Posted on April 19, 2011 at 11:50 AM by Global Reach
Ronald Swanson was a member of the Lincoln Leader’s 4-H Club in Wright County for nine years including serving as County President of Boy’s 4-H and Wright County 4-H Fun Night King. His major project was showing Holstein dairy cattle.
While attending Iowa State University he worked as one of the Supervisors of the Youth Inn at the Iowa State Fair. It was during that time that he met his future wife, Florine Schulte, who was a 4-H exhibit building assistant in the home improvement department.
Ron began farming in Wright County after graduating from Iowa State University in 1961 with a degree in Agriculture and served in the National Guard. He has made service to others an integral part of his career including serving on the Woolstock Coop Board and the Wright County REC board, on the Clarion Community School board, and Saint John’s Church council and trustee of the church cemetery. But much of his leadership in agriculture has been at the state and national level including Past President of the Central Iowa Farm Business Association, Past-President of the Iowa Corn Growers Association and the Iowa Corn Promotion board, on the National Corn Growers Association Board as the Vice-President of Research and Development, past president of the Farm Financial Standards Council, and a member of the Advisory Committee of the Federal Grain Inspection Service of the USDA as well as the Advisory Council of the Seed Center at Iowa State University. Ron has participated in Harvard University’s Graduate School Agribusiness seminars including receiving the Brian Davidson Fellowship in 1996. He currently services on the Board of Directors of Agri-wellness, a regional mental health organization.
Ron and Florine were named Master Farmers in 1997. In 2000 they completed the Lay Ministry Program of the Catholic Church.
The Swansons have 3 sons who were all active members in 4-H including two participating in national 4-H Congress and one on the state 4-H Council. In addition they have 9 grandchildren, of which 6 are current 4-H members in Wright and Marion County.
During Florine’s 18 years as Executive Director of the Iowa 4-H Foundation, Ron was the supporting spouse who kept the farm and household running smoothly so Florine could be on the road for 4-H. In addition he spent many weekends attending 4-H award programs and county fairs. The Swansons are major donors to the 4-H program and Iowa State University including most recently establishing a bequest that will support the 4-H Center’s program and the Beginning Farmer Center at ISU. In addition they sponsor a scholarship each year for a 4-H member who will be attending the University of Northern Iowa majoring in Elementary Education.
If there ever was a household that bleeds green, it is the Swansons.