New Soil Conservationist for Dallas County

Brian Andrews is the new NRCS Soil Conservationist for Dallas County. Brian grew up in southwest Missouri, graduating from Strafford High school. He attended Missouri State University, studying Natural Resource Management. Brian came to the NRCS from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. During his time with the Corps of Engineers Brian worked at the Stockton and Harry S Truman Lake projects.

Brian’s career path is diverse. He has spent time on the east coast, west coast, and the desert southwest. Brian worked as a cheese maker, government contractor, and served in the U.S. Army from 1999 to 2008. As a member of the U.S. Army, Brian aided with the National Capital Region rescue and recovery efforts following 9/11. He assisted with relief efforts following Hurricane Katarina and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Brian is excited about his role with the NRCS. He looks forward to working with the Dallas County community. Brian’s diverse career path has instilled knowledge, dedication, and motivation in him.

Brian and his wife Rachel welcomed their first child to the world in August. They live in Urbana where they raise heritage sheep and poultry.


Dallas County SWCD receives recognition Training Conference

The annual training conference was held on November 27-29 at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach.  During the conference,  District Technician received both the area and state awards for District Specialist. District Manager Debbie Henderson received recognition for her 40 years of service, Jerry Duff. Chairman of the Dallas County SWCD board received recognition for his 25 years of service.

95th Dallas County Soils and Crops Conference

95th Dallas County Soils and Crops Conference held at the O’Bannon Community Center on February 15th.

Dallas County Soil and Water Conservation District technician Matt Hale reported about cost-share programs funded by the state’s eighth-cent conservation tax. In fiscal year 2017 $136,083 was returned to county landowners, and so far in fiscal year 2018, $167,322 in applications have been approved. Cost-share projects in 2017 included 21 planned grazing systems, eight seedings, 17 nutrient management practices, two riparian buffers, six well decommissionings, six timber exclusions and three spring developments.

The Dallas County Soil and Water Conservation District Cooperator of the Year award recognizes an operation that strives to improve environmental quality on their own farm and helps the district achieve its conservation goals.

The 2017 Dallas County Cooperators of the Year – Roger and Cindy Moore, were presented a plaque from Tony Rosen, Dallas County SWCD District Technician at the 95th Dallas County Soils and Crops Conference held at the O’Bannon Community Center on February 15th.

We first started working with Roger in 2012. He had purchased a tract of land where he planned to build his retirement home. At the time he was interested in tree planting, wildlife and organic gardening, but those plans grew.

He purchased another piece of land a few miles away and was ready to start improvements there, as well — which included forestry management and a grazing system.

He took soil tests and started liming, fertilizing and overseeding the pasture land, and also started within with a U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service forester to improve his timber, not only for wildlife, but also future marketing.

Meanwhile, he attended the Dallas County and Polk County grazing school and started installing high tensile electric fencing on his homeplace. He worked with the Missouri Department of Conservation private land conservationist to establish native warm season grasses on some pastures and over sewed legumes on the rest.

Once this system was up and running, he started installing his grazing system on a second piece of ground. Not long afterward, that system was operational and ready for cattle.

Some time later a neighbor offered to sell the Moore land that adjoined their homeplace, and a third project is under way with more electric fence and freeze-proof waterers.


2017 Customer Appreciation Day Open House

Brenda Young – Heart2Heart, Debbie Henderson – Dallas County SWCD

The Dallas County Soil and Water Conservation District and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service held their annual open house/customer appreciation day Thursday, December 7, 2017.  More than 100 cooperators and agency staff attended. Chili, snacks and an abundance of homemade Christmas cookies and assorted goodies were served.

Forty-five door prizes were contributed by local businesses and individuals. The following contributed door prizes: Buffalo Reflex, Katrina’s Flowers, O’Bannon Bank, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Flowerworks, MFA Farm and Home, ABC Motors, Woods Supermarket, Los Hermanos, Lento Ranch, OakStar Bank and Cash Saver

Entry for the drawing was a non-perishable food item or cash to be given to Heart to Heart local food bank.  The total donation was 300 pounds of food and $17 cash. 


Wonderful holiday snacks.

Enjoying time visiting with Dallas County landowners.

Many great door prizes.

Polk/Dallas Grazing School Field Day

What a great grazing school group. The field day began at 9:00 AM at Richard and Tina McConnell’s Farm.
Curtis Gooch, Resource Conservationist, with NRCS, started off explaining the many options we have for watering livestock.
Myron Hartzell, Resource Conservationist, NRCS, demonstrated one method of using a floating corner brace for a high tensile electric fence.

Richard McConnell, SALT Project Manager, Polk Co SWCD, demonstrates tying HT electric wire and using a floating brace on wood posts. Here we discussed hooking up a cut off switch.
Richard shows a Super Bowl, frost free plastic waterer installed in 2000.
Our calves appear to be enjoying our guest too.

2010 Training Conference Award Recipients


Cheyenne Williams, First Grade, Bolivar received first place in the k – 1 category.

Congratulations on a job well done!


Jerry Duff, Dallas Co SWCD Board President, received the 2010 State Supervisor of the Year Award at the State Training Conference held at Tan-Tar-A in Osage Beach, MO November 30.

2008 Training Conference Award Recipients

Amanda Martinsen received the 1st place State Poster in the 10th through 12th grade category. Amanda is a student at Marion C. Early School in Morrisville.

Ron Locke was presented with the 2008 Missouri State Grassland Farmer of the Year Award by the Missouri Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Ron is a perfect example of what can be accomplished with proper pasture/resource management. Through the use of rotational grazing management Ron has been able to increase plant diversity, forage yield and carrying capacity. He has protected streams and ponds from overuse from livestock as well as improving water quality. One of Ron’s main objectives is to be a year around grazer. To do this Ron stockpiles fescue and strip grazes pastures for the majority of the winter. Ron also sees many advantages to eradicating endophyte infected fescue and replacing it with endophyte “friendly” fescue species. Congratulations to Ron on a job well done.
Vicky Fieth, Polk County SWCD District Manager, received her award for 25 Years of Dedicated Service.

USDA-NRCS Area Four Awards Recipients

Gorman Bennett, NRCS Resource Conservationist, served as MC for the awards presentation held in Springfield, Missouri on January 16, 2008.
Roger Hansen, NRCS Missouri State Conservationist, discussed the current budget situation as well as the challenges we faced in 2007.
Monty Hawks, Area 4 NRCS Area Conservationist, updated the group on the 2008 budget challenges and the job well done by NRCS and SWCD employees.
Don Lucetta, from Congressman Roy Blunt’s Office, remarked on the current Farm Bill and Conservation.
Jerry Duff, Chairman of the Dallas County SWCD Board and member of the Southwest RC & D Council, receives his award for Outstanding Achievement.
Richard McConnell, Polk Co. SWCD Project Manager, receives his award for 10 years of service.
Debbie Henderson, Dallas County SWCD Office Manager, receives her award for 30 Years of Service from Roger Hansen.
Vicky Fieth, Polk Co. SWCD Office Manager, awards Roger Ankrom, District Technician, a Token of Appreciation for a job well done.
Tony Rosen, Dallas Co. SWCD District Technician, receives a Token of Appreciation Award from Gorman Bennett for a job well done.
Matt Hale, Dallas Co. SWCD Project Manager, Ann Thiesen, Dallas Co. Info Ed Coordinator and Tony Rosen, Dallas Co. SWCD District Technician, each received a Token of Appreciation for a job well done.
Members of the Dallas/Polk Co. Field Office Service Area, are shown with Roger Hansen after receiving an Extra Effort Award.

2006 Grazing School Field Day

Myron Hartzell, Grassland Conservationist at Dallas Co. instructs the group on the importance of using quality electric fencing components.
Myron Hartzell and Bob Howe demonstrate the proper procedure for building a floating brace on a corner post to the group.
Myron and Bob construct a floating corner brace using t-post.
Richard McConnell, Polk Co. SWCD discusses option for livestock watering. They included nose pump, ram pump, solar pump, float valves, types of water lines, hydrants and tanks.
Richard explains the proper method used when installing a frost proof hydrant on a buried water line. This method of installation gives freedom of movement both directions of the hydrant.

19th Annual Spring Forage Conference

430 Attend 19th Annual Spring Forage Conference

On February 20, staff members and producers from Polk, Dallas and many surrounding counties attended the Spring Forage Conference in Springfield. About 40 landowners attended from Polk and Dallas Counties alone! A variety of speakers presented topics surrounding forage production and marketing, and exhibitors showed products and programs also relating to forages, grazing, and livestock production.


The keynote address was given by Dr. Temple Grandin, Associate Professor, Animal Science, at Colorado State University. Dr. Grandin is a designer of livestock handling facilities who obtained her BA at Franklin Pierce College and her MS in Animal Science at Arizona State University. Dr. Grandin received her Ph.D. in Animals Science from the University of Illinois in 1989.

Today she teaches courses on livestock behavior and facility design at Colorado State University and consults with the livestock industry on facility design, livestock handling, and animal welfare. She has appeared on television shows such as 20/20, 48 Hours, CNN Larry King Live, and has been featured in People Magazine, the New York Times, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, and Time Magazine. Interviews with Dr. Grandin have been broadcast on National Public Radio. She has also authored over 300 articles in both scientific journals and livestock periodicals on animal handling, welfare, and facility design. She is the author of “Thinking in Pictures,” “Livestock Handling and Transport,” and “Genetics and the Behavior of Domestic Animals.”

See more information on her web page here.

Dr. Grandin (right) shares information about livestock slaughter facilities with another speaker, Anastasia Becker.