(Photo: Joclyn Bushman/Iowa Soybean Association)
Meet the Director: Dave Walton
January 4, 2023
Title: District 6 Director
ISA Committees: Information & Education, Demand
What crops and livestock do you have on your farm?
Soybeans, corn, alfalfa, mixed hay and pastures. I also raise beef cattle, sheep and cow-calf pairs and run a small feedlot.
What do you want farmers to know about the use of their checkoff dollars on the committees you serve?
We take those checkoff dollars and leverage them through partnerships. Because of this process, farmers get a bigger bang for our buck on checkoff dollars. We’re strategic; we take the utmost care in spending those dollars, just as we’d spend our own money.
What are your hobbies?
Hunting and fishing. I also like to do a little bit of furniture-grade woodworking, such as clocks and cabinetry.
What makes your farm unique?
We farm some ground that goes back almost 170 years on my wife’s side of the family. We farm about two miles from where our family originally homesteaded in Iowa before it was a state.
How does your personal philosophy match the mission of ISA?
I like to think things through strategically. I look at issues and situations like a chess game; as I move this piece, what’s the response and how are we planning out two, three and four steps ahead? When I joined the ISA board, it was quickly apparent that there’s a similar culture at ISA. We’re not dealing with just today- and tomorrow type issues; we’re looking down the road and trying to solve problems before they become big problems at the farm gate. That aligns well with how I think about things.
How do you define success on the farm?
Success is being able to hand off the farm in a financially stable, productive state to the next generation. When I step away, I want to know the farm can support and sustain productivity for years to come.
What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
I coached swimming, part-time professionally, for 10 years. Several of my swimmers qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials and numerous athletes swam collegiately at Division I to small private colleges. I research and grow heirloom corn varieties, some dating back to colonial times. It started as a research project but has evolved into growing some of the heirloom corn because of its flavor profiles and interesting plant architecture.