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Supervisor of the Year

Kodie Olsen (MACDEO President) presenting Mark Thompson (Sweet Grass Cd Supervisor) with the 2016 Supervisor of the Year Award.
Kodie Olsen (MACDEO President) presenting Mark Thompson (Sweet Grass CD Supervisor) with the 2015 Supervisor of the Year Award.

Congratulations to Mark Thompson on being awarded the Supervisor of the Year Award. This year the EO recognized the top three supervisors by reading their nomination essay.


The top three very worthy candidates are:

Steve Wanderaas, Dean Rogge, Mark Thompson

Steve Wanderaas – Steve has served the McCone Conservation District since 1997.  With 4 new supervisors on the McCone Conservation District Board, Steve has had the opportunity to take the district into a new direction and the challenges of engaging people who are new to conservation and guiding them through its many responsibilities.

Through his leadership and guidance, the district has held 5 workshops (3 on soil health, 1 on range management, and 1 on no-till gardening), 1 range monitoring day, 1 local soil health field day, and 1 soil health bus tour to Fallon County.  It has resurrected the local working group and range committee and reengaged the community through outreach and programs for the kids.

Steve was recognized in 2014 as most improved player for his work with the Missouri River Conservation District Council; the CM Russell Community Working Group, and with bison initiatives.

Dean Rogge – Dean is the Chairman of the Garfield County Conservation District. Dean’s single-most distinguishing characteristic is his passion.  He believes in what he is doing and takes it very seriously that he is representing the views of his constituents and not his personal agenda.  Dean believes in the power of conservation districts and their ability to make a difference by bring the local people to the table for management decisions.  Dean constantly asserts that he is not a good speaker, but the undeniable sincerity present when he speaks is more than enough to overcome any lack of vocabulary.  It is his sincerity and thoughtful responses that have convinced more than a few people that agriculture is a noble profession, and can be conducted while preserving critical wildlife habitat and protecting the natural resources.

Mark Thompson – Mark has served on the Sweet Grass Conservation District since 2005.  He lives and works on a multigenerational family ranch near Melville, MT with his wife, Leslie, and two young children, Lia and Ryder.  Mark is the districts go-to-guy for 310s.  He has been on over a hundred thirty 310 inspections and has dealt with numerous violations and court proceedings for some of them.  He has an enormous amount of knowledge of river and stream dynamics and has years of first-hand knowledge of irrigation practices.  He is the districts unofficial 301 trainer for new supervisors.  Area producers, stream consultants, and FWP personnel appreciate his common sense approach to water issues.  He is always cool-headed and well informed.  Mark has worked on and supported numerous large conservation projects over the years.  He makes himself available to legislators, agency department heads, and to participate in many partner meetings to help get conservation projects on the ground.  He was instrumental in the idea, reviewed legislation, and provided support for the new conservation district contracting law that passed during the last legislature.  He is nearly a circus performer in how he juggles his ranch and family commitments and his conservation district duties.  According to the conservation district, to sum it all up, “he dun good.”


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