21st Annual Joint Conference 2019

Brought to you by the Red River Watershed Management Board and Flood Damage Reduction Work Group

Conference Success!
Red River Watershed Management Board

The 21st joint annual conference of the Red River Watershed Management Board and Flood Damage Reduction Work Group was a great success. Several events were part of the three day event from March 19 to March 21, 2019 at the Moorhead Marriott Hotel and Convention Center. Comments from conference attendees indicated that the 2019 conference an associated events were a hit. The RRWMB and the FDRWG give thanks to our attendees of the Drainage conference and the attendees of the Annual Conference.

Conference Highlights!
Red River Watershed Management Board

Approximately 125 people registered for the conference and several other events were held in conjunction with the annual conference. The RRWMB and FDRWG thanks the planning committee, conference sponsors (HEI, HDR, Moore Engineering Inc., Red River Retention Authority, WSN), and conference attendees for another great conference. The RRWMB also thanks the Red River Basin Commission staff for their assistance in preparing for the event.

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Radio Show
Conference Agenda

21st Annual Joint Conference!
Save the Date!
March 20-21
Conference Agenda
Red River Basin Drainage Conference - March 19, 2019

Drainage Conference!
Red River Watershed Management Board

drainage speakersThe 2019 drainage conference provided information about drainage laws in Minnesota and North Dakota, updates on drainage case law, Minnesota requirements (MS 103E) for management of public ditch systems (e.g., repairs, maintenance, redetermination of benefits, and petitions), understanding of multipurpose drainage water management and effective implementation, knowledge of drainage recommendations specific to the Red River Basin for public drainage projects, and updates from the Minnesota Drainage Work Group.

Conference Speakers/Presentations

2019 Sponsors

The RRWMB and FDRWG sincerely thank the 2019 annual conference sponsors for their generous support of this years event. 2019 sponsors included HDR Engineering Inc., Houston Engineering Inc., Moore Engineering Inc., Widseth Smith and Nolting, and the Red River Retention Authority.

Eric Jones Presentation - Show Me the Money

Erik Jones, a water resources engineer with Houston Engineering, enjoys seeing projects built that provide benefits to people and their environment. Erik enjoys the comprehensive approach to watershed management and challenges and opportunities it can present.

Eric Nelson and Brady Woodard Presentation - What can drone technology do for you

Erik Nelson is a drone pilot and data processor with Houston Engineering, Inc. His expertise and understanding of what drones have to offer is based on his years of experience using CAD, Survey, GIS, and 3D modeling. In addition, Erik has processed hundreds of miles of drone based LiDAR. Erik is Part 107 sUAS Certified and is a licensed drone operator.

Greg Gust Presentation - 2019 FLood Outlook

Greg Gust is the NOAA/NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist serving the Red River (southern) and Devils Lake Basins from his office in Grand Forks ND since 1998. Greg and the NWS staff provide environmental information and Decision Support Services for high impact incidents across these U.S. northern plains, and specialize in direct support to Emergency Management officials, Media outlets, Multi-Agency Coordination Centers, and public decision makers. You will find him/them in the thick of activities before, during, and after the BIG storms…and BIG floods!

Henry Van Offelen Presentation - 1998 Red River Basin Mediation Agreement, History and Current Perspectives

Henry Van Offelen works for the MN Board of Water and Soil Resources as the Clean Water Specialist for the Red River Basin. He has worked on water management and natural resource issues in the Red River basin for the past 20 years. Prior to his work with BWSR he was the Red River Basin Coordinator for DNR, a natural resource scientist for MN Center for Environmental Advocacy, and the Red River Fisheries Specialist with DNR.

Jenilynn Marchand Presentation - What Makes Drinking Water in the Red River Basin Unique, A MN Department of Health Planner Perspective

Jenilynn Marchand has an Associates of Arts, Bachelor of Arts, and Masters of Science from Bemidji State University with an emphasis in Ecotoxicology. She worked for the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians for seven years as Aquatic biologist and Nonpoint Source Pollution Specialist before joining the Minnesota Department of Health as a Principal Planner for Source Water Protection in Northwestern Minnesota. She is now the Planner Supervisor of Source Water Protection for Northern Minnesota.

Jodi DeJong Hughes Presentation - Don't Treat Your Soil Like Dirt

Jodi DeJong-Hughes has been a Regional Educator with the University of Minnesota Extension for over 22 years. Her area of specialization includes tillage systems, soil compaction, and improving soil health. Jodi’s work focuses on reducing soil erosion and building soil health to improve the grower’s bottom line and to reduce the movement of soil and nutrients to our natural waterways. She enjoys working alongside growers, the agricultural industry, and government agencies to bring high quality, educational programs and research to the people of Minnesota.

Joe Martin Presentation - FSA Update

Joe Martin was appointed by the Trump Administration to his current position in November 2017. He has served as the director of government relations for Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation, director of congressional relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation, assistant commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, executive director of the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association, and the communications manager for DuPont Pioneer's Northern Business Unit.  Martin also worked as a private consultant on a variety of agricultural issues and projects ranging from sustainability to workforce development.

Larry Gigliotti Presetation - Understanding MN Landowners' Values, Attitudes & Behaviors Towards Wildlife & Wildlife Habitat

Larry Gigliotti is currently an Assistant Unit Leader for the USGS South Dakota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. Prior to this position at South Dakota State University, Larry worked for the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department from 1993 to 2011. Larry’s expertise is in the “human dimensions” of fish and wildlife management.

Louis Smith Presentation - The Basics of Good Governance

Louis Smith is an attorney practicing water resources law for the past 30 years. His firm represents over a dozen watershed organizations throughout Minnesota. 

Nan Bischoff Presentation - Red River Comprehensive Watershed management Plan, Who, What, When, Where, How and Now What

Nanette (Nan) Bischoff, P.E. is a senior project manager with the St. Paul District Corps of Engineers. Nan manages the Red River Basin-wide Feasibility study, which is co-sponsored by the North Dakota Joint Water Resource District and the Minnesota Red River Watershed Management Board.

Nicole Bernd Presentation - SWCD Partnership Projects, Opportunities for Engagement, Consensus and Execution

Nicole Bernd has been the District Manager of the West Polk SWCD, Crookston, since 2006, and employee since 1994. She is a creator of relationships/partnerships and collaborator of successful projects for the restoration and conservation of our natural resources. She is a University of Minnesota Crookston Graduate (1996), in Natural Resource Management and also has an Associate’s in Applied Science Degree in Natural Resource Technology (1993) from Brainerd Community College, aka, Central Lakes College. She is a believer in people; knowing all want to be included, not excluded and to be a part of something bigger then themselves.

Jody Horntvedt Presentation - Understanding Conflict
Handouts - click here

Jody Horntvedt is an Extension Educator with a program focus in Leadership and Civic Engagement with the University of MN.  Her work focuses on enhancing leadership skills with an emphasis on enhancing leadership and collaboration skills of community board and council members to assist them in developing new skills for working together.

Rita Albrecht Presentation - Flood Damage Reduction Work Group Update

Rita Albrecht is the MN Department of Natural Resources northwest regional director and the co-chair of the Flood Damage Reduction Work Group. A long-time public servant, Albrecht has served as a community planner and economic development director for the city of Bemidji, development specialist for Headwaters Regional Development Commission, and planner and economic development specialist for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. She is also currently the mayor of Bemidji.

Robert Sip Presentation - An Update of RRWMB Activities, Accomplishments, and Progress

Robert Sip grew up on a small grains and livestock farm in Norman County in NW Minnesota. He holds MS, BS, and AAS degrees in Natural Resources Management from North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota. Robert has over 20 years of combined experience at both the local, regional, and state levels regarding water management, natural resources, environmental policy, implementation, and regulation. He is currently the Executive Director for the Red River Watershed Management Board.

Steve Reuter Presentation - State of Wellbeing, Change, Transition and EAP

Steven Reuter is an Organizational Health Consultant from the State of Minnesota. He holds an MA in Marriage and Family Therapy, and uses his expertise to improve leaders, teams, and work cultures in order to create a fulfilled and empowered workforce.

Todd Cymbaluk Presentation - American Crystal Sugar Company Sustainable Goals and Use of Cover Crops

Todd Cymbaluk received a BS degree in Agronomy from North Dakota State University, was an Assistant Scientist for 25 years at the University of Minnesota, Northwest Research and Outreach Center, conducting agricultural research in Agronomy, Plant Pathology and Soil Science. He also has operated a soil sampling/consulting business for the past 27 years. Cymbaluk has been a Sr. Agriculturist for the past 8 years with American Crystal Sugar Company, with one of his roles at ACS being the Stewardship Team leader working to find ways to help their growers become better stewards of the land. He is also a Certified Crop Advisor with a Sustainability endorsement.

Troy Daniell Presentation - NRCS Actvities in the Red River Basin

Mr. Daniell has been with the USDA-NRCS for more than 22 years.  He began his career as a Range Conservationist before becoming a District Conservationist in Oklahoma for six years; then served as an Assistant State Conservationist in Illinois for seven years.  Troy has also served at National Headquarters on the Initiatives Team and as Acting National EQIP Team leader.  He has most recently worked as the State Financial Assistance Programs Manager for Texas since 2011.  Mr. Daniell grew up in north Texas and has been active in his family’s farming, haying and cattle operations.  He remains active in the family beef cattle operation with his parents and grandfather. 

Benjamin Walker Presentation - Factors Influencing Total Mercury and Methylmercury Levels on Two National Wildlife Refuges in NW MN

Ben Walker is a Field Based Inventory and Monitoring Biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He is stationed out Erskine, MN where he helps manage both Glacial Ridge and Rydell National Wildlife Refuges.


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Contact the RRWMB

Temporary Office Location
Physical Address
: 19 4th Ave E | Ada, MN 56510
Mailing Address: 11 5th Ave E | Ada, MN 56510
Telephone: (218) 784-9500
FAX: (218) 784-9502
E-mail: rob.sip@rrwmb.org