have on siting and which hog barn locations would have the least impact on neighbors.

A vegetative environmental buffer around their farm also reduces particulate matter and odors by up to 90 percent.

The Wesslings finish nearly 19,000 head of hogs at two sites annually under contract with Cargill Pork.

Bruce is the day-to-day operator of the feeder-to-finish business, while Jenny serves as business manager for Wessling Ag.

In addition, the family farms 4,600 acres of corn and soybeans annually.

They also use terraces and grass waterways, and have established buffer strips along creeks, to reduce soil erosion and runoff from their crop acres.

Those practices also provide a home to wildlife.

Previous honors for the Wesslings include the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award in 2012.

They were named 2008 Master Pork Producers by IPPA.

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