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. Sarah and her husband Jason recently embarked on starting a micro-farm called Rambler Gardens, as a way to extend the growing season for vegetable production. Sarah 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, agro-forestry, 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:

Jarod Matzke

Assistant Manager

Jarod joined us in September ’21 and has taken part in planning operations for spring tree planting, CRP planting, and retail tree operations. He is in charge of coordinating the fine details of each job, and mobilizing everything to your field to get the job done! Jarod worked for North Dakota Parks and Recreation for about a decade before joining us. He was born and raised in Minnesota and a graduate of U of M, Crookston. He is former law enforcement in the state park system as well as a former state park manager. He has coursework in Natural Resources and is excited to dig more into this line of work! If you have an upcoming project and would like to discuss how to get started, contact Jarod today!

Email me:

Now Hiring. Open until filled.

Watershed Coordinator in the Park River Watershed

The Board of Supervisors

We are governed by a Board of Supervisors dedicated to conservation partnerships with producers. Each Spring we hold an Annual Soil Conservation District Banquet which all of the public is encouraged to attend. Last year, we had the pleasure of having Mary Podoll State Conservationist for NRCS – N.D. as our headline speaker. Mary has been very supportive of Walsh County and the strategic planning process that is underway in the county to identify resource needs and program needs.

Annual Meeting 2019. Pictured: L to R, Front Row:Heather Szklarski (appointed thru Dec. 2020), Linda Osowski (appointed thru Dec. 2020), Mary Podoll, NRCS State Conservationist; Sarah Johnston, Conservation District Manager. Back Row L to R: Justin Zahradka (Elected until 2022); Jay Skorheim (Elected until 2024); Julius Wangler (Elected until 2020).

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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