Jolene and Kirk Pisel from Humboldt County Named Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award Winners

Award to be presented April 11 at the Gilmore City Cafe

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today announced that Jolene and Kirk Pisel who own and operate JoKir’s Wild Beef in Humboldt County, have been named the winners of the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award.

Naig will present the award to the family on Wednesday, April 11.  The ceremony will be at the Gilmore City Café, 317 S. Gilmore St, in Gilmore City.  The “Big Show,” which airs on both WHO and WMT radio, will broadcast live from the presentation from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“Jolene and Kirk care deeply about their animals, the environment and their community. It is an honor to help recognize them and present the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award to highlight their work and the important role animal agriculture plays in our state,” Naig said.

The Pisel’s operate a century farm that raises crops and finishes 200-300 head of Black Angus/Angus cross cattle annually.  They also operate a retail store on their farm that features their farm raised Black Angus beef, gift baskets, and unique gift items.

The family was nominated for the award by Kelsey Upah who has collaborated with the Pisel’s on a number of community projects.  In her nomination, Upah highlighted the family’s commitment to animal care and protecting the environment in her nomination form.

Upah also praised the family’s commitment to their community through a number of efforts, including hosting pre-school to 2nd grade students from Gilmore City-Bradgate Elementary school on their farm for a “hands-on” math day.

She closed out her nomination saying, “The Pisel family is a family you know you can count on to help with anything. They are some of the most wonderful people in our community and I am blessed to have gotten to know them.”

The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor award, made possible through the financial support of the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers, recognizes Iowa livestock farmers who take pride in doing things right. This includes caring for the environment and their livestock and being good neighbors. It is named in memory of Gary Wergin, a long-time WHO Radio farm broadcaster who helped create the award.

Anyone interested in nominating their neighbor for the award should write a letter or e-mail explaining why their neighbor should receive this designation.  Applications may 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


About the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Led by Secretary Mike Naig, the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship serves the rural and urban residents that call Iowa home. Through its 14 diverse bureaus, the Department ensures animal health, food safety and consumer protection. It also promotes conservation efforts to preserve our land and enhance water quality for the next generation. Learn more at

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