Get To Know The SCD

Our Staff: Hard working and down to earth. That is another thing you can expect from us! Let our staff visit you in the field or at the kitchen table. Our door is always open to you and we are just a phone call away!


Want to work with us?


Meet The Team


Sarah B. Johnston

District Manager

Sarah joined the team back in 2014 and was promoted to lead the team in 2018. Sarah’s father is a 4th generation farmer in Richland County, N.D. whom she has learned many practical things, but most importantly, how to take care of the soils that provide for us. She graduated from Wahpeton in 1999, and earned a bachelors degree in Natural Resources Management from NDSU in 2010 and a Masters in Range Science from NDSU in 2017. She was a Ronald McNair Fellow and also the former manager of the Red River Riparian Program before joining the District. She is our technical advisor in cropland and soils, agroforestry, water quality, watershed planning, and riparian and forest habitats. She also serves as the district’s program lead to foster collaborations with producers and other partners. Reach out and get in touch if you have a project or program you’d like to work on with our district!

Email me: walshcounty319@polarcomm.com

Assistant Manager

This position is currently open and we are taking applications until the position is filled. Please contact Sarah Johnston for more information or visit the employment tab of this page.


Now Hiring

Agricultural Outreach Coordinator

Coordination of resources in an outreach setting, one-one-one with producers, working in close collaboration with the Walsh County Soil Health Team, established in 2020. Please see the employment tab for the position announcement. Open until filled.

The Board of Supervisors

We are governed by a Board of Supervisors dedicated to conservation partnerships with producers. The current board members are Justin Zahradka, Jay Skorheim, Jay Gudajtes, and Brent Riskey. We have three elected positions, one of which is expiring at the end of 2022, held by Justin Zahradka. Justin is not seeking another 6 year term. Anyone may run for this elected seat as a write in candidate in the November Election. We also have two appointed seats on the board, with one currently open in that category. Anyone interested in serving on the board should contact the soil conservation district office for more information on the roles and duties of board members.

Each Spring we hold an Annual Soil Conservation District Banquet which all of the public is encouraged to attend. Several conservation awards are given out on an annual basis. In 2022, we are pleased to announce Mark Bennington Farms as the conservation district overall achievement winner for Walsh County.

Stay tuned for more information on the 2023 banquet. We announce the meeting via The Source newspaper, Grafton Record, and the Walsh County Press.

Elections take place during the County Election. Election information is available from the county auditor. Any person interested in learning more about our board is welcome to attend our monthly meetings held the 2nd Thursday of each month at the SCD office starting at 8:00 am.  These meetings are open to the public and include regular attendees from other agencies, including Extension and NRCS, as well as commissioner Karen Anderson.


History of The Soil Conservation District

There used to be two conservation districts in Walsh County, and that continued until the end of the 20th century. This map was published as part of the 10th Anniversary Report provided by the Three Rivers Soil Conservation District in cir. 1952. The board was based out of Grafton. The rest of the county not shown on this map was part of the Walsh County Soil Conservation District, which was governed by its own board and based out of Park River.

Click here to download a PDF of the full Three Rivers SCD report from 1952.

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