(Photo: Joclyn Bushman/Iowa Soybean Association)

Member Feature: Spencer Collins

July 19, 2022 | Jeff Hutton

Farming is more than an occupation – it’s a calling. And for Spencer Collins, that calling is what feeds his soul.

“I grew up on a row crop and cow-calf farm outside Adel. And ever since I was a young kid, it’s just how I envisioned my life. There’s nothing else I’d rather do,” he says.

Having just finished his junior year in agriculture studies at Iowa State University, Collins will return to Ames in August. A member of the Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR) fraternity, Collins has gained valuable insight from other farm students during his time at Iowa State and hands-on experience through internships with Heartland Cooperative and Syngenta.

“Between those two summers, I learned so much. I met many connections throughout the industry who have helped me,” he says. “And AGR has been a great experience for me. I have met a ton of people and made some connections; some are my best friends that will last forever.”

Those internships and time spent with his fraternity brothers have helped solidify Collins’ desire to make his life on the farm.

“A passion for agriculture started with my grandpa, was passed through my dad and now to me,” Collins says. “There’s nothing like being able to watch things grow or raising a baby calf to market.”

Valuable Insight

Collins has also gained insight from the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) and participating in its Soy Squad program.

Most interesting for Collins was the knowledge he gained about the work that goes into lobbying and developing ag policies to benefit Iowa farmers.

“As farmers, we take much of this work for granted. Being on the Soy Squad really opened up my eyes about how lucky we are to have such good organizations, including ISA and the Iowa Corn Growers Association, fighting for us in getting better markets and legislation.”

A Way of Life

Although he’s not overlooking the importance of his upcoming senior year at ISU, Collins is ready to get back to work on the Dallas County soil, despite the always turbulent nature of farming.

“It’ll be a challenge, but the kind of a challenge I’m ready to take on,” he says. “There will be hardships and struggles, just like anything in life. But I will buckle down and embrace it.

“For me, farming has never really felt like a job; it’s just more like a way of life.”