Secretary Naig Honors the Oshel Family with the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award

Rick and Beth Oshel, of Clarke Co., receive the award for outstanding leadership in agriculture

DES MOINES, Iowa (March 21, 2019) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig presented the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award to Rick and Beth Oshel, livestock farmers in Clarke County. Naig presented the award to the family on Friday, March 15.

Rick and Beth pasture their cattle in a rotational system. Since they moved to the farm in 1987, the family has invested in terraces, waterways and have built seven ponds with the goal of improving water quality.

“The Oshels are leaders in environmental stewardship, animal husbandry and community involvement. It is an honor to present them with the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award,” said Naig. “I commend them for their involvement in the community, dedication to mentoring young farmers and their exemplary efforts to care for their land and their livestock.”

As leaders in their community, the couple supports many youth organizations and serves in numerous leadership roles. Rick is involved in the Clarke County Cattlemen, the Clarke County Soil and Water Conservation Committee and the Iowa Bankers Association Ag Committee. Beth was president of the PEO and is involved in the Research Club. Both are members of the Osceola Alumni FFA Chapter and are involved with Clarke County 4-H.

The Oshels were nominated by a neighbor and friend, Darwin Downing.

“I believe Rick and Beth's greatest accomplishments are the things they do for other people in the neighborhood,” stated Downing. He had numerous examples of how the Oshels are involved in their community, from organizing the county fair’s premium sale to finishing fieldwork for a farmer in need. 

“I describe Rick and Beth as good neighbors who are always lending a helping hand and expecting nothing in return,” said Downing. “The coffee pot is always on and the friendship is always extended.”

The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor award is made possible thanks to financial support of the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers. This award recognizes Iowa livestock farmers who take pride in caring for the environment, 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.


Oschel Family with Secretary Mike Naig, Bob Quinn from the BIG Show, and Brian Waddingham from the Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers
Pictured from left to right: Bob Quinn from the BIG Show, Darwin Downing, Secretary Mike Naig, daughter Ann with her son Hayden, Rick Oshel, Beth Oshel, daughter Erin with her daughter Tara and husband Matt and Brian Waddingham from the Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers



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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