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The Hamlin County Conservation District celebrated 75 years of conservation in 2020.  Hamlin County lies in the east central part of South Dakota, with a fertile soil well suited for general farming and has several natural lakes.  In 1945, Hamlin County's fertile and productive soil had been cropped about 65 years with little or no regard to the fact of eroding topsoil and fertility exhaustion.  A group of farmers began talking about their problems and what they might do to meet them.  The County Crop Improvement Association members assumed the responsibility of sponsoring the organization of a Soil Conservation District and requested the County Agriculture Extension Service to assist in the organization.  Educational meetings were conducted by County Agent Kelsey and news stories oil soil conservation work were published in county papers.  On March 5, 1945, a favorable hearing was conducted on the proposed district at Hayti, South Dakota.  A referendum was conducted on May 12, at which time 649 votes were cast with 571 in favor and 78 against the formation of a district.  There were 332,800 acres in the district; 224,478 acres of which was represented in the vote.  A charter of organization was issued by the Secretary of State on May 31, 1945.  When the organization of the district was completed, the men elected to serve on the Board of Supervisors for the district referred to the minutes of hearings to learn what the people thought were problems facing the farmers of the area.  Drainage, tree planting, contouring, terracing, and weed control were the main concerns expressed at that time.  These have carried over the years and are still main concerns of area farmers 75 years later.  The first supervisors were:  Albert Mischke, Vienna, Chairman; Carl Cuse, Bryant, Vice-Chairman; Everett Baxter, Hazel, Treasurer; Aldon Berg, Bemis; and A.V. Davis, Estelline.


New Tree Shed/Cooler Built in 2011

"The history of every Nation is eventually written in the way in which it cares for its soil."                Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936

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