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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 CalendarIn 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)

Term Expires 2026

Arlyn Lawrenz (Area 2)




Term Expires 2024

Kenneth Schefers (Area 3)



Term Expires 2024

Matt Bruyette (Area 4)


Cold Spring


Term Expires 2024

Tom Gregory (Area 5)


Term Expires 2026

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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:


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


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

· maintaining and improving water quality 

· protecting our soil


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

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