Humboldt County livestock farmers Jolene and Kirk Pisel were recognized last week as winners of the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award by Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig.

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

“Jolene and Kirk care deeply about their animals, the environment and their community,” Naig said.

The family was nominated for the award by Kelsey Upah, who has collaborated with the Pisels on a number of community projects.

In her nomination, Upah highlighted the family’s commitment to animal care and protecting the environment.

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

“The Pisel family is a family you know you can count on to help with anything,” Upah said. “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 caring for the environment and their livestock and being good neighbors.

Nominations for the award 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