Meet Ryan and Kerri Wagner
Farm: Wagners Inc., near Roslyn, S.D., a closely held family operation. Ryan and Kerri and Ryan’s dad are majority owners and manage the operation.
Acreage: 4,000 acres and also custom farm for others
Row Crops: Corn, soybean and spring wheat
Family: Three children: Grady – 4 ½ years; Anna — 2 ½ years; and Harrison – 7 months
History: Ryan’s grandfather moved to South Dakota to farm in the 1950s; Ryan’s dad and uncles operated the farm in the 1980s. Ryan moved back in 2007 and continues to work with his dad full-time on the farm. The Wagners used to have a diversified operation, including a cattle feedlot until 2004.
Conservation: Wagners Inc. is 100 percent continuous no till, and has been practicing no till for more than 30 years. Ryan’s dad first implemented the practice as a means to conserve moisture. Now they know the additional benefits of soil health and maintaining organisms in the soil. The Wagners have also participated in the federal Conservation Stewardship Program since its early days. Conservation is almost second nature to the region, Ryan says, noting the unique topographical challenges of the Prairie Pothole region of South Dakota.
Why are you participating in the Conservation Exchange?
It gives me an opportunity to go to another part of the country where I can learn some new management practices. I’m also curious about aquaculture as a possible market for soybean meal for fish food.
What do you hope to learn?
Regardless of what industry we are in, we can learn management tips, tricks of trade. I’m also interested in learning about their culture. And I’m looking forward to teaching about our industry and sharing with them.
What else: Ryan is a mechanical engineer and worked in that industry for five years before farming. His wife, Kerri, is a former high school math teacher and now is a full-time mother and farmer.