Six Iowa farm families to be recognized at the Iowa State Fair

DES MOINES — Six farm families will receive The Way We Live Award at the 2013 Iowa State Fair Aug. 8 to 18.

DES MOINES — Six farm families will receive The Way We Live Award at the 2013 Iowa State Fair Aug. 8 to 18.

The Way We Live Award recognizes families who demonstrate daily dedication to animal agriculture and exemplify farm values derived from hard work. Entrants were asked to submit a short essay describing how living on a farm and choosing farming has shaped their family's life. The recipients were chosen from a pool of 64 entries.

Each family will receive a prize package including $250 cash, fair admission tickets, free parking, fair food tickets, and recognition in the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center.

This year's families are:

Metzger Family, Lester


Rodney and Polly Metzger's farm includes 500-plus Jersey cows, heifers, calves and bulls. Their children, Emma, 23, Vance, 21, Eric, 18, Neil, 16, and Toby, 14, were all active in 4-H and FFA when they were younger and had an assortment of jobs around the farm, whether it was bottle feeding the lambs, searching for chicken eggs or fattening up the runt pigs. After high school, Emma went to college for Dairy Science and returned to the dairy farm, wanting the lifestyle she grew up with. Vance works full-time on the farm, and Eric, Neil and Toby all plan to be involved with the farm after graduation.

Zelle Family, Waverly

Ron and Mary Beth Zelle grew up on farms in Iowa, Ron in Waverly and Mary Beth in Hampton. In 1987, Ron and Mary Beth were married and made their home in Nashua. When Ron's father died in 1996, the couple moved their family to the Waverly farm. Originally purchased in 1934 by Ron's grandfather, the farm raises sheep and grows corn, soybeans, oats and hay on 300 acres in Bremer County. Their children are Ben and Deborah.

Anderson Family, Boone

Dale and Kay Anderson's 120-acre century farm has been in the family for five generations. The family raises corn, soybeans, oats, alfalfa and has a 150-head cow-calf herd. Their son, Axel, and daughter, Laura Loots, followed in their footsteps and now work alongside their parents caring for the cattle and crops.

Boyle Family, Danbury

Duane and Mindy Boyle, his high school sweetheart and wife of 13 years, continue to grow and diversify their farm. The Boyles, along with their three children, Carter, 13, Madison, 12, and Mya, 5, farm 600 acres, 460 of which they own, and 100 additional acres. The Boyles have 90 stock cows, 30 ewes, a sow farrow-to-finish operation and 120 cattle.

Pellett Family, Atlantic


Brad and Kristy Pellett are sixth-generation farmers in Cass County who found love at the 1996 Iowa State Fair. Kristy, from California, was a Barn Tour guide for the fair and Brad was assistant beef superintendent. After graduating from California Poly Tech in agriculture, Kristy moved to Iowa and they were married a year later. Brad graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Animal Science and then returned to his family farm in Atlantic with his father and brother. They farm 2,400 acres of corn, soybeans and alfalfa. They have three children, Connor, 12, Caroline, 10, and Claire, 7.

Seyb Family, Donnellson

Dennis and Liza Seyb not only run their farm but promote farming, too. Dennis's great grandfather began the farm and then passed it down to his two sons, Darrell and Harvey. Darrell's sons, Dennis and Doug. Dennis and Liza operate the farm. Dennis and Liza have two children, Tucker, 25, and Hannah, 23.

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