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SWCD plans 50th anniversary party

The Wadena Soil and Water Conservation District supervisors and staff are hosting a 50th anniversary celebration on June 20.

The Wadena Soil and Water Conservation District was established on May 26, 1958. It was organized by local farmers with the help from the Agriculture Extension Service. Key individuals in the organization of the District at that time were Robert Sommars, Verne Heather, Ben Walz, Ally Bretz and John Rife, the first Board of Supervisors, along with County Extension Agent Miles Rowe.

Early projects consisted of mapping soils on local farms and writing conservation plans, planting trees and renting out a brillion seeder, a no-till drill was added as they years went on. The District staff worked closely with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service staff, back then it was called the Soil Conservation Service. Projects such as ag waste systems, field windbreaks, strip cropping, feedlot diversions and critical area stabilization were installed around Wadena County.

In 1991, the Wetland Conservation Act became law and in the next few years the SWCD staff wrote the first Wadena County Comprehensive Local Water Plan and became coordinators of the plan.

Then came the MPCA County Feedlot Program and now the District has a staff person dedicated to forestry projects and has the County Ag Inspector on staff. The District works with all landowners of Wadena County including, livestock and crop producers, hobby farms, absentee landowners, shoreland owners and people in our five towns. The District continues to educate and put conservation on the land.

The supervisors and staff wish to invite you to attend our 50th Anniversary Celebration by attending a tour of county projects and evening banquet. The day, June 20, will start at 10 a.m. at the Pine Cove Inn on Hwy 71 north of Wadena. Buses will load at 10:30 a.m. to tour projects to the North and stop at the Westside Laestadian Church West of Menahga at noon for lunch. Buses will load again at 1 p.m. and head East and South and West again across the county ending up back at the Pine Cove Inn for social time, a great buffet dinner, entertainment and a program of "50 Years of Conservation."

If you would like to attend, contact the Wadena SWCD at 218-631-3195 ext 3 for more information and to sign up. Cost will be $20 per person for the whole day or $12.50 for the evening banquet. You may send a check to reserve your spot to the Wadena SWCD, 4 Alfred St. NE, Wadena MN 56482.