Swanson built and manages a 10-acre vegetable farm for a foodservice company called Hendrick House, located in Champaign/Urbana, Illinois. She is a trained chef and after leaving high end restaurants in 2011, Swanson wanted to bring a farm-to-table concept to a forgotten segment of the food industry, institutional foodservice. She has spent the last seven years training and educating foodservice workers and the community on locally sourced food, creating and executing educational programs for Hendrick House employees, community youth workshops and also created a fully illustrated book to guide the community on how to handle, store and prepare fresh vegetables. Swanson has partnered with local schools to build a teaching farm and has also written a culinary program for the local community college, which is scheduled to launch fall of 2019. She founded Allerton’s annual Forest to Mansion Dinner, featuring a menu created around spring foraged ingredients in the park. She also participates in local farm-to-table dinners in the community. Swanson is an active participant in SARE and currently sits on the NRCS Farm Rancher Review Committee.