Becker SWCD - About Us

About Becker County

Becker County is located in west-central Minnesota, 30 miles east of the Fargo/Moorhead metropolitan area, and encompasses an area of approximately 1,440 square miles. From 1990 to 2000 Becker County experienced steady growth in population with the number of residents listed at 30,000. In reviewing the Minnesota State Demographers census projections, it is expected that Becker County’s population will increase to 32,700 by 2010, and to 35,400 by 2020. However, current growth rates indicate these estimates could be easily surpassed.

Of the 921,000 acres that make up Becker County, the two predominant land uses are forestland (361,191 ac. 39%) and cultivated land (302,058 ac. 33%). The dominant land use in the county remains agriculturally based, with forestry uses not far behind. Becker County is blessed with an abundance of water resources with 487 lakes located within its boundaries and is situated in a prime tourist area of Minnesota due to its natural beauty of lakes and forests.

Becker SWCD's Organizational History

The Becker Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) was started in 1947 by a group of interested landowners in the northwest portion of the county. Information meetings were held by then County Agent Bertrum H. Johnson and petitions were signed by landowners requesting the organization of a Soil Conservation District. Public hearings were conducted by the State Soil Conservation Committee on March 24, 1948, and a favorable referendum was held on April 20, 1948. A Certificate of Organization was issued by the Secretary of State on May 10, 1948, with the first supervisors appointed June 15, 1948.

The original petition for a District did not include all of Becker County, but only consisted of the townships of Walworth, Atlanta, Riceville, Cuba, Hamden, Lake Park and Audubon. On August 15, 1950, the townships of Spring Creek, Cormorant, and Lake Eunice were added, with the remaining portion of the county land being added by a favorable referendum on May 6, 1955.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Becker SWCD is to develop and promote long range programs that satisfy the conservation needs of the people of the District. With rapidly expanding interests in resource development, it is essential that proper resource management be carried out in the District. The programs will include, but not be limited to proper treatment of each acre of land in Becker County in accordance with its needs. Emphasis will be placed on wind and water erosion and protection practices. Implementation of the Comprehensive Local Water Plan will be administered by the District as well as serving as the Local Government Unit for the 1991 Wetland Conservation Act. Technical assistance is provided by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS).