‘We need more guys like him’

WILLIAMS – Carroll Ose and his family are always willing to lend a helping hand. In recognition of his many years of service to the community through many organizations, Ose and his wife, Judy, were given the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award on Thursday.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey was present at Titan Machinery’s building near Williams to present the couple with November’s award. He said the award recognizes Iowa farmers and livestock producers who make Iowa a great place to live not only economically but also in their community.

“People get a mistaken impression that not a lot of good stuff is happening. We all know that’s not true,” Northey said. “We’ve got some of the best people in the world in the people that help build our communities.”

Carroll Ose and his family run a wean to finish hog operation, raise corn, soybeans and seed corn on their farm near Blairsburg. He is involved in the Blairsburg Co-op, Hamilton County NRCS, FSA, Lions Club and he chairs the Van Diest Medical Center Board of Trustees. However, it was regular kindness and giving that brought his neighbor, Randy Greufe, to nominate him for the award. Greufe said he listens to WHO, who broadcast the ceremony, and had considered nominating the Ose family for years.

In addition to the many groups Carroll Ose is involved in, Greufe said he’s always willing to lend equipment, plow neighbor’s drives and help someone in need.

“He’s mad if he can’t help you,” Greufe said. “He just likes to help people. We need more guys like him.”

One day, Carroll Ose was out on his combine and received a call from Brian Waddingham, Executive Director of the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers. Of the nominations, Waddingham told him that his family was their unanimous choice to receive the award. Carroll Ose said that upon researching the award, he came to realize the high honor he was to receive.

The award is named in memory of Gary Wergin, who was a long-time WHO Radio farm broadcaster who helped to create the award. The award is sponsored by the coalition that Waddingham heads.

“We were very humbled an honored,” Judy Ose said. “We appreciate our friends and neighbors a lot.”

Carroll Ose said he enjoys helping people and seeing the benefits of that help across the county. One of his efforts along with others is an annual Lions Club fundraiser where members plant trees in Hamilton County and adjacent counties which serve as wind breaks. Since 1985, Carroll Ose said he and Lions Club members have planted between 1,000 and 30,000 trees in a year.

The fundraiser is hard work for those involved. Carroll Ose said member’s knees and pickups are wearing out all at the same time. Even though the club is searching for other venues to raise funds, he can see the results of his work all around him.

“When you do something like that, you have the satisfaction of driving around every year and seeing what your work has turned into. It’s a really great reward,” Carroll Ose said.

He said the award was not something he earned on his own. When he began planting trees, his father was involved with the fundraiser. Both Carroll and Judy Ose come from farm families, and he said the drive to help and volunteer comes from growing up with good friends and good neighbors.

Dozens of people attended the ceremony and applauded along with Northey as they received their award. Carroll Ose said it was nice to be surrounded by friends who cared about his efforts.

“We’re lucky we live where we do. Judy and I are very grateful and thankful to get this award,” Carroll Ose said.

Those interested in nominating their neighbor for the award should write a letter or email explaining why their neighbor should receive the honor. Applications can be submitted to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Attn: Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award, Henry A. Wallace Building, Des Moines, IA 50319 or emailed to communications@iowaagriculture.gov.