Jake Stacken – Candidate for Soil and Water Supervisor District 3
Tell us about yourself: I am 33-years-old. I live on a small farm in Fillmore Township with my wife, Liz and our two young children, Adele and Ansel. We settled here six years ago and become more rooted in the land and community with each passing season.
Tell us about your work/life experience: Most of my experience with soil, water, and conservation comes from working, playing, and parenting on the farm where we live. In addition, I have a degree and work part time as a meteorologist, and work seasonally as a naturalist at Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park.
Tell us why you are running for office: The Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District was established to help us conserve our natural resources. Conservation takes many forms, but at its core, it ensures that future generations have access to the local resources needed to live and prosper. I seek the District 3 Supervisor position because I want to help our community balance our relationship with our soil and water resources and ensure our uses of them are deliberate and thoughtful. I would be grateful to voters of Fillmore County to have the opportunity to hold this office.
Barbara Mielke – Candidate for Soil & Water Supervisor District 4
Tell us about yourself: I am married to Joel Mielke. We have two married daughters and have been blessed with a grandson. We resided in Inver Grove Heights until 2013. We purchased a farm near Preston 28 years ago and moved there after retirement. We recently built a net-zero energy home on our farm.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I was employed for 30 years as a chemical engineer at 3M Company and retired in 2011. I served for the past six years on the board at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center. Joel and I have worked on conservation projects and prairie restorations on our farmland for the last 28 years.
Tell us why you are running for office: Even though I grew up as a city kid in St. Paul, I am passionate about the outdoors and our environment. I believe in conservation and have worked hard to set an example through stewardship on our farmland. As a Soil Water Conservation District supervisor, I would have the opportunity to serve the Fillmore County community with soil and water conservation projects on a larger scale. I would love to see this unique landscape preserved, so future generations can experience and enjoy the same pleasures we now have.
Kathy Tesmer – Candidate for Soil & Water Supervisor District 4
Tell us about yourself: I have lived in western York Township for 38 years and am a farm owner and retired elementary teacher. My late husband and I had a farrow to finish hog operation, as well as rotated various crops. Currently, I rent my cropland and raise 20 ewes on rotational grazing.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I taught first grade for 25 years and then was director of a daycare before retiring. In our early years of marriage, I assisted with farm operations, however, when my husband accepted a position off the farm, we put our land in CRP for 10 years before renting our land.
Tell us why you are running for office: I would like to be part of the SWCD board because I am very interested in the work that is being done in this agency. As a land owner who rents, I remain watchful of what conservation practices are used to maintain our land for future use. Since soil and water are the backbone of life, we need to do all that we can to protect and maintain our natural resources. However, at the same time, we must be mindful of the importance of agricultural life to our local area and state and find balance between agriculture and the environment.
Travis Willford – Candidate for Soil & Water Supervisor District 5
Tell us about yourself: I’m married with two children and two stepchildren and live on a farm in rural Harmony, Minn.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I’ve farmed with my father in Harmony Township for 20 years and have past employment at St. Mary’s Hospital as a certified surgical tech of 25 years.
Tell us why you are running for office: I’m running for SWCD supervisor because I want to help promote good environment practices that preserve our soils and help ensure clean water for our future.