Education and Outreach

Foster County Soil Conservation District is dedicated to providing information and education as one of its major functions.  This includes providing information to producers and landowners on conservation practices, conservation education for local youth, and information for the general public.  For coming events, please see the Calendar & Events page.

Conservation Achievement Award

Each year, soil conservation districts recognize local producers for their conservation efforts at the Achievement Banquet at the Annual Meeting and State Convention of the North Dakota Association of Soil Conservation Districts.  Winners are chosen based on the exemplary conservation practices implemented on their land.
The 2018 Foster County Conservation Achievement Award winners are Gilbert and Joanne Black.   The Blacks have been implementing both cropland and rangeland soil health practices in a very challenging area of northeast Foster County.  Gilbert has been practicing no till for many years, and they have a diverse crop rotation which recently has incorporated cover crops.  Gilbert has installed livestock wells powered by solar pumps to provide quality water sources to their livestock. He implements sound grazing rotations to enhance grazing utilization and rangeland health. Gilbert is also recognized for his 11 years of coaching the Midkota Envirothon program, which in 2016 qualified for the national competition. Gilbert’s contributions to agriculture extend beyond his farm operation by educating our youth on the importance of stewardship and natural resource functions.   Congratulations to Gilbert and Joanne Black for their achievements and ongoing commitment to soil health principals.

The nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself.
  - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Women's Ag Day

Foster County's Women's Ag Day is a biennial celebration to recognize the contribution of women in agriculture.  It is arranged by a committee of local volunteers with the support of local businesses and individuals.  The 2019 Women’s Ag Day was held on the evening of Thursday, March 21st at Carrington Research Extension Center.  The program featured Sue Balcom, author of  “The Women Behind the Plow” as well as the "Women Behind the Plow" traveling exhibit and a display of Veronica Davis's vintage apron collection.  Those attending enjoyed a free supper with kuchen for dessert.   Thanks to our generous local sponsors for financial support and door prizes, and to CREC for the use of their facilities and for growing the geranium decorations/door prizes in their greenhouse.  

Man, despite his artistic pretensions, his sophistications and his many accomplishments, owes his existence to a 6-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.
                     – Anonymous

Range and Soil Health Workshops

Foster County SCD works with organizations such as local Extension and NRCS offices and other Districts to hold periodic workshops providing information and promoting practices that improve soil, water, and other  natural resources.

Eco Ed

Eco Ed is an environmental learning experience that has been provided for kids in Foster County schools since the program's inception in 1997.  Students spend the day at Lake Juanita travelling to six different stations learning about prairies, soils, water quality, wetlands, forestry, and agronomy.  Each station is taught by an expert in that particular field and usually includes some sort of hands on portion.  

Project TREES

The "TREES" program  (The Regional Environmental Education Series) consists of six separate programs designed to emphasize the need to protect and conserve our natural resources. They are presented lyceum style or in classroom setting.
The presentations are provided at no or minimal cost to schools. They are sponsored by a local Soil Conservation District and grants from the Environmental Protection Agency, the North Dakota Natural Resource Trust, and North Dakota NPS Pollution Task Force. 
If you are a teacher in North Dakota and would like to have any programs presented to your class, please contact our education coordinator to get on the list. The programs fill up fast each year, so call early if possible.

The destruction of soil is the most fundamental kind of economic loss which the human race can suffer. 
                    -Aldo Leopold


The Envirothon is a problem-solving natural resource competition for high school students. Teams consisting of five members in grades 9-12 study in the areas of forestry, soil, water, wildlife, and a current environmental issue. Team members demonstrate proven concepts of hands-on education combined with the excitement of effective educational tools, which will help our schools to nurture environmentally aware students and meet the immediate need to teach more environmental natural resource education.
Congratulations to Team 1 from Midkota School, which took 1st place in the state competition in 2016 and went on to compete with other state/province winners at Peterborough, Ontario in July.  

First Grade Tree Planting

Each year the first grade class plants a tree to celebrate Arbor Day.  They learn the value of trees and they can watch it grow as they go through their school careers.

The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value
      - Theodore Roosevelt

Keep North Dakota Clean Poster Contest

Keep North Dakota Clean holds an annual, statewide billboard contest for students in grades 1-12.  Students create a poster that reflects their knowledge of waste reduction, recycling, preventing wildfires, creating wildlife habitat, keeping our state and it’s waters clean, and using our natural resources wisely.  Local winners can get a conservation tree from the District.  First place artwork for the state competition gets turned into  a billboard!

Pollinator Demonstration Garden

The District has planted a small demonstration garden of perennial natives that provide food and shelter for pollinators.  The species included can be used in gardens or in seed mixes for wildflower meadows, habitat patches, or cover crops.  Handouts  identifying species and their usefulness to pollinators are available in the holder box.

If you are thinking one year ahead, sow seed. If you are thinking ten years ahead, plant a tree. If you are thinking 100 years ahead, educate the people                              
            - Chinese proverb

Backyard Conservation Workshops and Demonstrations

The District works with organizations such as Extension, NRCS, and the North Dakota Forest Service to hold periodic conservation workshops and demonstrations for the general public.  These have included the root view boxes (pictured at left with cover crop demonstration) and workshops on subjects such as rain barrels, composting, and square foot gardens.  Our 2016 workshop was a Pollinator Garden Tour with Dakota Girl Gardens and Copper Top Acres in Carrington.

Talking Dirt Radio Segment

Every first Thursday of the month the district has a radio segment on local station KDAK 1600AM.  Tune in monthly to hear what's happening at the district as well as to learn something new about conservation each month. 
Click on the logo at left to link directly to KDAK.  
Recent recordings can also be heard from the Publications page of our website.  Clicking on the month will take you to YouTube where you can watch/listen to the segment.