About Menoken Farm

Watch our video about Menoken Farm and Soil Health Principles

Advancing Soil Health

Menoken Farm is a combination of natural resource education and systems approach conservation. This 150-acre demonstration farm, located just east of Bismarck, N.D. was established in 2009 and draws people from all over the United States and beyond.

The farm is owned and operated by Burleigh County Soil Conservation District, which has offices in Bismarck, N.D. Additional financial and technical support is provided by:

  • Section 319 Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program through the North Dakota Department of Health/Water Quality Division
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

After identifying a number of resource concerns across the Menoken Farm landscape, work focused on providing these basic building blocks to improve soil health:

  • Soil armor
  • Minimal soil disturbance
  • Plant diversity
  • Continual live plant/root
  • Livestock integration

The systems approach management at Menoken Farm enhances erosion protection, sunlight harvest, plant diversity, carbon, pollinators, beneficial insects, wildlife, salinity control, livestock forage and more.

Our Staff

Jay Fuhrer

Jay Fuhrer

Lead Educator

Jay Fuhrer is a soil health specialist employed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Bismarck, N.D. He has boots on the ground the last 38 years working with cropping systems, grazing systems, cover crops and gardens. Jay also has an extensive background working with groups and entities such as soil and water conservation districts; national and international no-till organizations; watersheds; farm organizations; urban groups; and more. Recently, Jay spends his time at the Menoken Farm minimizing soil disturbance, adding soil armor, maximizing plant diversity, maintaining living roots in the soil and integrating livestock.
Connie Bryant

Connie Bryant

Bookkeeper

Connie Bryant is the District Clerk for the Burleigh County Soil Conservation District (BCSCD). Prior to working for the district, she worked as a Grain Clerk in the pulses industry. At the office, she handles the daily clerical tasks as well as helping to organize and market events for the Menoken Farm and the BCSCD. Connie lives in Bismarck with her family and enjoys gardening, outdoor activities, and attending school and sporting events.
Darrell Oswald

Darrell Oswald

Manager

Darrell Oswald, a district technician with Burleigh County SCD, is the Menoken Farm manager. His duties include overseeing all activities at the farm, including the management of the cropping and grazing systems. Oswald also assists in the educational and demonstration aspects of the numerous soil health workshops. Oswald lives east of Wing, N.D., where he has a cow/calf operation.
Chad Thorson

Chad Thorson

Educator/Trainer

Chad Thorson, a district technician with the Burleigh County SCD. Chad oversees the tree planting operations for the district as well as assisting with Menoken Farm Events. Chad enjoys spending time with his family and learning new things at the Menoken Farm.

Nolan Swenson

Nolan Swenson

Urban Conservationist

Nolan Swenson is the Urban Conservationist for the BCSCD. His activities include educating urban residents and civic leaders on how to get involved with soil health by implementing conservation projects on their own properties and how to actively participate in regenerative agriculture through their food choices. Nolan lives with his wife and two daughters on a 7 acre homestead just north of Wing, ND.
This Web site is based upon work supported by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under number 68-6633-16-516. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer

What is a conservation farm? Learn about our unique ND farm