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For Immediate Release
Friday, October 19, 2012

Dustin Vande Hoef
Communications Director
515/281-3375 or 515/326-1616 (cell)
or Dustin.VandeHoef@IowaAgriculture.gov


Award to be presented on Oct. 31 at the Wessling home near Grand Junction

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today announced that Bruce and Jenny Wessling from Grand Junction in Greene County have been named the October winner of the “Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award.”

Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Jay Johnson will present the award to the Wessling family on Wednesday, Oct. 31st at the Wessling home at 1321 X Ave., Grand Junction.  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. on Oct. 31.

“Bruce and Jenny do a great job caring for their animals and protecting the land in addition to being caring neighbors who are active in the community,” Northey said.  “It is great to be able to recognize farm families like the Wesslings that are such a tremendous asset to our rural communities.”

The Wessling family raises hogs on their multi-generation farm and also have a corn and soybean operation.  They also provide facilities for their children and other young people to raise 4-H livestock on their farm.  They have two children, Jolee and Taylor.

Neighbors Steve and Patty Fisher and Scott and Shiela Hebenstreit joined together to nominate the Wesslings for the award.  The Wesslings provide custom farm services for the Fishers and crop share the Hebenstreit’s farm.

In their nomination they cited the Wesslings efforts to take care of the environment and the community as reasons they are deserving of this award.  “The Wesslings go above and beyond in taking care of the ground they farm.  They treat their rented farms like the land was their own.”

The Wesslings have been active in the Iowa Soybean Association’s On-Farm Network to aid research looking at crop nutrient uptake at different applications rates.  They have also participated in the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers Green Farmstead Partner Program that promotes the planting of trees and vegetative buffers around livestock farms.  They were the first livestock farm to participate in the program.

In closing their nomination the Fishers and Hebenstreits said, “Bruce and Jenny are willing and committed to give time to the community they live in.  From their time spent helping 4-H youth with their livestock projects to raising money for improvements to the swimming pool in Grand Junction, Bruce and Jenny give back to their community.”

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 Communications@iowaAgriculture.gov.



Mailing Address: IDALS,  Wallace State Office Building,   502 E. 9th Street,  Des Moines, IA 50319:     PH: 515-281-5321
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