The Rice County Soil and Water Conservation District will be hosting a tour Thursday, August 25. The tour will meet in the 4-H Building on the Rice County Fairgrounds at 12:30PM and return at 3:30PM. After the tour, refreshments and cake will be served in the 4-H Building. Everyone is welcome to attend but please RSVP by calling the District office (507) 332-5408 or email

The tour will highlight buffer strips and the new state buffer law, wetland restorations through the Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) and Farmland erosion control and soil health. The Rice County Soil and Water Conservation District is celebrating 75 years of conservation in Rice County this year!

The local Soil and Water Conservation Districts grew out of the Dust Bowl years of the 1930's. I was watching a documentary about the Dust Bowl years the History Channel. Congress in Washington, D.C., was debating the bill to fund local Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Supporters of the bill did not have the votes to pass the bill. However, they knew that a huge dust storm was moving from the Great Plains toward Washington, D.C.

Supports began to filibuster the Soil Conservation Bill. Normally a filibuster is used to prevent a bill from passing. You talk it to death. In this case supporters though if they could talk until the dust storm reached Washington, D.C., they would get the votes they needed. It worked. Supporters talked until the dust storm turned day into night in Washington, D.C. Many that were opposed to the bill changed their minds and voted for the bill!

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