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December 8, 2016

At the Annual Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts Conference held December 5th and 6th, DuWayne Ditterich was honored as East Otter Tail County’s 2016 Conservationist of the Year. DuWayne farms 600 acres near Vergas on some of the same land his grandfather did, and is committed to protecting the land he farms and hunts.eot1 2

DuWayne was chosen as our Conservationist of the Year because of his devotion to farming sustainably while providing high quality habitat for wildlife on his farm. To protect the various habitats across his property, DuWayne has many different conservation practices in place. Across the wooded acres he utilizes a forest management plan that includes removing invasive buckthorn to improve forest quality and wildlife habitat. Other efforts to protect wildlife habitat include 55 acres of pollinator plantings and 15 acres of pheasant habitat, along with 33 acres of Reinvest in Minnesota easements to permanently protect the land from conversion to agriculture or development. His efforts also consist of sustainable farming practices, including no-till techniques and the use of cover crops to minimize soil disturbance and build soil health, tree fieldbreaks and snow fences to prevent soil loss through wind erosion, and buffer strips along lakes to protect water quality. This fall he installed a series of Water and Sediment Control Basins to control the loss of soil through water erosion. DuWayne is committed to farming sustainably and having agriculture along with conservation practices, and these many practices are just a few of the ways he improves and protects Otter Tail County’s natural resources.

Because of DuWayne’s commitment to protecting the soil, water, and wildlife habitat, we are glad to announce him as East Otter Tail County’s Conservationist of the Year for 2016!