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About Us

Welcome to the Hamlin County Conservation District, where our commitment spans 78 years in stewarding the diverse lands of Hamlin County. With a population of around 5,900 residents spread across 538 square miles, our county seat in Hayti hosts the Hamlin Conservation District office. Boasting over eight lakes and ample hunting opportunities, our region is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a variety of activities, including snowmobiling.

Founded seven decades ago, our district continues to implement innovative solutions, focusing on preventing soil erosion, maintaining soil health, preserving wildlife habitat, and ensuring healthy grasses and wetland acres. Beyond our tree planting program, we address water quality concerns through initiatives like planting riparian areas and installing pasture pipes for water tanks.

The Hamlin County Conservation District offers an array of services, including tree planting, fabric application, and practices enhancing land productivity. From tree tube installations to drill services for various seeds, we contribute to the vitality of our landscape. Our commitment extends to supporting rotational grazing practices and offering native and garden perennials for both urban and rural use.

Engaging with our community is a priority. We actively participate in schools with programs for Arbor Day and Soil Health, seek grant funding for cost-sharing programs, and collaborate with partners like the Natural Resource Conservation Service, Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, and others.

Rooted in an agricultural setting, we prioritize supporting healthy and sustainable livestock production, recognizing the crucial role of clean water. Our team is always ready to provide technical assistance and advice on conservation practices. Join us on this journey towards a more sustainable and vibrant community.

Our History

The Hamlin County Conservation District is celebrating 78 years of conservation efforts in 2023. Located in the heart of East Central South Dakota, Hamlin County has rich and fertile soil, making it perfect for various types of farming. The area also boasts several natural lakes.

 

Back in 1945, Hamlin County soil showed signs of wear and tear after about 65 years of farming without much consideration for soil erosion and fertility. A group of farmers realized they needed to do something about it. Members of the County Crop Improvement Association took charge and decided to form a Soil Conservation District. They asked for help from the County Agriculture Extension Service to get things started.

With the guidance of County Agent Kelsey, they held educational meetings and shared stories about soil conservation in the county papers. On March 5, 1945, there was a positive hearing about the proposed district in Hayti, South Dakota. Then, on May 12, a vote took place, with 649 people participating. The result was a resounding 571 votes in favor and 78 against forming the district. The district covered 332,800 acres, and 224,478 acres were represented in the vote. The Secretary of State issued the charter of organization on May 31, 1945.

Once the district was formed, the elected Board of Supervisors looked at what people had said during the hearings to figure out the main challenges farmers were facing. Things like drainage, tree planting, contouring, terracing, and weed control were the big concerns then, and amazingly, these are still the main issues that farmers in the area care about 78 years later.

The first supervisors were Albert Mischke (Chairman), Carl Cuse (Vice-Chairman), Everett Baxter (Treasurer), Aldon Berg, and A.V. Davis. These folks played a crucial role in starting the district and setting the stage for its ongoing commitment to conservation.

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What We Offer

At Hamlin County Conservation District, we offer a range of services to promote conservation and sustainability. One of our main services is the annual tree sale, where landowners and residents can purchase affordable trees from nurseries in the Tri State area. We also provide a machine planting service, which includes a tree planter and a crew of three or four people. This service is aimed at creating farmstead or field windbreaks, wildlife habitat plantings, or restoration projects. Additionally, we offer a fabric application service to protect the investment made in tree planting by keeping out weeds and retaining moisture.


As a district located in an agricultural setting, we prioritize supporting healthy and sustainable livestock production. We recognize the importance of providing clean water to livestock and continuously search for ways to support this goal. Our team is always available to provide technical assistance and advice on conservation practices.

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