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For Immediate Release
Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Dustin Vande Hoef
515/281-3375 or 515/326-1616 (cell)


Award to be presented Jan. 26 at the Iowa Pork Congress in Des Moines

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today announced that Kirk, Kent and Kevin Swanson from Montgomery County have been named the winners of the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey will present the award to the family on Thursday, January 26.   The ceremony will be at the Coalition to Support Iowa Farmer’s booth (1923) at the Iowa Pork Congress, which is held at Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.  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.

“The Swanson family does things right in how they care for their animals, protect the environment and serve their neighbors and community.  It is great to be able to recognize a deserving family like this in front of their peers during Iowa Pork Congress.  Iowa is fortunate to have outstanding livestock farmers like the Swanson family all across the state and I encourage anyone to consider nominating a livestock farmer in your community for this distinguished award,” Northey said.

Kirk, Kent and Kevin own 4 K Farms, which is a farrow-to-finish hog business with 20 boar studs and also sell semen to other hog farmers.

The family was nominated for the award by their neighbor Dennis Carlson.  In his nomination Carlson highlighted the family’s care for the environment and also their active involvement in the community.  The Swanson family has planted a wind break and also uses cover crops, buffer strips and terraces to prevent erosion and protect water quality. 

They are also active in the community including regularly hosting tours of their farm.  The family has helped many young 4-H students get started showing pigs by providing starter pigs and hosting a workshop to help them care for their animals.  Kirk is also the Montgomery County Fair Swine Superintendent and also regularly judge’s swine shows.

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