#WomenInAg recognizes the contributions of women involved in agriculture during Women’s History Month (March). AFBF is proud to salute Krista Swanson, an Illinois farmer and Farm Bureau leader!
Swanson is a member of Illinois Farm Bureau’s Farm Production & Marketing group, a Strength with Advisory Team, which helps surface emerging topics in agriculture and provide a vision for the organization. She’s also involved in the Illinois Farm Families program, which focuses on consumer outreach through a variety of avenues. Swanson and her husband, Brett, were runners-up for the Illinois Farm Bureau Excellence in Agriculture Award in 2017 and 2018. In 2017, she served as chair of her county Farm Bureau’s Young Leader Committee. On the national level, Swanson is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Grassroots Outreach (GO) Team and a graduate of AFBF’s Women’s Communications Boot Camp.
With her husband and his family, Swanson grows corn and soybeans. The couple, both fifth-generation farmers, also own and operate a seed business, serving customers with oversight of lawns, waterways, forages and agriculture crops.
Off the farm, Swanson is a research specialist in the University of Illinois’ Agriculture & Consumer Economics Department. Her work centers on analyzing how federal policy impacts agriculture at the farm level. This includes summarizing research for the university’s “farmdoc” website, formal papers and event presentations. She earned a bachelor’s degree in crop sciences and a master’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois.
Through her blog, The Real Housewives of Rural Illinois, Swanson reflects on farm life, faith, family and two of her favorite hobbies – fitness and food – which she hopes cancel each other out! She and her husband are raising three young daughters and will welcome a new baby over the summer.
“I love being a part of agriculture on so many levels, from farmer to business owner, from volunteer to policy analyst,” Swanson said. She enjoys seeing how she can make connections in those roles to impact and shape the future of agriculture.