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Scholarships, Contests, and Camps

HCCD Scholarships

The Hamlin County Conservation District is offering two $250 scholarships to any Hamlin County high school senior boy or girl who is involved in conservation., and plans a future in an ag or conservation related field.   Past experience could include; 4H projects, conservation farming, judging contest, speeches, and work experiences.  Please submit the following:  In 250 words or less, write a description of your involvement in conservation.  Please include what you have learned about it, projects you have been involved in, and your future ideas involving conservation.  A photo for publicity.  Completed application form.                     The deadline to submit an application is 4:00 p.m.     March 25, 2022.  The recipient will be paid after the start of the second semester in January of their freshman year of college, or any secondary school. 

SDACDE Scholarships


Sponsor Information:  South Dakota Association of Conservation District Employees (SDACDE)


Qualifications:  The recipient will be a current year graduate of a South Dakota High School.  The recipient shall have graduated in the upper 50% of the class and will be attending a school in an Agricultural/Conservation related field in a South Dakota College or Vocational School.


Payment:  Three (3) $500 Scholarships are offered. 

Payment will be rendered to the recipient.  The amount of the scholarship is $500 to be paid upon completion of the 2nd semester registration.  The scholarship money will be used for purchasing books or any other college use.


Presentation:  The award will be presented at the recipient's annual school awards program.


Selection criteria: 

1.  Personal (employment, extra curricular, honors, community service)=40%

2.  Brief description of education and career goals = 30%

3.  Academic (grades & class rank) = 10%

4.  Letters of recommendation (2) = 10%

5.  Financial Need = 10%


Karst Scholarship History:

The South Dakota Association of Conservation District Employees started a Memorial Scholarship Fund in 1995 to honor the memory of past employees and their passion, dedication and commitment to the conservation movement.


The SDACDE is offering three (3) - $500 scholarships.  The purpose of this scholarship is to encourage those students concerned with conserving their natural resources by furthering their education in an agricultural/conservation related field.  The scholarship is available to graduating high school seniors who will be attending a 4-year college or vocational school.

Arbor Day Essays.

Each year, in January,  the Hamlin Conservation District asks the area schools to participate in an Arbor Day Essay Contest.  This contest is conducted by the State Forestry Department.  Students in the 5th and/or 6th grades are asked to write an essay about Arbor Day, and its importance.  The essays are then sent to the Conservation District where the top three from each school are chosen.  From those 9 winners, a local District 1st place is chosen and forwarded on to the State competition.  The last few years, the district has had an average of 96 essays to judge.  Peggy Loomis, District Manager of HCCD and Jon Wendel, Area Forester visit each of the three schools sometime in late April,  to announce the winners.  At that time, a short presentation is given and the awards.  Each participant receives a Black Hills Spruce tree and a seed packet to plant a tree. 

The three top winners in the State competition win cash awards, as well as an engraved plaque.  The first place winner also receives a very attractive, lined jacket and a cash award for their school. 

For Scholarship Applications or Contest Information, please

click the links below:

South Dakota Wildlife Federation Camp for High School Students!




The HCCD has sponsored 34 campers to the South Dakota Wildlife Federation Youth Conservation Camp since 2000.  Each year, two students are sponsored to attend the one week SDWF camp at Camp Bob Marshall in the Black Hills.  The camp typically runs June 1-7th.  This camp is for the conservation minded.  Any student in 9th, 10th, or 11th grade boys or girls, along with students finishing 8th grade are eligible.  The camp is an opportunity for young people who enjoy being outside and amount the wildlife to spend several days covering topics which will include conservation and environmental issues, game management, forestry and fisheries.  The program also includes hands on instruction in small groups as well as giving the delegates a choice of the subjects that interest them the most. 

The HCCD will pay the registration fee of $300 (which includes bus fare if students choose to go by bus) for two Hamlin County students to attend.  Information on bus schedules, boarding time, etc. will be sent directly to the camper by the camp.  Applications will be available through your school counselor after the first of the year.  They must be returned by April 15th.  We will notify winners of the scholarships soon after that date.  With questions, please contact our office at

605-783-3642 x4.

Resource Conservation Speech Contest

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with Touchstone Energy Cooperatives of South Dakota, The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts is seeking entrants for the 2022 Resource Conservation Speech Contest.  Please click on the link above to see all rules.  Entries need to be turned in by mid February.  There is a new contest theme every year.  To listen to previous Speech Contest winners, copy and paste: 

"National action may be led and aided by government, but the soil must be conserved ultimatedly by those who till the land and live by its products."        Hugh Hammond Bennett, 1939

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