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SWCD Board:

Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) are political subdivisions of the State. The Stearns County SWCD is governed by an elected Board of five Supervisors. Each Supervisor represents their area of residence, but is elected countywide for a four-year term. The Board of Supervisors is responsible for setting goals, policies, and priorities for the District to work towards.
 
In 1974, “supervisor nomination districts” were mandated for the purpose of ensuring some measure of geographic distribution of elected supervisors across each SWCD. The rationale for this is that the SWCD programs deal with land and water issues of geographic scope; thus, it was seen as good government to ensure geographic distribution of elected officials across the SWCD.
 
The Board meets monthly to review projects and direct staff based on their own knowledge and background. Stearns County has been fortunate to continually elect Supervisors with a deep conservation ethic and motivation for public service. Their contribution to the success of the SWCD is invaluable!
 
The Stearns County SWCD Board meeting is typically the 2nd Tuesday of each month. The meetings begin at 9:00AM in the USDA Conference Room (suite 126), Marketplace, 110 Second Street South, Waite Park, MN 56387. You can verify meeting dates on the Events Calendar. In the event that the meeting time/date change due to unforeseen circumstances such as severe weather, 72 hour notice will be made for updated meeting information. Please see the Events Calendar or call the Stearns County SWCD @ 320-251-7800 Ext. 3 for meeting time confirmation.

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Stearns County SWCD Supervisors (left to right): Tom Gregory (Area 5), Kenneth Schefers (Area 3), Matt Bruyette (Area 4), Arlyn Lawrenz (Area 2), Chuck Uphoff (Area 1)

SWCD Supervisor Contact Information:

Chuck Uphoff (Area 1)
Melrose
320-837-5204

area1.stearnscountyswcd@gmail.com

Term Expires 2026

Arlyn Lawrenz (Area 2)

Vice-Chair

Holdingford

320-746-2634

area2.stearnscountyswcd@gmail.com

Term Expires 2024

Kenneth Schefers (Area 3)

Secretary/Treasurer

Paynesville 

area3.stearnscountyswcd@gmail.com

Term Expires 2024

Matt Bruyette (Area 4)

Chair

Cold Spring

320-249-9809

area4.stearnscountyswcd@gmail.com

Term Expires 2024

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Tom Gregory (Area 5)

Kimball
320-398-7312

area5.stearnscountyswcd@gmail.com

Term Expires 2026

SWCD Supervisor Elections: 

The filing period this year opens on May 21 and closes at 5:00p.m. on June 4. Those interested in running for SWCD Supervisor need to file an affidavit of candidacy and a $20 filing fee with Stearns County auditor's office. 

Candidate Qualifications

  • Minnesota law states that candidates for state and local offices must be eligible voters and at least 21-years-old when assuming office. Candidates must have resided in their districts for at least 30 days before the general election, and have no other affidavit on file for any other elected office. *exceptions: A candidate for soil and water conservation district supervisor in a district not located in whole or in part in Anoka or Washington County, may also have on file an affidavit of candidacy:

    • for mayor or council member of a statutory or home rule charter city of not more than 2,500 population contained in whole or in part in the soil and water conservation district; or

    • for town supervisor in a town of not more than 2,500 population contained in whole or in part in the soil and water conservation district. (Minnesota Statutes 204B.06) Affidavit of Candidacy All SWCD Supervisor candidates must file an affidavit of candidacy. Candidates must state that the name listed on their affidavit is their true name by which they are commonly known in the community. Affidavits must be signed in the presence of a notary or an individual authorized to administer oaths. (Minnesota Statute 204B.06).

 

Affidavit of Candidacy

All SWCD Supervisor candidates must file an affidavit of candidacy. Candidates must state that the name listed on their affidavit is their true name by which they are commonly known in the community. Affidavits must be signed in the presence of a notary or an individual authorized to administer oaths. (Minnesota Statute 204B.06). Affidavits of candidacy may be completed starting 60 days before and during the filing period. A properly completed affidavit and filing fee must be received by the filing officer during the filing period. (Minnesota Statutes 204B.09)

Filing Period

The filing period opens May 21, 2024 and closes at 5 pm on June 4, 2024. (Minnesota Statutes 204B.09).

 

Filing Location

Candidates for SWCD Supervisor file an affidavit of candidacy with the county auditor of the county in which the district office is located (Minnesota Statutes 103C.305).

 

Filing Fee

Candidates must pay a filing fee of $20 at the time of filing their affidavit of candidacy . However, candidates may file a petition in place of the filing fee. Sample forms and information about the number of required signatures on a petition that replaces the filing fee are available from the filing officer. (Minnesota Statutes 204B.11)

What does it take to be a soil and water conservation District Supervisor?
Soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs) are special purpose units of government that manage natural resource programs. Minnesota's 90 SWCDs cover the entire state; their boundaries usually coincide with the county lines. Each SWCD is run by a board of five elected Supervisors.


To be a Supervisor, you need:
 

Knowledge:
Supervisors must have - or be willing to learn - some basic knowledge to effectively carry out their responsibilities. They must understand:
· some of the fundamentals about the environment and how it works

· the relationship between land use decisions and the environment 

· the effect environmental decisions have on other aspects of our lives 

· local concerns, attitudes and needs

 

Concern:
Supervisors must be concerned about:
· our environment and natural resources 

· maintaining and improving water quality 

· protecting our soil

 

Leadership:
Supervisors must be willing to take an active leadership role in the community. This can involve: 
· setting local conservation priorities

· educating friends and neighbors about the environment

· working with other local government units, state and federal agencies, and other elected officials 

· setting a positive example

· taking unpopular stands 

· balancing economic needs with environmental concerns 

· sacrificing short-term gains for long-term benefits

Do you have what it takes? Being a Supervisor involves one board meeting a month and many incidental responsibilities. Supervisors receive no salary, although they do get per diem and expenses. For more information, call our office at 320-251-7800 ext.3. 

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