NDASCD Conservation Spotlight: Roger Christenson, Area III Director
Updated: Apr 8
By: Morgan Hochsprung
Ask nearly anyone involved with the North Dakota Association of Soil Conservation Districts (NDASCD) about Roger Christenson, and they will have a positive story to share. After eight years of service, Roger Christenson, Area III Director from Mountrail County Soil Conservation District, is finishing his time on the NDASCD Board this month.
The NDASCD connected with Roger to learn more about, his story, his involvement, and to gain some wise words of advice.
Question and Answer:
Can you tell us about yourself?
“I farm with my wife, Kari, in the Plaza/Parshall area. We raise wheat, canola, soybeans, and flax. We've also raised three kids: Madison, Regan, and Lincoln, who are all grown. We've been no-tilling for about 10 years and direct seeded with a hoe drill for about 15 years before that. We are currently trying to establish cover crops in our mix.”
How did you get involved with Natural Resource Conservation?
“Soil conservation has been important to our family for many years. My folks were achievement winners in the early '80s. My conservation thoughts started with reduced-tillage trips. Wearing out the soil with several passes to summer fallow or incorporate chemical turned me off. Thank goodness the technology of soil/water conservation has continued to improve since the days of trashy summer fallow.
In 1994, a Fort Berthold SCD Supervisor decided to not run for re-election. Nobody had filed to be on the ballot and he asked if I would accept a write-in. I was honored as I was aware of and respected his activity in our local district and the NDASCD, and of course, I accepted. It turned out that I received enough votes to win the position.
I attended NDASCD conventions for a few years but missed several years starting in the late '90s as I was busy on the school board, had a seasonal job processing venison at a local meat plant, and my family was young.
As my family grew to adolescence and I lost the other jobs, I attended conventions more frequently and enjoyed the break-out sessions and business meetings. I saw the importance Lincoln Oakes Nursery was to local districts and how a grassroots organization operates. I was eventually asked to be the Area III Representative on a standing committee or two. The Area III Directors knew of my interest and willingness to run for Area Director and when one director termed out, I was fortunate enough to be elected to the position.
I came onto the Association board just as a big turnover was starting to take place. Within four years, every Area Director was new. In that time, I served as Association President for two years and have served as an NACD board member closing in on eight years.”
What has been your favorite part about being involved with the NDASCD?
“I've served with a large cast of directors and partners and have enjoyed the friendship and company of everybody involved. Gaining those friendships, along with the implementation of the NDASCD Farm Bill Specialist Program, and having a future NACD Summer Board meeting coming to Bismarck, are my favorite thoughts from my involvement with the NDASCD."
Any Advice for Those with a Newfound Interest In Natural Resource Conservation?
“For those newly interested in natural resource conservation, there are so many more information sources available today than 25 years ago. The internet, along with face-to-face workshops gives us so many opportunities to do our homework and to be prepared for the future. Of course, preparation is no guarantee. So, don't be afraid to ask questions.”
Why do you think our work is important?
“As the world's population increases and the area available for food production decreases, conservation is a vital cog in the machinery of feeding a hungry world. That's why our work is important.”
What do you plan to do with some extra free time?
“I plan on staying involved. I was recently re-elected as a Mountrail County SCD District Supervisor. I will be active locally and will still attend all state conventions for the foreseeable future. Any extra outdoor time will be spent fishing, hunting, or in the garden. Extra indoor time will be spent enjoying classic movies, helping FFA/4H judging teams, and maybe even painting.”
The NDASCD thanks Roger for all of his hard work throughout the years. His dedication, friendship, and willingness to help have not gone unnoticed. It has been an honor and a true joy to work with him. We wish him the best of luck and look forward to seeing him at future Business Meetings. Don’t be afraid to stop in and say hi!
Do you know someone that represents natural resource conservation in an exemplary way? Send your submissions for them to be featured in our next NDASCD Spotlight! Submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no submission we will not consider!