218-346-4260  |  801 Jenny Ave SW Suite 2 Perham, MN 56573  |  Hours: 7:30AM-4:00PM Monday-Friday

Register for the Woodlands for Wildlife Workshop

Click HERE to register for the Woodlands for Wildlife Workshop on May 5th.

May 23, 2017

Welcome to our 2017 Conservation Corps Interns! See the bios below for more information.

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Hello, I am Jessica Christianson, the Agriculture and Soil Outreach Corpsmember working for the Conservation Corps of Minnesota & Iowa at the East Otter Tail SWCD. I graduated from North Dakota State University (NDSU) with a Bachelor of Science in Soils in 2014 and will graduate from NDSU with a Master of Science in Soils this August. As a student at NDSU, I worked in the Soil Testing Laboratory where I enjoyed meeting farmers, working with soil, and going out into the field to understand and promote soil health and sustainable farming practices. I look forward to meeting farmers and landowners, working with Jim Lahn and the East Otter Tail and Wadena SWCD staff, and learning about the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program.


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 Hello, my name is Alysha Dykhoff; and I am the Wadena/East Otter Tail Apprentice. I enjoy being outside, hunting, fishing, and hanging out with friends. I live on a small beef cattle farm with my family. I just completed my Freshman year of college at the University of Minnesota Crookston. My major is Natural Resources with two emphases, Water Resources Management and Law Enforcement. I am very excited to start this internship! During my summer here, I want to learn more of what the SWCD does, as well as how to do it. I am hoping that this internship helps me to decide on a future career because I am still unsure of a full time career for the future.

October 31, 2016

Did you know that you vote for Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisors?


Each Soil & Water Conservation District is headed by a board of elected supervisors who determine priorities for the district over their four year terms. These terms are staggered so that some supervisors are on the ballot most years. The EOT SWCD board is made up of five members, and they work together with SWCD employees to implement the plans and policies that match their priorities.

This is what it will look like on the ballot. Be sure to include them in your decisions on election day!

11/21/2016 Update: Terry Greenwaldt, Dennis Reynolds, and Steven Inwards all won reelection with 99% of the vote and will serve another two year term.



April 22, 2016

The East Otter Tail SWCD is excited to welcome Ben Underhill as our new Water Plan Coordinator and congratulate Aimee Zimmermann on her promotion to the Shoreland Specialist position! Meet them below.

IMG 0203Hello, I am Ben Underhill, the Water Planner/Watershed Coordinator for the Otter Tail and Wadena SWCDs. I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Masters in Water Resource Science with a focus on surface water hydrology. Most recently I worked for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency with water quality permitting. I am excited to work locally to coordinate water resource activities in the county and provide assistance and input for Otter Tail and Wadena counties. My wife and I recently purchased a house in Staples where I hope to spend time with friends and family this summer.



IMG 0198My name is Aimee Zimmermann and I am excited to be Otter Tail County's new Shoreland Specialist. While I am new to the position, I am a familiar face at the East Otter Tail SWCD- I've been the Assistant Shoreland Specialist here at the District for the past two years. My favorite part of shoreline restoration is seeing the dramatic transformation from eroding lawn grass to beautiful, colorful native grasses and flowers- proving shoreline buffers don't have to look like "a bunch of weeds" while improving lake quality at the same time! A true plant nerd at heart, I'm looking forward to working with lakeshore owners on conserving Minnesota's great water resources.

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From left to right: Katelyn Haarstick, Jeff Duchene, Ryan Antholz, Troy Baumgart, Alan Lepp

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EOT SWCD staff, back left to right: Chantal Tougas, Ben Underhill, Nathan Wiese,    Jim Lahn

Front: Darren Newville, Brittney Johnson, Mitchell Ness, Aimee Zimmermann,            Liz Reed

  • US Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Pheasants Forever  
  • Farm Services Agency  
  • UMN Water Resources Center  
  • UMN Extension  
  • MN DNR Wildlife, Forestry, Waters, and Ecological Services  
  • MN Department of Ag  
  • The Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota's Resources   
  • Board of Water and Soil Resources  
  • Natural Resource Conservation Service  
  • City of Fergus Falls  
  • City of Perham  
  • MN Master Naturalists Program  
  • Perham, New York Mills, Henning, Battle Lake, Dent, and Fergus Falls Schools 3rd, 4th, 5th, & 6th Grade Classes  
  • MN Master Gardeners   
  • US Forest Service  
  • MN Forest Resource Council  
  • Central MN Irrigators Corporation


Back Left to Right: Chairman-Lyle Dittmann, Vice Chairman-Steve Inwards

Front Left to Right: Public Relations-Terry Greenwaldt, Secretary-Dennis Reynolds, Teasurer-Marion Gill

It shall be the mission of the Soil and Water Conservation District to conserve and protect the soil and water resources that were placed into our trust. Our quality of life and our environment depends on the partnership between our Board of Supervisors, its employees, and a willingness of land users to commit to good land use practices and management skills.

It is the District’s responsibility to provide trained, competent technicians and office staff to disseminate information and provide technical assistance to all land users applying conservation practices and measures to their land. And it is the responsibility of the District employees to achieve the mission of this District by dedicating their services, talents, and skills in meeting the goals and objectives set forth in our “Long Range” and “Annual Plan of Work” and to remain flexible to change.

The SWCD is the administrator of the Otter Tail County Water Plan which seeks to identify and remedy present and future threats to water quality. The County Water Plan has been adopted as the SWCD "Long Range" plan.

The East Otter Tail Soil and Water Conservation District is a local unit of government led by an elected five member board of supervisors. The SWCD was organized in 1958 by County residents to "promote and advance soil and water best management practices". The SWCD works with individuals, organizations, businesses, and local state and federal agencies to provide: educational presentations, coordination of local conservation initiatives, obtaining and management of grant funds, technical and financial assistance, and designing and installing conservation practices. All of this is done as part of the SWCD mission to protect and enhance our resources.