Stu Swanson

Stu Swanson – Wright County

Stu Swanson, a third generation farmer from Wright county, has always been a man who loves to see a plan come together. As a child, watching his father and grandfather run their farming operation, Stu quietly planned to someday make farming his career, too. Several years later in 1992, Stu and his wife, Lori, returned to Galt, Iowa, and his plan was complete.

After he graduated from Iowa State University in 1990, Stu went right to work with the Iowa Pork Producers Association in Des Moines, Iowa. Two years into Stu’s time at Iowa Pork, an opportunity to purchase some land near his home of Galt, Iowa arose. Knowing this was his chance to get back to his true passion of agriculture, Stu took the opportunity and left the city to work alongside his father and grandfather on the farm once again.

Almost 30 years after returning to the farm, a lot has changed for Stu. Together, Stu and Lori have raised four daughters (Celeste, Adelai, Lilian, and Delia), all who have been involved in the daily operation of the farm since they were little girls. In fact, three of his four daughters have pursued careers centered around agriculture, something that makes Stu feel extremely proud, both as a father and an Iowa farmer.

When Stu reflects on the decision he made nearly 30 years ago to return to the farm, he is confident that it was the right one. He remains passionate about the work he does and the crops he grows, not only because it supports his own family, but because he knows he’s helping to support other families, both near and far. In fact, most of the corn he grows is sold right down the road to Gold-Eagle Cooperative, where it is processed into poultry and swine feed, helping to nourish and grow the food people eat and enjoy every day.

Stu credits the farm for teaching him many valuable skills and life lessons. Each year, whether it be by Mother Nature or otherwise, he is reminded that he’s not in control of much. Stu’s mantra, “Control what you can and adapt as necessary to make it through the year,” has helped reaffirm that hard work and perseverance, paired with faith, will always prevail. That’s something Stu sees not only in himself, but in his daughters as well. It’s that faith and perseverance that helps him when he’s writing down his plan for the spring during the cold winter months, and it’s that faith again, paired with the love of a good plan coming to fruition, when he sees his crop growing in the summer.

Farming may not be the easies t career choice, but Stu knows the best things in life don’t come easy. As he looks at the family and the farm, he’s reminded of the generations that came before him that set out to do the very same thing. Deep down, Stu knows it wasn’t just chance that brought him back to the farm, it was all part of a bigger plan.