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Why These Two Unconventional Farmers are Turning Heads in Iowa

Wild, unconventional, early adopters. It’s not uncommon for Nate Huntley or Josh Nelson to turn a few heads in Wright County, Iowa. The two young men who farm on opposite sides of the county met five years ago when they were elected to the Wright County Soil and Water Conservation District. They quickly realized they had a lot in common — not only did their daughters attend the same dance studio, but they both raise pigs for Smithfield Foods and are passionate about sustainable farming. Although their journeys to become farmers are quite different, both are rising as leaders in sustainable farming practices.


Growing up on a family-owned farm, Huntley went to Iowa State University to pursue a degree. However, partway into his animal science degree, his grandpa was no longer able to do as much on the farm, so Huntley returned home to help the family.

April 20, 2023



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