A fifth generation farm family is the November winner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Good Farm Neighbor Award.  Jeron and Brenda Nathe of Melrose, Minn., took over the 275 cow dairy from his parents in 2006.  The Nathe’s give credit to their hard-working family members and employees for numerous quality awards they’ve received as one of the top 10 dairy producers in the state.

Jeron Nathe says developing a sound plan for environmental stewardship is a big part of their dairy operation.  This plan includes working with county, state and national experts to meet environmental regulations and obtain proper permitting in order to reduce the potential for water quality problems.

Nathe says taking care of their animals and providing for wildlife is also part of maintaining a successful farm operation.

“We do everything in our power to make sure our cows are healthy and comfortable.  We have to make a living and I know what we’re doing out here is good,” says Nathe. “And I think people are beginning to understand that farmers are good stewards of the land and everyone needs farmers for food and other things.”

The Nathes also do a lot to create a positive image in the community by hosting events on their farm and staying active in farm and community organizations.

Winners of the MDA’s Good Farm Neighbor Award are selected by a committee representing the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and the MDA.

Nominations can be emailed to margaret.hart@state.mn.us or mailed to Good Farm Neighbor Award, Minnesota Department of Agriculture,

625 North Robert Street, St. Paul, Minnesota, 55155
.  A nomination form can be downloaded here.

Source: Minneosta Department of Agriculture