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OUR STAFF

Meet the Wright Soil and Water Conservation District staff; a group of committed and hard working individuals who strive everyday to uphold our mission.

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SWCD

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Luke Johnson

District Manager

As District Manager, Luke is responsible for supervising staff, developing and administering the District’s budget, administering grants and programs, maintaining citizen and agency partnerships, coordinating North Fork Crow River comprehensive water management plan activities, and ensuring the policies and directives of the Board of Supervisors are carried out. He enjoys helping Wright County landowners, local leaders and partners address soil and water resource issues.

 

Luke grew up on a hobby farm near Atwater, where he first learned about natural resource conservation. He developed a love for the outdoors at a young age while hunting and fishing with his dad and brothers. He earned his bachelor’s degrees in geology and geography from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Luke joined the District in 2005 as the Engineering Technician and has served as the District Manager since 2017.

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Dan Nadeau

Senior Resource Conservationist

Dan’s position serves as the important link between the Wright SWCD and Wright County Landowners. He contacts landowners to offer suggestions for structural and non-structural practices and projects, which will help reduce soil erosion and protect the county’s soil and water resources. Dan also helps obtain grant funds to unwrite his suggestions. He also serves on the Steering Committee for the Wright County Weed Management Area to help control invasive species within the County.

 

Dan’s interest in conservation and the outdoors started early as he spent time with his grandfather and Dad working and hunting on their Sherburne County farm. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from St. Cloud State University and later worked in conservation for the Crow River Organization of Water (2008-2013). Today, Dan enjoys spending time with his family, hunting, fishing, helping coach softball, and volunteering for local organizations. Dan joined the Wright SWCD in 2013.

Andrew Grean

Andrew Grean

Senior Wetland Resource Conservationist

Andrew primarily administers the Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act (WCA). In addition to WCA, he assists in acquiring grant funds for water quality projects, advancing the districts soil health initiatives for area producers, documenting the districts past and current projects as a certified drone operator, and anything else that comes up as all of the Wright SWCD staff wear many hats! Working with residents to identify a resource concern, brainstorm solutions, acquire funding, and ultimately implement the project is the most fulfilling part of his job.

 

Andrew is from Saint Peter, Minnesota, and received a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from Gustavus Adolphus College and a master’s degree in Environmental Science from Indiana University.

Andrew joined the team in 2013.

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Eric Mattson

Conservation Technician

Eric Mattson is a Conservation Technician at the Wright SWCD. He works with the tree program, buffers, conservation easements, the CWMA and many other programs. Eric is the go to in the office for anything vegetation. Eric really enjoys the diversity of his role working with landowners and land managers throughout the county.

Eric grew up just outside of Buffalo on a hobby farm raising poultry and rabbits. He earned a degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. His hobbies include hunting and fishing with his wife and two sons.

Eric joined the team in 2015.

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Mike Candler

Natural Resources Engineer

Michael provides technical expertise on a variety of water resources issues. He works with producers to control erosion in agricultural landscapes. Michael also works with Wright County residents and government entities to prevent and remedy degradation of streams, lakes, and wetlands. He most enjoys working with people to try and provide meaningful, practical solutions to stormwater issues that impact their everyday lives.

 

Michael grew up in Southeast Michigan and moved to Minnesota in 2017, shortly after earning his M.S. in Environmental Engineering.  When he’s not working, Michael enjoys hiking, skiing, fishing, and hunting with his family. Michael joined the team in 2018.

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Alicia O'Hare

Water Resource Specialist

Alicia coordinates water quality monitoring throughout Wright County including farm runoff, BMP efficacy, and lake quality. As the Wright County water planner she works with stakeholders and partners to find projects and secure funding to achieve our water quality goals. She also coordinates the aquatic invasive species program.

 

O’Hare received her bachelor's degree in Watershed Management from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a master's in Hydrogeology from Illinois State University. When Alicia isn’t on the lakes (for work or pleasure) you can find her running in the woods with her dog or playing board games with her family. Alicia joined the team in 2016.

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Sandra Hessedal

Office Assistant

Sandra's main responsibilities relate to staff timekeeping and grant reporting with some minor assistance given to the Wright District’s tree program. Her role is more focused now that she is retired from the District’s Secretarial position. What she likes and has liked about her position over the years has been all the incredible co-workers, and working with numbers and making them balance.

Sandra was an Accredited Medical Record Technician and graduate Medical Secretary city person, who ended up in a conservation/farm related position, and still loves coming to work after almost 53 years working at the district! In her “off hours”, she enjoys watching Korean dramas, knitting, and doing volunteer work at church and the local school GED program.

Sandi joined the team in 1970.

Whitney Peterson

Whitney Peterson

Operations Specialist

 

Whitney provides oversight of all operational functions of the District along with direct support to the District Manager and the Board of Supervisors. She works with our financial records, grants, human resource items, and assists with outreach efforts.

A farmer’s daughter from Nebraska, she earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration. Outside of work you will find her cooking and chasing her three sons around their farm. Whitney joined the team in 2023.

NRCS

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Julie Reberg

NRCS District Conservationist

Julie assists landowners and farmers with participating in the NRCS programs Environment Quality Incentive Program (EQIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), and the Wetland Restoration Easement Program (WRE). Through these programs she helps landowners and farmers address resource concerns on their land. 

 

She grew up in Sauk Rapids, MN and earned a bachelor’s degree in Soil and Land Management from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.

Julie has been with the NRCS since 2004.

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Cassidy Voeltz

NRCS Soil Conservationist

Cassidy’s role involves offering conservation planning and technical assistance to farmers, ranchers, and landowners. She suggests ways to conserve soil, improve water quality and quantity, manage nutrients, and protect and improve wildlife habitat. She also helps local producers implement various conservation practices and manage programs which provide financial and technical assistance. Cassidy enjoys being able to address a variety of conservation concerns by developing, implementing, and improving ways for producers to use land in a sustainable way, while enhancing and conserving the environment at the same time.

 

Cassidy grew up on a farm in Big Stone City, South Dakota, and earned her bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Management / Rangeland Ecology at North Dakota State University. In her free time she enjoys hiking, playing with her puppy, spending time with friends and family, and gardening.

Cassidy has been with the NRCS since February, 2023.

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