Nathan Anderson and his wife Sarah joined the Anderson family farm after graduating from Iowa State University. Nathan’s farm includes row crop corn and soybeans, a cow-calf herd that is rotationally grazed and other conservation practices such as no-till, strip-till, diverse cover crop mixes, nutrient management, CRP and strategic burning/brush management. In 2017, they expanded their efforts and added a livestock stream exclusion with a watering system.
Nathan returned to the family farm to work alongside his dad, Randy. “It takes people like my dad who are willing to let somebody come back into the farming operation,” Nathan said of his father. The father-son team has made changes to the farm that they believe will enrich the farm for future generations. Nathan participates in on-farm research projects to put data behind his farm decisions and to contribute knowledge to the world of cover crops.
“The excitement on the cover crop side comes from, I think, the knowledge that’s missing, and that we have an opportunity to fill in some of those knowledge gaps,” Nathan commented. “It’s exciting to be at a point where you can add to the knowledge base of a cropping system.”
Nathan serves as an Assistant Commissioner Cherokee County SWCD, Practical Farmers of Iowa Board Member, and Cherokee County Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee member.
Building a Culture of Conservation: “We have a responsibility to care for the land we’ve been entrusted, so the generations after us enjoy the same resources we can. We are passionate about ecology and natural systems and minimizing the off-farm impact of our farming practices. Also, these practices provide a positive return to our farming operation.”
As to what Nathan wants others to know about the importance of conservation he states, “So much of our wealth and productivity as a state is due to the soils we have. Conserving and learning to build health soils are vitally important to the future of our state and of our rural communities. It is the responsibility of everyone in this state to care about and work to improve the resources so important to our livelihood.”
Nathan was recently featured on the Conservation Chat Podcast series. Hear how this young Iowa farmer is making waves and creating a name for himself and his family farm.
Nathan partnered on an Iowa Cover Crop Working Group Cover Crop Mixtures Demonstration Project in 2014-2016.
Nathan and his father, Randy, hosted a 2016 Practical Farmers of Iowa small grains and pasture management field day.