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Hubbard County has new district conservationist

Rick Berscheid is the new district conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Park Rapids. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)

Rick Berscheid has assumed the role of district conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a federal agency with headquarters in the USDA Service Center in Park Rapids.

He replaces Russ Johnsrud who recently retired.

Berscheid grew up in Long Prairie and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in agricultural industries and marketing, working in Albert Lea for the NRCS, Alexandria and, most recently in Kauai, Hawaii.

From October 2008 until earlier this month he worked with Hawaiian farmers and ranchers, developing grazing plans, orchard production and water quality standards for irrigation development.

Weekends were spent scuba diving and hiking the canyons and beaches. "It's a nice place, plenty to do..."

But the northwoods was calling.

"Home is home. I missed the hunting, fishing and my family," including meeting his brother's firstborn. "I'm the baby's godfather.

"I've been all over the state and this is the area I want to be," he said, citing the mix of lakes, trees and agriculture.

The NRCS programs include EQUIP, (Environmental Quality Incentives Program), WHIP (Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program) and the Conservation Stewardship Program.

"I'm looking forward to meeting the meeting people in the community," he said.

Berscheid may be reached at 732-9723, ext. 110.