The Dennis and Barb Mashek family is the November winner of the "Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award."
Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Jay Johnson will present the award to the Mashek family Monday, Nov. 19, at the Mashek farm at 1701 253rd Ave., Calmar.
The "Big Show," which airs on both WHO and WMT radio, will broadcast live at the presentation from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19.
"It is great to be able to recognize the Masheks, who are not only great farmers, but leaders in the dairy industry and active in their community," Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said.
"In addition to caring for their animals and protecting the land, they go to great lengths to educate non-farmers about what they do on their farm and show visitors where food comes from."
The Masheks operate Hilltop Acres Dairy Farm along with their children Josh, Kylie and Tanner. The family has built an internationally known herd of 170 Brown Swiss cows on their 470-acre farm.
Carrie Corlett, a field representative for Dairy Farmers of America from Castalia, nominated the family for the award. In her nomination, she highlighted the efforts of the Mashek family to care for their animals and the land.
"In addition to maintaining a high-producing, healthy herd of dairy cows, the Mashek family focuses its attention on being good stewards of the land," Corlett said.
The Masheks are also active in the community and have taken a leadership role in opening their farm up to a wide range of visitors to teach them about dairy farming and Iowa agriculture.
They regularly give tours to school children, international visitors and other dairy farmers to showcase what they do on their farm. They have a Facebook page that can be found at facebook.com/hilltopacres.farm.
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 email explaining why their neighbor should receive this designation.
Applications should 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.