Tyler Knutson the Technical Director for the Yellow Medicine Soil and Water Conservation District is among a group of 23 conservation leaders from across Minnesota who visited Washington, D.C. February 11-15 as part of a leadership development program sponsored by the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (MASWCD). Program participants include locally elected SWCD supervisors, staff, and representatives from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources. While in Washington, the group met with Minnesota and federal lawmakers, including the United States Department of Agriculture and Natural Resource Conservation Service.

The Washington D.C. seminar is one of seven sessions that are part of MASWCD’s Leadership Program led by the University of Minnesota Extension. The year-long program is designed to strengthen the leadership skills and capacity of local natural resource agencies to better serve the public and address the complex natural resource conservation issues found in communities throughout Minnesota. “The MASWCD is proud to sponsor a training program that provides leadership development for our members,” said MASWCD Executive Director LeAnn Buck.

“Conservation Districts and our partners work every day with local, state and federal conservation programs and this experience highlights the collaborative process needed to advance public policy at all levels.” “A great opportunity was given by the Leadership Institute to connect with others around the state and country” added Tyler Knutson. “All levels of local, state and federal government are in need of strong leadership qualities. The concepts I gained the most experience in are the benefits of connection power, or combining what you know with who you know, building shared vision to get things done, and bringing forward a clear message of what needs to be accomplished.”

MASWCD is a nonprofit organization which provides leadership and a common voice for Minnesota’s 89 soil and water conservation districts; maintains relationships with rulemaking agencies, partners and legislators; and provides educational opportunities for districts so they may carry out effective conservation programs. Contact the Yellow Medicine Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) office in Clarkfield to find out more information about our programs, or call the office at (320) 669-4442 ext. 3. Our website also has a lot of information on all of our programs and services. Visit www.yellowmedicineswcd.org to learn more and stay up to date on all Yellow Medicine SWCD has to offer and what we are working on. You can also LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!