The North Dakota Association of Soil Conservation Districts, Wildlife groups, and Agricultural entities have joined together in a one of a kind partnership to fund Farm Bill Specialists located in USDA service centers across the state. Farm Bill Specialists are employed by the North Dakota Association of Soil Conservation Districts (NDASCD) with funding coming from a diverse partnership of wildlife and agricultural groups. The responsibilities of a Farm Bill Specialist are to assist the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in providing voluntary conservation programs to producers across North Dakota.
The partnership consists of the North Dakota Association of Soil Conservation Districts (NDASCD), USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl, North Dakota Natural Resources Trust, North Dakota Farm Bureau, North Dakota Grain Growers, US Durum Growers, Northern Canola Growers and the North Dakota Soybean Council and the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council.
Farm Bill Specialists are available to assist producers with technical assistance and conservation programs available through the federal farm bill, state, and local programs. With an array of programs and options available, specialists are a “one-stop shop” for producers to receive help and guidance. A specialist can sit down with a producer to review options and help them meet their goals for their operation. Contact a Farm Bill Specialist of the NDASCD (701-223-8518) for more information.
My name is Whitney Huesers, and I am the Farm Bill Specialist Supervisor based in McHenry County. I was hired by the North Dakota Association of Soil Conservation Districts in February 2017 as the Farm Bill Specialist for the South Eastern part of North Dakota and transferred up to the Towner office in mid-May 2017. In March 2018 I moved into the role of Farm Bill Specialist Supervisor.
I grew up in Max, North Dakota and was raised on a small grains farm where my parents grow canola, wheat, peas and soybeans. I graduated from Max Public School and then attended North Dakota State University where I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology: Fisheries & Wildlife in May 2016. During college I participated in the National Student Exchange Program and spent my Junior year at Montana State University in Bozeman. I loved being able to live next to the mountains and enjoyed all the beautiful scenery and outdoor activities Bozeman had to offer. I have previously worked as a seasonal for the Army Corps of Engineers in Riverdale, North Dakota where I conducted monitoring activities for Piping Plovers and Least Terns. I love spending time in the outdoors hunting, hiking, helping on the farm, riding horse, and spending time with my family and dog.
So far, the best part of my job as a Farm Bill Specialist is getting to meet all the farmers and ranchers. I have learned so much from talking with them and looking at the conservation practices they implement in their farming and cattle operations. Working for the Association has also given me the opportunity to meet and learn from some of the best conservationists in North Dakota.
My name is Michael Bichler, and I am from Ashley, North Dakota. I graduated from Ashley High School in 2011. I then attended Valley City State University for Fisheries and Wildlife Science and Biology. While at VCSU, I was a member of the Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation Club (now VCSU Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society). I also did intermural sports like football and basketball. In December 2015, I graduated from VCSU and moved back to Ashley, ND with my wife, who is an English teacher and coaches basketball at Ashley Public School.
I started working at Northern Plains in Ashley where I received experience working with farmers. At Northern Plains I worked mainly with the agronomy side and did most of the fertilizer and helped our applicator with spraying. In April of 2017 I took the position as Farm Bill Conservation Specialist. I cover Emmons, Kidder, Logan, and McIntosh counties. My main focus will be on conservation programs through the Farm Bill, but I will also help out with other programs as needed in the counties. Along with being a Farm Bill Specialist, I also spray the road ditches for McIntosh County along with some custom jobs through the county.
In my free time I like to do many outdoor activities such as going hunting, fishing, camping, or hiking. I hunt deer and pheasant but am starting to get more into duck hunting with floating decoys. My wife and I also do photography together and even started a little hobby business called Bar Arrow Photography from it. I love being outdoors any chance I can get and am happy to be in a position that allows me promotes conservation. I am excited to be back in my hometown of Ashley and to help the people in my area and the surrounding counties! Serving Emmons, Kidder, Logan, and McIntosh counties 701-709-0621.
My name is Zach Compson and I am the Farm Bill Specialist located in Mandan ND. I am serving Morton, Burleigh, and Kidder counties. I was hired by the North Dakota Association of Soil Conservation Districts in August 2018.
I grew up in Jamestown, ND and graduated high school in 2011. After high school I continued my education at Valley City State University, where I earned my Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences and Biology and graduated in December 2015.
I started my career in natural resources in 2010 working for the U.S Fish and Wildlife Services as a Youth Conservation Corps member. I continued working for the USFWS for three more summers as a biological science aid at Arrowood NWR and J. Clark Salyer NWR. Then went to work for the ND Game and Fish Department for two summers in Jamestown, ND. Once I graduated college I moved to Devils Lake, ND and worked for the NDGF for two years as a temporary wildlife technician. After my two years in Devils Lake I moved to South Dakota where I was hired on as a Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist with Pheasants Forever, before coming back to North Dakota to work for the NDASCD.
I’m an avid outdoorsman and spend my free time hunting and fishing. I look forward to continuing my career with NDASCD as the Farm Bill Specialist and working with landowners and producers by promoting conservation practices.
Farm Bill Specialist
My name is Amy Gnoinsky and I am the Farm Bill Specialist for Dickey, Ransom, Richland, and Sargent counties. I am originally from Fargo, ND but grew up and graduated high school in Detroit Lakes, MN. Growing up in Lakes Country fostered my love of the outdoors and developed my interest in how people use natural resources in everyday life. Subsequently, the last two summers of my high school career I was a Youth Conservation Corps member for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. As part of a team we conducted wildlife surveys, maintained trails and refuge boundaries, planted native vegetation, and banded geese, birds, and ducks. Not only did this job further cement my future career choice, but from then on I became interested in how people can use natural resources in a way that will last for future generations.
After high school, I moved back to Fargo to pursue a post-secondary education at North Dakota State University (NDSU). In between classes I worked for the USDA Agricultural Research Service as a sunflower field research assistant. From this experience I gained a perspective on agricultural field practices and an insight on plant genetics and breeding. In my past time, I volunteered at a horse boarding stable and became involved in horsemanship. From this involvement I became aware of what it takes to maintain pastureland and rangeland.
In May 2015, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Management and Zoology but decided to enter into graduate school, also at NDSU. After conducting research on Municipal Water Use and Dust Impacts on Soybeans, I received my Master of Science in Natural Resources Management in May 2017, and became employed with NDASCD. As I move forward in this position I am excited to promote conservation and assist farmers and ranchers in implementing such practices. Serving Dickey, Ransom, Richland, and Sargent counties 701-429-3611.
My name is Ally Scheidegger and I am the Farm Bill Specialist for McLean, Sheridan and Oliver counties. I started the Farm Bill Specialist position in June 2019. I am excited for this opportunity to work with producers in our great state of North Dakota and promote conservation methods.
I was born and raised in Fargo, North Dakota. I graduated in Spring 2019 from North Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science in Range Science with a minor in Crop and Weed Science. Despite growing up in the middle of the largest city in North Dakota, I managed to find a love for the outdoors and our natural resources. My interest in conservation and natural resources started with my love for horses. I have had horses since I was 10 years old. As time went on, I became interested in improving pastures and forage options for my horses. Which is where my passion started for promoting and conserving our natural resources.
During my time at NDSU, I assisted on research efforts for the Range Science Department. In this position, I helped graduate students collect data and perform duties related to their research on leafy spurge management, grazing systems, prescribed burning, and western snowberry management.
When I am not at work you can find me spending time with my two French Bulldogs or at the barn with my horses.
Serving McLean, Sheridan and Oliver counties 701-793-4563
Farm Bill Specialist
Hello, my name is Cody Hoggarth and I am the Farm Bill Specialist who services Stutsman, LaMoure, and Barnes Counties. Farm Bill Specialists work within NRCS field offices around the State, assisting local staff work with voluntary producers in developing plans that promote conservation programs on the land. The main program that our positions assist with is the Conservation Reserve Program, CRP. Specialists work with producers by determining what lands are eligible for certain practices, developing conservation plans for those areas, and answer any questions related to the program in regards to management or conservation. These are very rewarding positions, which expand skills and develop new ones.
I am originally from Fargo, but grew up and spent most of my childhood in Jamestown. I graduated from Jamestown High School in the spring of 2010, and that same summer I moved to Valley City to attend Valley City State University, in hopes of getting a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences. After 4 years of hard work, I was able to graduate with a degree in what I set out to do in the spring of 2014.
In early 2015, I accepted a seasonal position working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service based out of the Wetland Management District north of Valley City. The almost full year I spent there was very fulfilling. Most of what I did was vegetation mapping, but I learned a great deal about diversity of plant species, management practices to use on rangelands, and how to use certain instruments that are beneficial to conservation careers. I will always be grateful to them for the invaluable skills and information I received while working for the USFWS. After my term ended, I applied and accepted a position with the NDASCD to become a Farm Bill Specialist. I greatly enjoy what I do and am happy to have this opportunity.
When I am not working, I enjoy spending my free time fishing and hunting, kayaking, training my dog, and visiting my family’s lake cabin to enjoy nature and spend time with family. Serving Stutsman, Barnes and LaMoure counties 701-840-0454
Hello, my name is Maura Curry. I was hired in the summer of 2019 to be the Farm Bill Specialist based in Park River, ND and serving Walsh County, Cavalier County, and Pembina County. I am thrilled to be here and able to help conservation in such a direct way.
I grew up in Saint Paul, Minnesota and graduated from Brown University in Rhode Island in May of 2019. I have a Bachelor of Science in Geology with a focus in Biology. During my junior year, I took a field geology course in Montana with the University of Minnesota and loved being able to do such hands-on work. For my senior thesis, I worked with the City of East Providence to do nitrogen and phosphorous water quality monitoring on beaches in the area. Last summer I worked for the non-profit Food Policy Action as their Policy Analyst making a scorecard of legislative votes on policy related to the agricultural system in the US.
In my free time I love to hike, canoe, and camp. I’ll take any opportunity I can to be outside and learning more about nature and North Dakota wildlife. I also love to read, knit, and play board games for days when the weather isn’t cooperating.
I love the interpersonal interactions that come with being the Farm Bill Specialist and I have been able to meet so many wonderful people. I have learned an astronomical amount about farming and conservation since starting this position and I can’t wait to keep learning every day in the field.
Serving Walsh, Cavalier, and Pembina County 651-249-6308
Hello my name is Kayla Feiring, I am the Farm Bill Specialist in Carrington ND serving the counties of Foster, Eddy, Griggs and Wells. I started at the end of March 2018, and I am looking forward to working with all the local farmers, ranchers, and land owners.
I grew up on a cow/calf operation near McHenry, ND. I graduated from Griggs County Central in 2013, and went on to attend North Dakota State University. There I received a Bachelor’s of Science in Range Science, along with two minors Animal and Soil Science in the spring of 2017.
This past fall I went abroad on a cultural exchange program: International Farm Youth Exchange Program or IFYE. I spent three month in Switzerland with five different host families. It was a wonderful experience! I loved spending time with my host families, learning about their culture and their Agriculture practices.
I love helping my folks on the ranch, checking calves in the spring, riding horse, and identifying native range plants, hence the photo with some Side-oats grama. During my free time you’ll either find me with my nose in a book, or me drawing or painting something.
Serving Foster, Eddy, Griggs and Wells 701-789-7069
My name is Katherine Brackel, and I was hired as a Farm Bill Specialist in mid-February to serve Adams, Bowman, Hettinger, and Slope counties. I will be based in Hettinger but will spend time in the Bowman and Mott Field Offices.
I am originally from Hartford, a small city in southeastern Wisconsin. I grew up in a very outdoorsy family and have many memories hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping with my family. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to pursue a career in natural resources. After high school, I attended the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point to pursue a degree in wildlife research and management. I was very involved in undergraduate research projects with the Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society and spent my summers working as a Biological Science Technician for the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Montana and North Dakota. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in May 2013. In late 2013, I was chosen to be part of a multi-state white-tailed deer research project and I began pursuing my master’s degree in Wildlife Science through South Dakota State University. I moved to Elgin in January 2014 to start the field work aspect of my master’s and to spend the next two years following radio-collared white-tailed deer females and fawns in southwest North Dakota and northwest South Dakota. I defended my thesis in November 2016 and graduated with my master’s degree in December 2016.
In November 2016, I was hired as a field biologist for a consulting firm located in Bismarck where I remained for the next 2.5 years. I managed field personnel, wrote reports, conducted field work, and was involved in project management. In early 2019, I followed my husband to Hettinger and became the District Technician for the Adams County Soil Conservation District. My position with the District got me involved with several producers completing projects with NRCS, and I am excited to continue in a similar role where I can be even more involved in helping farmers and ranchers reach their conservation goals.
I love spending time outdoors hiking, hunting, fishing, camping, or doing anything with my husband, Derek, and our yellow Lab, Bella. I also like to do crochet projects for friends and family and love a good book.
Serving Adams, Bowman, Hettinger, and Slope counties 701-567-2462
My name is Kimberly Brown and I am the Farm Bill Specialist serving the counties of Benson, Towner, Ramsey, Nelson, and Grand Forks. I started this position in July 2019 and am looking forward to assisting producers with conservation practices while expanding my knowledge of agriculture. I am passionate about using holistic approaches to resource management and eager to help with conservation planning on your farm or ranch.
I grew up outside of Omaha, Nebraska where my love of natural resources was first cultivated. Early on, I discovered my calling to protect and enhance our natural resources and in 2017, I graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife. I have since worn many different hats, working as an intern at an apple orchard, maintaining a tree farm on Nebraska Forest Service land, and assisting with research on big river fish populations. Before coming to work for the NDACSD, I spent a year in Oklahoma working as a research assistant. I enjoyed conducting research but found that I was missing out on the applied aspect of natural resource management that I had enjoyed so much.
My hobbies include hunting, fishing, and cooking. I enjoy experimenting with new wild game recipes and love getting to share these creations with friends and family. As an avid waterfowler, I am ecstatic to be in the heart of Prairie Pothole country and proud to work in a state that values our fish and wildlife resources.