1000 10th Avenue - Suite 3
Clarkfield MN  56223
Phone:  320-669-4442 Ext 3  FAX: 320-669-7525
Contact Us
Home Supervisors Staff Plans/Reports Programs/Services Outreach/News Partners/Links

OFFICE HOURS:  8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

OFFICE LOCATION:  Ag Service Center in Clarkfield, Minnesota
The Yellow Medicine Soil & Water Conservation District was duly organized as a governmental subdivision of this State, and a public body corporate and politic on the 17th day of April, 1950.  The SWCD works with landowners in both rural and urban settings to carry out a program for the conservation, use and development of soil, water and related resources.  The SWCD is governed by locally elected officials and staffed by professionals dedicated to serving you – the public.
To provide technical, financial, and educational support to the public for the purpose of conserving and protecting soil, water, and other natural resources.
Board meetings are held on the fourth Thursday of each month at the SWCD office located in the Ag Service Center in Clarkfield, MN.  Meetings are open to the public.  Starting times vary depending on the time of the year.    Please check the agenda tab to see time of next scheduled meeting.
Agenda Minutes

SERVICES PROVIDED (See Programs and Services Button Above)





This year, the Yellow Medicine Soil & Water Conservation District has three Supervisors positions up for election.  SWCD candidates appear on the ballot for the general election which will take place November 8, 2016.


Candidates are elected county wide, but must reside in one of the nominations districts up for election.  The nominating districts that have openings are:

            Area 1:  Echo, Sioux Agency, Wood Lake and Posen Townships

            Area 2:  Lisbon, Stony Run, and Minnesota Falls Townships

            Area 5:  Florida, Hammer, Fortier and Norman Townships

SWCDs are special purpose units of government that manage and direct natural resource management programs at the local level.  Districts work in both urban and rural settings to carry out a program for the conservation, use and development of soil, water and related resources.  SWCD Supervisors serve four year terms and meet monthly, discussing the business of the SWCD, distributing state grant allocations to landowners, setting conservation priorities and coordinating conservation efforts with other local units of government and state agencies.  SWCD Supervisors are not paid a salary; however, they do received compensation for attending meetings and are reimbursed for expenses.


Candidate Qualifications

·        At leave 21 years old when assuming office

·        Reside in the district for at least 30 days before the general election

·        Have no other affidavit o file for any other elected office (except for mayor or council member or town board member)


Affidavit of Candidacy

·        All SWCD Supervisor candidate must file an affidavit of candidacy

·        Affidavits must be signed in the presence of a notary or an individual authorized to administer oaths.

·        Affidavits may be completed starting 60 days before and during the filing period.


Filing Period

The filing period opens May 16, 2016 and closes at 5:00 p.m. May 31, 2016


Filing Location

Candidates for SWCD Supervisor need to file an affidavit of candidacy at the County Office:

            Yellow Medicine County Government Center

180 8th Avenue

Granite Falls MN  56241



Filing Fee

Candidates must pay a filing fee of $20.00 at the time of filing their affidavit of candidacy.  However, candidates may file a petition in place of the filing fee.





As a soil and water conservation district supervisor, you will be entrusted with some of Minnesota’s most precious assets: our natural resources.  There are three key aspects to the role of a supervisor as an SWCD board member:

Policy Development

Annual and long-range plans and budgets

Working with SWCD staff


Policy Development

The board of supervisors is a policy board, meaning that its primary focus is not on running the day-to-day activities of the district, but on setting overall policy and long-term objectives.  The staff then uses these policies and objectives to ensure that the district is proceeding in the general direction laid out by the board.  The board should develop policies on:

Personnel Policy                                                    Use of district equipment

Technical Assistance                                            Charges for Services

Use of cost-share dollars                                     Election of Officers

Compensation for supervisors and staff              Training

Travel                                                                    Fiscal matters

Agreements with other agencies                         Membership in organizations


Planning and Budget

Because board members focus on long-range objectives and goals, one of the most important parts of your job is developing the district’s annual and comprehensive plans.  Annual plans should contain:

·        Definition of purpose.

·        Prioritization of resource problems.

·        Specific statements about the district’s activities for the coming year.

·        Specific goals and objectives for the upcoming year.

·        Budgets and staffing for each program.

·        Activities that work toward fulfilling the comprehensive plans.


Working with Staff

Although the policies and annual and long-range plans developed by the board will guide the district staff in everyday activities, there are a number of more specific items the board should work on with the staff.  The board should work closely with the district manager to:

Delegate responsibilities to employees                           Set work priorities

Identify training needs                                         Develop an employee evaluation system

Look for new programs to expand existing programs      Develop job descriptions


Roles of a Supervisor as an Elected Official

As an elected official, you would be responsible for operating the district as a political subdivision of state government.  Specifically, your duties would include:

·         Establishing policies to implement state grant programs.

·         Maintaining a working relationship with other political bodies and state agencies including, the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR), USDA, FSA, NRCS, county commissioners, county zoning, and other agencies.

·         Entering into memorandums of understanding or working agreements with as many agencies as necessary to coordinate the conservation and development of resources in the district.

·         Pursing funds and/or insurance for district operation from county commissioners, the State of Minnesota and other entities as opportunities arise.

·         Cooperating with other districts and watersheds in resource activities.

·         Monitoring your actions to comply with program rules and regulations.


Supervisor Compensation and Reimbursement

Compensation and reimbursement for expenses for supervisors is allowed when the event attended and expenses incurred are essential to district operations and have prior approval by the board.  Compensation rates are set by the board, but cannot exceed the maximum rate set by BWSR which currently is $75.00.  Compensation rates for 2016 are $70.00 for meetings held within the county, and $75.00 for meetings held outside of the county.


The SWCD’s regular monthly meeting is the fourth Thursday of the month.


For more information, please call our office at 320-669-4442 x3.




Water Quality Certification expands to farms across Minnesota

  Yellow Medicine SWCD now accepting applicants


Clarkfield, Minn. – Farmers across Minnesota are now taking advantage of a state program that celebrates and ensures protection of the state’s water resources. With the help of a five-year, $9 million award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and legislation enacted earlier this year, the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) is formally transitioning from four pilot areas to being available to any agricultural producer statewide.


Minnesota’s Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program was designed by an advisory committee of independent stakeholders and implemented by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) in partnership with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, and local public, private and non-profit partners. The program is a voluntary opportunity for farmers and agricultural landowners to take the lead in implementing conservation practices that protect our water. Farmers and landowners who implement and maintain approved farm management practices are certified and in turn obtain regulatory certainty for a period of 10 years.


The MAWQCP certifies farmers and landowners for managing their land in a way that protects water quality through a whole-farm assessment that evaluates:  physical field characteristics,  nutrient management factors, tillage management factors, pest management factors, irrigation and tile drainage management, and  conservation practices.  Producers interested in becoming certified also receive priority status for technical and financial assistance.


The MAWQCP puts producers together with local professionals and the new on-line field assessment tool to determine where risks to water quality exist on their farm, and empowers them to fix those risks when they’re found, at the same avoiding the expense, time and trouble of applying half-measures or implementing misplaced actions.


Anyone interested in learning more about MAWQCP, the assessment process, or becoming certified should contact Tyler Knutson at the Yellow Medicine SWCD at 320-669-4442 x3 or   


 Minnesota’s New Buffer Law

Do buffers really do anything?

For decades, buffers or filter strips have been installed to successfully reduce sediment and nutrients getting to streams. Buffers improve water quality, habitat, and recreation.

Where do I have to put buffers?

In Summer of 2016, the MNDNR will release offcial maps to the public and SWCDs across the state. When these maps come out we can give you offcial word on where you are required to buffer waters next to your land. If you are interested in buffering any waters on your land, the SWCD can assist you with that at any time.

What do I have to plant on the buffer?

The statute says “a perennially vegetated root” must be on the buffer area. Alfalfa is allowed specifically in the law. No invasive species may be present on the buffer. Existing grass, shrub, or forest cover is acceptable.

When do I have to have a buffer on my land?

On November 1, 2017 waters that require a 30 foot minimum and a 50 foot average per parcel will need to be buffered. On November 1, 2018 public drainage ditches that only require 16 ½ feet will need to be buffered.

Where can I learn more?

If you would like to know more about the new buffer law and find out how it applies to you, you can  check out or or contact Tyler Knutson at the Yellow Medicine SWCD at 320-669-4442 x3 or by email at