Iowa soybean grower on his farm

(Photo: Joclyn Bushman/Iowa Soybean Association)

Member Feature: Tony Schwarck

July 19, 2022 | Kriss Nelson

“An eye-opening experience," is how Tony Schwarck, an Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) farmer member describes his participation on ISA’s District Advisory Council (DAC).

DAC consists of Iowa soybean farmer-leaders and industry professionals who provide input and insight to the ISA board and staff while engaging in various program activities designed to promote the soy industry.

Schwarck and his wife Aarika grow soybeans and corn on their farm near Riceville in Mitchell County.

“We work alongside family members,” Schwarck says. “Whether it is my brother, dad or grandpa, we are all involved in the family farm.”

Within the past 10 years, the Schwarcks have also started raising cattle to diversify their operation.

Conservation minded, they have installed buffer strips and utilize cover crops along with their corn and soybean rotation. The sensitive areas of their farm ground have also been enrolled in CRP and watershed programs.

An added benefit to these conservation practices? They are leaving habitats for wildlife. Something Schwarck says his grandfather also is passionate about doing.

The Time is Now

When asked to serve as a District 2 delegate for DAC, Schwarck says he decided it was time to become involved and help tell agriculture’s story.

“The time is now,” he says. “Agriculture is at a pivotal point; we need to tell our story, and we need associations like the Iowa Soybean Association. We have to let people know we protect our soils and water and do our best to feed the world. What farmers are doing is truly amazing.”

Schwarck encourages others to join ISA, noting how membership has opened doors to other opportunities.

“Without that membership, we might not have opened this door,” he says.

Being involved has also given Schwarck a front-row seat into some behind-the-scenes workings of ISA.

“It’s been an eye-opening experience when you sit through some of those sessions to see what the Iowa Soybean Association is doing,” he says. “That’s another reason to get involved. So you can see what is going on.”