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Bormanns are Youth Farm Achievement winners

By Jean Caspers-Simmet

Date Modified: 01/08/2014 3:55 PM

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DES MOINES —Kossuth County farmers Matt and Nancy Bormann won the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation's 2013 Young Farmer Achievement Award at the organization's annual meeting in Des Moines last week.

The contest honors young farmers who show outstanding management ability in their operations and involvement in Farm Bureau and community activities. Receiving second place in the contest was Kevin Pope, of Cerro Gordo County, and Bonnie and Will Larson, of Ringgold County, received third place.

The Bormanns, who live at Lu Verne, custom feed hogs, grow conventional corn and soybeans, seed corn and soybeans and added a 500-head cattle hoop barn that they lease to local farmers. The Bormanns have experimented with strip-till farming and perform custom strip-till work.

The Bormanns have both served Farm Bureau and the agriculture community in various capacities. Matt is finishing up his term as Kossuth County president. Nancy is a certified professional agronomist, is a county soil and water conservation commissioner and is a member of the Iowa State University Honors Alumni Board.

Nancy has an environmental science degree from ISU and a master's degree in soil science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She said she likes applying her skills to their operation to get the maximum return they can while being as environmentally friendly as possible.

The couple has two young sons, Reece and Quinn.

"My hope for the future is that no matter what our sons decide to do, they'll know where their food comes from and have a real appreciation for the land," Nancy said.

"My dad and brothers are farming with me," said Matt. "That's always been our dream. I've bought some farms already. I've traded equipment that I never thought I'd even own. We've had some good years farming. Farming is a very rewarding profession. It's what I've always wanted to do, and I love it."

As award winners, the Bormanns received their choice of the use of a John Deere tractor/loader combo (5-7R Series) for one year (or 300 hours) or a TX Gator. In addition, the Bormanns received a 90-day NPNI John Deere Financial Certificate. They also will receive expense-paid trips to the 2014 American Farm Bureau annual convention in San Antonio to represent Iowa in the National Young Farmer Achievement competition, the 2014 GrowMark annual meeting in Chicago and the 2014 IFBF Young Farmer conference.

Pope grows corn, soybeans, and hybrid seed corn near Mason City. He founded a chemical application business to diversify the farm operation and he recently added drainage on his farm to improve soil health and yields. He also does custom-tiling work for neighbors and friends.

Pope has been president of the Cerro Gordo County Farm Bureau and is a graduate of Iowa Farm Bureau's Ag Leaders Institute.

"What I've learned in the last 14 years couldn't even fit on a sheet of paper," Pope said. "I learn something new every day that can contribute to my operation. You're in control of the outcome of your goals. You can row your boat any way you want.That's what I enjoy about it."

Larson manages her family's feed efficiency center in Diagonal, one of the first of its kind in the nation. The center collects individual feed efficiency data on registered cattle. She also assists her husband, Will, with a cattle ultrasound business and helps with the family's 500-head registered cattle operation. The Larsons also operate a row-crop and commercial cattle business in partnership with Will's brothers.