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For Immediate Release
Friday, May 19, 2017

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


Award to be presented May 24 at the Hunter family farm

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today announced that Mike and Nick Hunter from Lucas County have been named the winners of the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award.  The Hunters are brothers that farm together and do custom cattle feeding and also have a cow-calf operation.  They also raise corn, soybeans and hay and have a Christmas tree farm, selling about 700 trees each year.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey will present the award to the family on Wednesday, May 24 at the Hunter’s farm, 20477 Hwy 34, Chariton.  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.

“It is great to be able to recognize another Iowa family that is committed to the livestock industry and doing things right.  Mike and Nick, and their families, are passionate about caring for their animals, protecting the environment and serving their neighbors and community and are deserving recipients of the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award,” Northey said.

The family was nominated for the award by John Glenn who is with the Rathbun Land and Water Alliance.  In his nomination, he highlighted Mike and Nick’s commitment to animal welfare and environmental protection.

The Hunters have installed two sediment basins, 200 acres of filter strips along the Chariton River, built nearly 20,000 feet of terraces, use contour farming, crop rotation, no-till and cover crops.  The family has been recognized by the Natural Heritage Foundation and received the Rathbun Lake Protector Award for their conservation work.

The brothers are also very active in the community and have been involved in the Lucas County Cattlemen, Iowa Farm Bureau, Iowa Soybean Association Board of Directors, Trees Forever, Chariton School Board, Lucas County Fair Board and 4-H Youth Committee.

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  They can also visit the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers website to submit a nomination electronically at


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