Awards & Achievements
Minidoka Conservation Steward of the Year Josh Kowitz.
Left - Minidoka Chairman Brian Kossman,
Center - Josh & Emily Kowitz with their 3 children, and
Right - LaNae Nalder, Minidoka Treasurer.
East Cassia Cooperators of the Year George & Gwen Montgomery.
Left - George Montgomery,
Center - Steve Ward, East Cassia Vice Chairman, and
Right - Gwen Montgomery
West Cassia Cooperators of the Year DelRay and Aaron Heward.
L to R Caleen & DelRay Heward, Carolyn & Aaron Heward, and West Cassia Chairman Richard Kunau.
Kathy Poulton Receives 10 Year Service Pin
West Cassia Soil & Water Conservation District honored Kathy Poulton with a 10 year service Pin for her dedicated efforts on the West Cassia Board.
Kathy is a lifelong resident of Cassia County. She and her son Mike run a cow-calf ranching operation south of Oakley. They raise hay and grain for feed. They also own a meadow ranch on Goose Creek where, with the help of NRCS and Soil Conservation funds and expertise, did riparian restoration on 3 miles of creek bank. Through cooperative effort of local, state, federal agencies and Mother Nature, creek banks have healed, water quality improved, sediment flow reduced, and the shallow water table restored.
Kathy is a retired teacher having taught 32 years in the Cassia Schools. She is a Master Gardener, a quilter, member of P.E.O. and an active member of the Presbyterian Church. Her favorite activity is being involved in the raising of her 5 grandsons.
Being involved with the West Cassia Soil and Water District has been a rewarding learning experience. She acts as treasurer of the board. She enjoys working with other board members and the administrative staff.
L to R West Cassia Supervisors Ken Black, Kathy Poulton, Richard Kunau, and Jordan Searle.
L to R West Cassia Chairman Richard Kunau and West Cassia Teacher of the Year Jaysa Fillmore.
West Cassia Teacher of the Year 2019 - Jaysa Fillmore
Growing up, Jaysa was active in FFA & 4-H. At the State FFA Conference during her Sophomore year in high school, she decided she wanted to be an AG TEACHER. She started taking night classes toward that goal. She graduated Valedictorian from Kimberly High School in 2006. She attended University of Idaho and graduated in 3 years with a BS degree in Ag Education.
Jaysa taught 3 years in Grangeville before moving to Burley to be closer to family. She taught at Burley High School for 2 years and then started the AG Program at Cassia High School where she has worked for 5 years.
Jaysa teaches all Applied Science classes at Cassia High School. She applied for a start-up Program Grant, built a greenhouse and now teaches several ag science horticulture classes where students carry out projects and experiments.
She secured donations for a metal building with heat and air conditioning for students to conduct animal projects. Students assembled rabbit hutches for their projects. Jaysa assists students with rabbit 4-H projects which begin during the school year and she continues to run classes 1-2 times each week throughout the summer. This project helps students gain experience in managing money and teaches them responsibility as they must care for their animals daily. Students sell their rabbits at the County Fair animal sale.
Jaysa also runs the "Adopt a Garden" Project where students plan and manage gardens in raised flower beds built by students. Currently, she is managing a CAREER EXPLORATION PROJECT where students can go out into the workplace and experience a variety of career opportunities.
Jaysa and her husband Richard have 2 girls ages 6 and 8. Together, they enjoy camping, gardening, skiing, and are working on their goal to visit all the hot springs in Idaho.
Congratulations - West Cassia Teacher of the Year - Jaysa Fillmore.
East Cassia - Special Recognition Award - Connor White
East Cassia Soil & Water Conservation District honored Connor White for his work on the Burley Landscape Sage Grouse Habitat Restoration Project. Connor is an SGI Range & Wildlife Conservationist with NRCS & Pheasants Forever. Connor has worked tirelessly on the Burley Landscape Sage Grouse Habitat Restoration Project. Much of this work is located in East Cassia District.
The first section of the project included 30,000 acres in an Environmental Assessment 10 year plan. They completed the work in the Fall of 2017 - 3 years ahead of schedule. Connor's responsibilities included collecting bids, hiring contractors, quality control, and overseeing the project. Work was completed using a "lop and scatter" techniques which means manual labor with hand chainsaws. They also used mastication techniques using machines, and cut/pile/and burn procedures. The project has cost 4 million dollars so far with all combined funding sources from partnerships with Pheasants Forever, BLM, NRCS, Fish & Game, and Office of Species Conservation.
Connor has begun work on a new section of the project which includes a 50,000 acre area in both East and West Cassia, and a 20,000 acre area in Goose Creek.
Connor was raised in New Plymouth, Idaho. He earned a degree in Range Land Management from University of Idaho. Connor's hobbies include study of and working with bird dogs, hunting (especially chucker), and he shot his first elk last year! He also enjoys taking videos with his drone. Connor - Thanks for your tireless work on these restoration improvements!
L to R East Cassia Vice-Chairman Steve Ward, SGI Range & Wildlife Conservationist Connor Whtie, and East Cassia SWCD Chairman Mark Webb.
Justin Hunter Receives 5 Year Service Pin
Justin Hunter has served on the Minidoka Soil and Water Conservation District board since 2014 serving as both a Supervisor and an Associate Supervisor.
Justin has been instrumental in supporting the direct seed program through implementing cover crop seed farming practices, has participated in renting our drill, and was one of the landowner-hosts for our first Direct Seed & Cover Crop Tour. Justin has worked with NRCS on Eqip and Conservation Stewardship programs, and is interested in soil health and is implementing cover crops in his farming rotation.
Justin graduated from Minico High School He lives in the Paul area with his wife Kellene. They have 2 children, 1 boy and 1 girl.
Justin Hunter (center-gray jacket holding papers) discusses cover crop planting experience and successes with tour members during a Direct Seed & Cover Crop Tour.
Justin Hunter showing cover crop species included in rotation.
Minidoka Cooperators of the Year B & H Farms.
Minidoka Soil & Water Conservation District Chairman Brian Kossman presented their Cooperator of the Year Award to B&H Farms at the Annual Awards Banquet.
B&H Farming is a partnership between Randy Bauscher and Tom Haynes. Randy and Tom started farming with nothing in 1989 part-time as a side job raising crops on 400 acres while they were both working at Mart Grain.
They have continued to grow their farming operation, which includes growing seed potatoes in Saskatchewan, Canada, commercial potatoes in Hainsworth, Nebraska, and commercial beans and alfalfa in Green River, Utah.
They raise around 2,000 acres of potatoes in a joint venture agreement with Lamb Weston, around 600 acres of open potatoes in the Twin Falls area, and 1,000 acres for Gem State Processing in Heyburn, Idaho. They have around 1,200 acres of sugar beets in contracts that go to the Paul and Twin Falls factories. They also raise malt barley, wheat, alfalfa, and corn. Congratulations to B&H Farms.
Minidoka Cooperators of the Year - B&H Farms - Randy Bauscher and Tom Haynes with Minidoka SWCD Chairman Brian Kossman.
Cover Crop Pioneer Award 2018 - S&H Farms
S&H Farms has participated in several Cover Crop Tours with the Soil & Water Conservation Districts. They are excited to share what they have learned with others. You are examples of Good Stewards. Thank you for being willing to share what you have learned.
Our Cover Crop Pioneer Award goes to: S&H Farms - Rulon Spear, and Hannah & Braylund Sanders.
From Left: Braylund, Hannah, Rulon, and Mark Webb - East Cassia Chairman
Rulon Spear joined with David Hinckley in 1989 to form the partnership of S&H Farms. Rulon is now the sole owner and has purchased several other farms increasing his farm to 7,000 acres including range. Much of Rulon's farm has a lot of slope and incline which resulted in much irrigation run-off.
6-7 years ago, Rulon was encouraged by Alison Hatch (NRCS employee) to start experimenting with cover crops. He could see the benefits right away. The number one benefit from the cover crops was the help with irrigation issues - they prevented irrigation run-off. Each year they have increased the amount of acres where cover crops are planted. Their goal now is to improve organic matter.
After Rulon's daughter Hannah returned from college, Hannah with her husband Braylund, stepped in with Rulon to help run the farm. They have added 350 black angus mother cows and use cover crops to feed their cows in the winter. They also have a few sheep and are planning to add chickens to their operation soon. They have 4 full time employees and some part-time family workers.
Hannah says the direction they are going is exciting to see! The cover crops help them so much - they are very beneficial. Her favorite thing is the science they are learning and implementing, and the changes they have made.
West Cassia Welcomes new board member 2018
Jordan graduated from ISU with a degree in Instrumentation and Automation. He met his wife Amanda while attending school there. Jordan has a passion for farming. He grew up on the family farm the View area. In 2013 he returned to the family farm with the hope of raising his family in the View area. Jordan and Amanda have 2 children, Sadee and Ty. They enjoy being outside, riding horses, 4-wheelers, and snowmobiling.
Jordan is a volunteer EMT for Declo QRU and West Cassia QRU. He enjoys meeting people in the community and being involved. Jordan is concerned about protecting our soil and water resources. He is interested in finding and implementing practices that will benefit our natural resources and would like to educate and share what he learns with others.
Jordan with Richard Kuanu - West Cassia Chairman
Minidoka Welcomes new board member 2018
Luke moved back to Idaho and started farming full time in 2013. He loved growing up on the farm and the most satisfying part of farming for Luke is working with family. He and his wife Sara have always loved living in Rupert and find working with family and outdoors very satisfying. Luke learned the importance of soil health from his father Tim, who has always stressed the importance of soil in farming. He has continued to learn and adjust in his journey with farming and using cover crops and feels this will be an ongoing learning experience.. They started Agri-Terre Seed so they could ensure access to quality seed grown in Idaho.
Luke loves how we are a cooperative group and that we are able to spread lessons learned in Agriculture across the community. He has been very involved in the agriculture community and various Conservation District Workshops and Cover Crop Tours. He is very dedicated to making opportunities available to all to further their knowledge in Agriculture.
Luke with Brian Kossman - Minidoka Chairman
Oakley Canal Company
Goose Creek Irrigation District
West Cassia District honored the Oakley Canal Company and the Goose Creek Irrigation District
for their work on the PIPELINE PROJECT.
East & West Cassia-25 Years of Service Award 2018
Doreen is the Information & Educational Specialist for East Cassia & West Cassia Soil and Water Conservation Districts. She has been instrumental in planning the Idaho State FFA & 4-H Land & Soil Evaluation Event, as well as many workshops, banquets, picnics, awards, and other meetings for the Soil Districts. She was heavily involved in the district’s seedling tree sale for many years being known to many as “the Tree Lady”.
She has also been involved with the Mini-Cassia Direct Seed & Cover Crop Project focusing on the CIG grant, establishing records and documents to meet grant requirements. As well as organization of the committee responsibilities, planning and implementing educational highlights like the Cover Crop Tours and the Annual Soil Health Workshops. She is responsible for district agricultural and educational programs for youth within the county, the soil district newsletters (called “Mini-Cassia Conservation Update”), district publicity, and a variety of other district activities.
Doreen loves working for the Soil District Boards. She and her husband Kerry have 6 children. Doreen is active in church and community volunteer work. Her hobbies include family, quilting, sewing, and gardening.
Doreen with Mark Webb - East Cassia Chairman
Doreen, thank-you for 25 years of commitment to both the East Cassia and West Cassia Districts!
East Cassia - 25 Years of Service Award 2018
Ken operates a dryland and irrigated farm with his family in Heglar. They raise sugar beets, oilseeds, and grain while utilizing strip till and direct seeding methods. Ken is a 3rd generation Woodworth to farm in the Heglar area since 1916.
Some of Ken’s concerns include wind erosion and irrigation induced erosion. He is also concerned about the need to educate the general public about practical conservation practices.
Ken has served on the board for 25 years; 10 years as a board member, 2 years as an associate member, 3 years as Chairman, and the past 10 years as the Secretary/Treasurer. Ken is married to Cinda and they have four children and three grandchildren.
Ken, thanks for 25 years of service to the East Cassia Board!
Ken with Mark Webb - East Cassia Chairman
Recognition of Outstanding Performance 2018
Dinah Reaney - NRCS
Dinah grew up in Idaho- she was born and raised on the range in the Emmett area. She is the youngest of 3 sisters and the daughter of a mother with humor. She met her husband, Wade, through her mom at a horse sale. It took several years, and a lot of horse shows and sales but, they are now happily married with 2 children. Riding horses is her favorite pastime.
She graduated from U of I and worked with the DEQ before joining the NRCS 13 years ago. Dinah likes seeing growers try conservation techniques and being innovative in their efforts to better their agricultural practices.
In Recognition of Outstanding Performance and dedicated service the Minidoka Soil and Water Conservation District presents this token of appreciation to Dinah Reaney. Thank-you!
Dinah with Brian Kossman - Minidoka Chairman
Ken with Richard Kuanu - West Cassia Chairman
West Cassia - 5 Years of Service Pin 2018
Ken was raised in Almo and moved to Burley as a boy. He is a life-long resident of Cassia County. He attended Utah State University majoring in mechanical engineering and then pursued a business degree from CSI. Ken still operates his great grandfather's Homestead Ranch in Almo. He is the owner of BLACK LIVESTOCK and is partnered with his son Spencer. Together they run 2,000 acres, 350 cows, and a 1,200 cow feedlot.
Ken has served 17 years on the Idaho Ag Credit Association Board and is currently serving as Chairman. He has been a 4-H Leader & served on the Burley Ag Advisory Committee. Ken's priorities for the district include the seedling tree sale, farm safety education, and soil conservation.
In his free time, Ken loves to golf, is active in church and scouting. He is married to Nina and together they have 2 children and 4 grandchildren.
Thank you for 5 years of service on the West Cassia Board.
Minidoka - 5 Years of Service Pins
From Left: Dusty Wilkins- Treasurer, Russ Suchan- Vice Chairman, Brian Kossman- Chairman, Aaron Firth - Supervisor
Conservation Steward of the Year Award 2018
Reid Bowen has been a progressive farmer, constantly reviewing and testing new farming methods focused on conserving and building soil health. He has been a soil health champion whose is always willing to share he findings in the field.
You are a leading example of Good Stewardship. Thank you for being willing to share what you have learned.
Our Conservation Steward of the Year Award for Minidoka County goes to: Reid Bowen.
Reid grew up working on his Grandfather’s ( Frank Gillette) Farm. He spent many summers helping his uncles with various farm chores. Reid’s high school career was filled with Ag related studies and activities including FFA. He continued in this field at U of I and graduated with a Bachelors in Agricultural Economics. His wife Lacy attended U of I at the same time and completed a degree in accounting. Since then they have raised a family of four children, 2 boys and 2 girls.
Reid began working for Amalgamated Sugar in 2011. At that same time, he also rented his first farm ground and raised dry beans. Since then Reid has become a field man for growers in the western Minidoka County, where he has been instrumental in introducing no-till sugar beets into production. He has been a soil health champion, with Amalgamated, writing articles about his real production field trials involving no-till sugar beets and teaching about benefits at grower meetings.
He has helped push along the need for more research in cover crops on their Suchan Research farm in Paul. In his personal farming enterprise, Reid currently raises dry beans. Wheat, alfalfa, and field corn. He is a progressive farmer, constantly reviewing and testing new farming methods focused on conserving and building soil health.
From Left: Lacy, Reid, and Brian Kossman - Minidoka Chairman
John Firth, Minidoka SWCD Chairman, was awarded the Doyle L. Scott Award
at the Idaho Soil and Water Conservation Distirct (IASCD) Conference held in November of 2015.