The Mehmen family: (from left) Kyle, Kerri, Karmen and Stan.
The Mehmen family: (from left) Kyle, Kerri, Karmen and Stan.

Approximately 800 people from Butler, Bremer, Chickasaw and Floyd counties in Iowa attended an ag celebration hosted by a Butler County farm family near Plainfield on Sept. 7. 

Stan and Karmen Mehmen and Kyle and Kerri Mehmen of MBS Family Farms celebrated Stan and Karmen’s 40th wedding anniversary and their farm’s 40th year in business by inviting more than 2,000 neighbors, community members, MBS employees, city and county government officials, chambers of commerce, educators and more to an open house.

The Mehmens partnered with the Butler County Farm Bureau on the event with a goal of fostering a greater understanding and appreciation for farming. A free pork dinner, demonstrations, panel discussions, tours, auto steer tractor rides and a children’s inflatable bouncer were among the activities offered.

“We believe that it was time well spent. We have received several great compliments and then people saying how they didn’t realize something about us and now they do,” Kerri Mehmen said. “One of our main goals was to help educate people who had questions about modern day agricultural issues and I feel we accomplished that.”

The Iowa Pork Producers Association was one of about a dozen different organizations that the Mehmens invited to exhibit at the event and discuss animal welfare, water quality, GMOs and other hot button ag issues with visitors. Four staff members attended and answered questions and gathered consumers’ thoughts about modern production practices through a short survey. IPPA offered recipes, production facts, giveaway items and a grilling package door prize. The pork loin served for dinner was sponsored by IPPA and the Chickasaw County Pork Producers grilled the loins.

MBS Family Farms is a multi-faceted business with operations in Iowa and southern Minnesota, primarily involving row crop production, that support 20 different families. The Mehmens also own about a dozen modern hog finishing buildings that they rent to various pork producers.