Secor Family Recognized as a Good Farm Neighbor

04-25-2008 in Good Farm Neighbor

For nearly 62 years, three generations of the Bill Secor family have taken pride in farming the right way near Fort Dodge.  And on April 22, more than 100 neighbors and friends gathered to recognize the family patriarch, Bill Sr., as the recipient of the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award.

Attendees streamed into the Secor families’ shop to enjoy fellowship and renew acquaintances.  Many made a beeline to the patriarch of the family, Bill Sr.

“You could read the respect in their eyes and the appreciation they have for him and his family,” said Megan Ritter of the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF).  “They are extremely deserving of the award and truly embody everything that the award stands for.”

The Secors have farmed near Fort Dodge since January 1946.  That’s the year Bill Sr. moved with his parents from a farm near Newton, married and started his own family.  The farm originally was home to a dairy herd, but changed to hogs in the 1960s.

Today, Bill Secor Jr. and his family farrow about 750 sows, raise row crops and are starting to grow grapes for wine.

“It’s easy to be a good neighbor with such great people living all around us,” he said.

The award, presented 10 times annually, is presented in memory of its founder and long-time farm broadcaster Gary Wergin.  It’s sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture, Iowa Ag Radio Network and CSIF.

“The Secor’s exemplify the care for the land and concern for their neighbors that this award was designed to recognize,” said Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey.  “The family is on the forefront of the industry, they are dedicated to the environment and bettering Iowa.   Like other farmers throughout the state, the Secor’s are always there to lend a hand to neighbors in need.”

The entire family is involved in the farm, likely inspired by Bill, Sr. to pursue careers in agriculture.

Bill Jr. and his two sisters, Janet and Suzanne, gathered their children for a family-focused celebration.  Janet mentioned that “Bill Sr.’s grandfather had sent seven of his eight children to Iowa State, even the girls.  And the last child would have gone too, but went to World War I instead.”

All of Bill Sr.’s children also attended ISU.

“The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor award is an opportunity to tell the story of livestock farming in Iowa and of the families who make it so successful,” Northey said.  “Today is a celebration of a lifetime of commitment to farm, family and community.”

Iowans are encouraged to nominate a deserving farm family for the award.  To do so, send a note to Ritter at or Tess Capps, Iowa Department of Agriculture,  In your e-mail, include your name, address, telephone number and what makes your nominee a good farm neighbor.

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