Magazine’s “Prettiest Farm” is in rural Shelby County
ELK HORN — Deb and James Bieker of rural Elk Horn are the proud winners of the 2022 Prettiest Farm distinction for the Our Iowa magazine. Eight years ago, their family friend Deb Hastert went to the couple’s home and took several pictures of the farm. Hastert then submitted those photos to the magazine as a recommendation to be chosen for the feature. Eight years later, the Bieker family was finally chosen.
“I was the Shelby County Hawk-Eye for the magazine for several years,” Hasert said. “It was great to receive notification recently from the magazine that after all these years, their farm was selected.”
The Biekers were shocked when they first found out about the award.
“The editor of the magazine knocked on our door just unexpectedly and said somebody had recommended our farm for the award,” Deb said. “I’ve gotten the magazine for years, so I knew what that was all about, and I was like, really?”
Deb’s late husband’s family originally owned the farm. The pair bought the house from his family in 1973. When the Biekers first moved onto the farm, the house had no running water, and the previous family had to use an outhouse.
“We actually worked on it for a whole year. We lived a half mile east, and I came over here every day. I stripped all the woodwork in the whole house, and we had people come in and do all the plumbing that had to be put in,” Deb said. “It was just an old farmhouse that had never been improved.”
The Biekers stay very busy. James works at Marne Elk Horn Telephone Company and says that Deb is the busiest retired woman he knows. During her free time, she enjoys photography, quilting, gardening, and volunteering for the library and her church.