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Lon Tonneson serves as editor and content director of Dakota Farmer.
“It’s challenging covering the Dakotas,” Lon says.
More than 40 crops and at least six species of livestock are raised commercially in North Dakota and South Dakota. The Corn belt is expanding north and west, transforming agriculture in the Dakotas. Many farmers and ranchers are eagerly adopting new technology to take advantage of the opportunities to produce more and reduce costs.
Through the articles he has written and photographed, Lon has helped further the adoption of no-till, precision farming systems, intensely management grazing systems, the re-integration of livestock into crop farms, the use of the cover crops and many innovative conservation measures.
Lon graduated from Baltic, S.D., High School, served four years in the Air Force, graduated from South Dakota State University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, co-owned his hometown weekly newspaper and helped start a Sioux Falls, S.D., weekly newspaper before joining the staff of The Farmer/Dakota Farmer magazines in 1981.
“My grandparents farmed and my parents supplemented their income with part-time farming. I’ve done the same. It’s very rewarding work, and there are constantly new things to learn,” Lon says. “I find myself constantly trying to keep up.”
He especially enjoys covering the business side of farming and ranching.
“I went broke running a newspaper right out of college,” Lon says, “but it sparked a life-long interest in what makes businesses successful. I’m always looking for tips and ideas that I can learn from and pass on to others.”