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Farm Family since 1873 begins cheesemaking

“Farmers typically expand their operations by adding more land or by increasing their livestock numbers. But Kris and Scott Swanson are anything but typical. At middle age, the couple decided to expand their operation by going into the cheese making business.

“This farm was homesteaded in 1873 by my great-great-great grandfather Gunder Gunderson,” said Scott. “Our kids are the seventh generation of our family to farm this land.”

The Swansons farm about 1,500 acres and have three children: Olivia (23), who is married to Ethan Amundson and is majoring in animal science at SDSU; Levi (22), a general ag student at SDSU; and Lane (19), who is studying diesel mechanics at Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown.

In addition to their cropping operation, the Swansons have about 200 head of beef cattle and custom feed dairy heifers for nearby Boadwine Dairy. Until recently, that was the extent of their involvement with the dairy

Valley Side Farm

PHOTO BY JERRY NELSON/DAIRY STAR

industry.

“I grew up on a small dairy farm at Westbrook, Minn.,” said Kris. “Dad milked about 30 head. And when I was in high school, I was the Cottonwood County Dairy Princess.”

After high school, Kris became a Registered Nurse. She then worked for many years in the nursing home industry.

The seed for the Swansons’ cheese making venture was planted some time ago by a neighbor who owns a winery.”

via STPNS – Say cheese, Westbrook, Minnesota.

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