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The Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts’ annual awards program recognizes top conservation cooperators.

Paula Mohr, Editor, The Farmer

November 3, 2022

2 Min Read
aerial view of rural farm land and farmstead
LAND LEGACY: Landowners and others who practice conservation and care for Minnesota natural resources are recognized annually by the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts and The Farmer magazine. Dave Hansen

Eight finalists have been named in the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts’ 2022 Outstanding Conservationist Award program.

The winner will be announced during an awards luncheon Dec. 14 at the 86th annual MASWCD annual meeting, which concludes the three-day conference, Dec. 12-14, at the Doubletree by Hilton Bloomington (Minn.).

The award program recognizes farm families, individuals, conservation organizations and other groups for their accomplishments in implementing conservation practices and improving Minnesota’s natural resources. The program is sponsored by MASWCD, with support from The Farmer magazine. The Farmer has helped recognize statewide conservation programs for more than four decades.

MASWCD gathers nominations for conservation awards from local SWCDs. From this pool of nominations, eight area outstanding conservationists are selected. From the top eight nominees, one state winner is selected and honored as Outstanding Conservationist of the Year.

Selected as 2022 area conservation finalists are:

  1. Northwest Area 1. Brent and Samie Gilbertson, Detroit Lakes; nominated by Becker SWCD. Brent and Samie Gilbertson operate a 1,000-acre farm and raise 80 head of Angus cow-calf pairs.

  2. West Central, Area 2. The Tschida family farm, Pierz; nominated by Morrison SWCD. Don and Mary Tschida, along with son Calvin, operate a beef and chicken farm.

  3. Northeast Area 3. Ann Gustafson, Leaning Barn Farm, Esko; nominated by Carlton SWCD. Ann Gustafson and her family operate Leaning Barn Farm, growing U-pick blueberries, Christmas trees and vegetables.

  4. Metro Area 4. A&L Peterson Farms Inc., Clear Lake; nominated by Sherburne SWCD. A & L Peterson Farms Inc, operated by Ryan and Nick Peterson, is a corn, soybean, edible beans and small grains operation.

  5. Southwest Area 5. Fultz Farms Inc., Tracy; nominated by Redwood SWCD. Jay, James, Dennis, Brian and Eric Fultz operate a swine finishing and crop farm, raising corn and soybeans.

  6. South Central Area 6. Scott and Janet Hermel, North Mankato; nominated by Blue Earth SWCD. Scott and Janet Hermel enrolled 114 acres of their farmland into the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program for wetland restoration.

  7. Southeast Area 7. Eric and Michelle Heins, Altura; nominated by Wabasha SWCD. Eric and Michelle Heins of Hoosier Ridge Ranch raise grass-fed and -finished Normande beef and grow small grains.

  8. North Central Area 8. Kristie Roedl, Crosslake; nominated by Crow Wing SWCD. Kristie Roedl is active in promoting and supporting native shoreland restoration projects surrounding the Whitefish Chain of Lakes with individuals and communities.

Learn more about the MASWCD convention.



About the Author(s)

Paula Mohr

Editor, The Farmer

Mohr is former editor of The Farmer.

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