ILF farmer partner Scott Swanson started out farming part time and eventually made it into a full time career. He grows corn, soybeans, clover/grass, hay and some small grains on his 1,500 acre farm near Ollie in Keokuk County. Scott also has a cow-calf operation.
Since he began farming over 20 years ago, Scott has used no-till to make his farm sustainable and to enhance the health of his soil and to reduce soil erosion. He has installed contour buffers, waterways, terraces, and field borders as well. Seven years ago he began using cover crops on 300 of his acres, trying cereal rye, winter wheat, hairy vetch, radish and turnips. His goal for using cover crops to build soil organic matter and erosion control. Swanson says in the long run, these conservation practices don’t cost as much as one might think.
Swanson and his wife, Julie, have two children, Jenna and Joel. He is a member of the Extension Council, a 4-H Clover Kids leader, and a member of the Methodist church.