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Starner Farms chosen winner of Good Farm Neighbor Award

A Grant County hog production business has been selected as the monthly winner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's (MDA) Good Farm Neighbor Award.

Starner Farms, owned and operated by David and Mark Starner of rural Hoffman, includes an 800 sow farrow-to-finish business and 600 acres of cropland.

Starner Farms uses best management practices in field crop operation. Dave Starner says all manure is pumped to the field and knifed into the soil. He says rotational practices that maximize the utility of livestock manure are carefully followed.

"We also consult with specialists who monitor our cropping program. They make recommendations for fertility and pest control practices that are most beneficial to production and to protection of the environment," said Starner.

Filter strips have been created around sensitive areas of the farm and the result has been an exploding pheasant population. Dave Starner says it's important that Starner Farms is recognized as practicing good environmental stewardship.

"We're one of the last pork producers in Grant County and we've been here for generations so it's important to us that people think we're responsible and that we're doing a good job."

The monthly Good Farm Neighbor Award honors farmers who show the utmost concern for their neighbors, their animals and the environment. Winners 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.

Nomination forms can be e-mailed to or mailed to Good Farm Neighbor Award, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, 625 North Robert Street, St. Paul, MN 55155. A link with a downloadable nomination form is also on the MDA Web site at