If you are interested in becoming an associate director, you must attend 3 board meetings.

A conservation district’s capabilities are expanded by Associate Directors. Associate Directors are appointed by the Board. Although Associate Directors do not vote on board decisions, they add value to Board decisions by sharing their knowledge and experience. Associates can also help with District committees and report back information gathered while attending the meetings of our many community partners. An Associate Director serves until January 1 in odd numbered years. Every two years, the District Board re-appoints those associate directors who are interested in continuing and who have contributed sufficiently to the district’s conservation efforts.

Current Associate Directors

Mark Fields

Mark Fields with beard and blue jacket

With a first job that began with a row crop farmer, beginning in high school, summers and after college, I stayed in contact with that first employer and the operations of the farm. After retirement I was able to attend Soil and Water District meetings for several years as a public resident to learn more about District programs.   I’ve served on the Education committee for four years, working to make District residents aware  of the opportunities the District can provide.

Leland “Lee” Hardy

Lee at a meeting holding a certificate

After ending a career as a nationally recognized irrigation Engineer for the USDA SCS (currently NRCS) he joined Marion SWCD and has just finished serving his first 25 years as an Associate Director. He assists staff with landowner site visits as well as provides engineered plans. He has trained several new generations of conservationists in basic engineering and plain old common sense. He serves on the technical review committee for grant applications to award funding to technically sound practices related to water quantity, water quality, soil erosion, wetlands, and native and invasive species. He was recently named to OSU’s Diamond Pioneer Agricultural Career Achievement Registry.

Angela Plowhead

Oregon became my home more than 20 years ago when I moved here with my husband who is a native Oregonian. As an outdoorsmen and hunter the importance of preserving Oregon’s natural resources have always been important to me, but becoming a small land owner several years ago in an area that struggles with well water quality impressed upon me how critical water quality can be even in a place where water seems so abundant. 

Peggy Hart

During my studies at Cal Poly State University I came to realize two things: that rural communities and the ag sector deserve greater respect for their inherited cultures and skills; and that effective environmental protection depends upon the dedication of farmers and ranchers. They are, after all, caring for most of the land.  Joining the Marion SWCD Board is for me a privilege, to be where the rubber meets the road, where the cities’ urgent desire for good land stewardship can be met, with good technical advice and the public’s financial support. The District’s projects therefore can nurture mutual respect and understanding along with supporting environmental soil and water conservation.