2017 Outstanding Conservationist of the Year

Each year, the 89 Soil and Water Conservation Districts comprising The Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (MASWCD), offer the MASWCD Outstanding Conservationist Award to recognize individuals, conservation organizations, and others for outstanding accomplishments with implementing conservation practices and improving Minnesota's natural resources.

Each year, SWCDs across the state honor a variety of landowners, ag-producers, lake associations, civic organizations and others for their efforts to preserve rare or declining habitats, incorporate new management techniques, conserve resources and reduce the amount of runoff of sediment and nutrients to Minnesota's surface waters.

This year, Becker Soil and Water Conservation District is proud to name Joel Crabtree as Becker County's Outstanding Conservationist of the Year.

Joel and his wife Jodie moved to the southwestern Becker County farm once owned by Jodie's parents and as Joel observed excessive erosion and lackluster returns on portions of their land, he approached the local field office to see what options and programs were available.

Award Recipient's Land 1

Using a mix of Clean Water Legacy, State Cost Share, EQIP, CRP Watershed District and personal funds Joel has implemented multiple water & sediment control basins, wetland restorations, critical area plantings, buffers, windbreaks and placed the most vulnerable portions of the farm into CRP. Not only has Joel addressed the resource concerns on their property, but his voluntary efforts provide much needed habitat and greatly reduce the annual contributions of nutrients and sediment to two shallow lakes in peril downstream.

Award Recipient's Land 2

For more information, please visit the MASWCD website at www.maswcd.org, or call the Becker SWCD office at 218-846-7360.