Tony Schwark Profile

Tony Schwarck – Mitchell County

It was in my blood,” Tony Schwarck said with a grin. “I couldn’t wait to start farming.”

Tony Schwarck, a Mitchell County farmer, always looked up to his father and grandfather. Not only were these two men his heroes growing up, but they set the groundwork for what would become a lifestyle for Tony and his wife Aarika, along with their two children, Axton and Annalee.

Tony’s passion for agriculture flourished early, watching and helping his father and grandfather run a successful cow calf operation. That cow calf operation eventually came to an end, but Tony’s ambition to farm did not. Now 18 years into farming, Tony farms 2000 acres of corn and soybeans along with Aarika, with special appearances from his father and grandfather occasionally. When they’re not in the fields planting, spraying or harvesting, you can find the Schwarck family tending to their livestock.

Shortly after tying the knot, Tony and Aarika set out with the goal of adding diversification to their impressive real crop operation. Cattle seemed to be a good fit.

Tony proudly feeds his cattle what he calls a “Midwest finisher.” Not only does this Midwest finisher consist of a corn-based diet, but it also entails distillers grain, which is a byproduct of the ethanol industry. Tony points out that the relationship between distillers grain and being a corn grower is one that’s mutually beneficial. “Corn and ethanol go hand-in-hand,” Tony said. “Here in rural Iowa, corn is king. The ethanol industry gives us access to a great market to sell our corn. In return, we’re getting clean fuel to burn in our cars and a great product to feed our livestock. It’s a win-win.”

While most of the Schwarck family’s success in their farming operation comes from their crops and cattle, those aren’t the only two things that Tony is passionate about when it comes to agriculture. Tony is also cognizant of the impact their farming operation has on water conservation, implementing buffer strips and cover crop practices methodically to ensure that water leaving their farm is infiltrated. “Clean water is extremely important to us,” Tony said, “People often ask, ‘how do we know you’re not polluting?’ Well, our cattle are drinking from this well, we are drinking from this well, we’re raising a family drinking from this well.” Tony and his family are proud to say they’re actively making sure that they’re doing everything they can to make sure the water leaving their farm is clean.

Tony and Aarika enjoy every moment of what they do. Rather than seeing farming as a job or a career, they refer to it as a way of life; something they enjoy doing day-in and day-out. The Schwarcks hope to have a farming operation that will thrive for years and generations to come; continuing a legacy that started many years ago. “There are some days that are better than others,” Tony admitted, “but to me, there’s no better feeling than getting up, going out and starting chores. The cattle are always happy to see the feed truck and they greet me with a smile.”