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Menard County SWCD #215

Annual Activities and Workshops

Friend of Conservation Award

Leadership Development Workshop -February

Poster and Essay Contests - February

Poster and Essay Award Presentations – March/April

Area II Awards Banquet - May

Soil and Water Stewardship Week  - April/May

Hill Country Association Spring Meeting - May

TSSRM Youth Range Workshop Meal - June

SWCD Educator Workshop Meal - June

Teacher Appreciation Breakfast - August

4th & 5th  Grade Conservation Field Day - September

CEU Training – October

Annual TSSWCB State Meeting - October

4th Grade Arbor Day Tree Planting - November

High School Conservation Program - November

Menard County SWCD recognizes the importance of training our teachers and students regarding conservation, preservation and restoration of our natural resources.  We are pleased to sponsor youth and teacher workshops and provide tuition for educators and students to attend.  

For further information on youth and teacher workshops listed below, registration forms or tuition, please call

the Menard County SWCD office at 325-396-4708


Colton Flage grills at the 2020 Ranch Brigade camp where cadets learned about sustainable beef production and other ag-related topics. 

Menard County SWCD #215 provided a scholarship to the 2020 Ranch Brigade for Colton Flage.  Colton attended the summer Ranch Brigade, where he experienced ranching activities.

The Brigade is a 5-day camp in which land stewardship and livestock production are presented by wildlife and ranching professionals.  The cadets learn about sustainable beef production from conception to the consumer.  Leadership development, education and empowerment tools are also presented.

This is an excellent program for making contacts with other cadets interested in pursuing a career in ranching and/or agriculture.  The Ranch Brigade is held on the Warren Ranch near Santa Anna, Texas.

Colton is the son of Bruce and Lynsey Flage of San Angelo, Texas.  He is the nephew of Heather and Gary Treadwell of Menard, Texas.  He is a junior at San Angelo Central High School and plans to attend Texas A&M University in College Station.  Colton will be the 6th generation ranching in Menard County.   

Menard County SWCD is very pleased to have the honor of sponsoring a cadet to the Ranch Brigade.


See more information about Ranch Brigades at:

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The 2020 Ranch Brigade provided an opportunity for hands-on learning activities. 

Colton participated in important aspects of livestock production.    



    The Texas Section Society for Range Management (TSSRM) sponsors an annual Youth Range Workshop for eligible high school students in June at the Texas Tech University Center in Junction, Texas.  Students attend five full days of sessions on leadership, small group working skills, grasses, range management, soils, water resource management and other ecological practices.     

    Each year, Menard County SWCD joins with other partners to cook the Monday evening meal for YRW participants and staff. 

     Menard County SWCD will help find financing for any student that wishes to attend YRW.   

June 19-24, 2022

Each year, MCSWCD sponsors the evening meal after the first full day of the annual Texas Section Society for Range Management's (TSSRM) Youth Range Workshop.  MCSWCD Directors prepared a sizzling fajitas meal for the student participants and instructors.  

Benny Kothmann and JW Jennings, Menard County SWCD Directors prepare food at the 2022 YRW.
Billy Kniffen, MCSWCD Director, prepares food at the 2022 YRW

MCSWCD Directors prepare a fajitas meal at the 2022 Youth Range Workshop 

Pictured left, Benny Kothmann (left) and JW Jennings prepare the vegetables, while Billy Kniffen (pictured on the right) cooks the chicken. 

Below:  Directors served the meal to hungry YRW participants and instructors.  Left to right:  Chairman Benny Kothmann, JW Jennings, Billy Kniffen and Jerry Kidd.

MCSWCD Directors served up fajitas at the 2022 Youth Range Workshop

The 2021 TSSRM YRW was held June 20-25 at the Texas Tech University Center in Junction.  The annual week-long camp focused on range management, leadership, group projects and social skills and was a wonderful opportunity to make new friends and build contact skills.  Besides their studies and range work, participants had some free time to swim, canoe, fish and tube in the South Llano River, or just hang out. 


MCSWCD was pleased to provide scholarships for Houston Hayes of Menard and Colton Flage of San Angelo, to attend the 2021 YRW.


On Monday, June 21, the evening meal of fajitas and trimmings with cookies and brownies for dessert was provided by MCSWCD in partnership with Upper Llanos SWCD and the Llano River Watershed Alliance.     

MCSWCD scholarship recipients Houston Hayes, left, of Menard and Colton Flage of San Angelo, attended the 2021 TSSRM Youth Range Workshop.

Houston HAYES & Colton FLAGE 2021 YRW ATTENDEES.jpg

The week's Monday evening meal, provided by MCSWCD and other partners, is always fun for cookout volunteers, range workshop participants and staff.

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  Paul Loeffler, John Osborne, Billy Kniffen  

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  John Osborne, Billy Kniffen, Joe Russell  

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  Lisa Brown, Casey Chambless  

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  Andrew Burnard,  

  Llano River Watershed Alliance  

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Casey Chambless, Billy Kniffen, Lisa Brown.jpg

  Joe Russell, John Osborne  

  Casey Chambless, Billy Kniffen,  

  Lisa Brown  


Menard ISD student Conie Flutsch attended the 2019 TSSRM Youth Range Workshop through tuition provided by MCSWCD.

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Pictured left to right:

Errett Edmiston, McCulloch SWCD #249 Director; Chris Casaday, USDA-NRCS District Conservationist in the Menard Field Office and Kendria Ray, TSSWCB Area 2 Field Rep, at TSSRM's Youth Range Workshop held June 23-28, 2019 at TTU/Junction.

2022 Menard County SWCD
and AgriLife Extension Range Workshop
October 5, 2022
8:00 a.m.
Lunch Provided

The workshop will be held at the

A.H. Murchison and Whitehead Building

Hwy 190 W


5 CEUs (2-IPM, 1-Laws & Regs, 1 Drift, 1 General)


Early Registration $25 per person/$40 per couple

$35 per person at the door $50 per couple


For more information and to register, call:

MCSWCD 325-396-4708

AgriLife 325-396-4787

Susie 325-456-2137


Presenters: Mike Castillo, Cory Pence, Allen McGinty, Tanner Chancelor, Reagan Noland

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Highlights of the 2021 Menard County AgriLife Extension 
and SWCD Range Workshop
Held October 6, 2021

The CEU Workshop provided continuing education hours to renew pesticide licenses.


Fifty seven people attended the CEU workshop held on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 at the Murchison-Whitehead Complex. 

The event included a drift program by Allan McGinty (Drift), an Invora certification by Dr. Robert Lyons (Laws & Regs), a water well program by John Smith (General), a TSSRM Youth Range Workshop overview by Houston Hayes and Colton Flage, a range and livestock  management presentation for freezing and droughty weather by Dr. Robert Lyons, individual plant treatments for brush control by Tanner Chancelor with Corteva (IPM), and wild pig controls by Josh Helcel (General).


John Smith and Lisa Brown also handed out water well test results from samples turned in at the Menard County Water District Tuesday.


Certificates for 5 CEUs and Invora Training were given to the attendees after a short program survey.


Lunch was provided by Second-Hand Smoke and was sponsored by Central Texas Farm Credit of Brady. It was a great meal of chicken and pork fajitas with all the trimmings, peach cobbler and tea. The morning coffee, donuts, snacks & water were provided by the Menard Water Districts.


Many thanks from the Menard County Soil and Water Conservation Board of Directors and AgriLife Extension Agent to all who attended and to all who helped set up and clean up. 

Fifty seven people attended the 2021 CEU Range Workshop held on October 6, 2021 by Menard County SWCD

Fifty seven people attended the 2021 CEU Range Workshop.

Tanner Chancelor, with Corteva, spoke about using individual plant treatment for brush control at the annual CEU Workshop sponsored by Menard County SWCD.

Tanner Chancelor, representing Corteva, spoke to the group about using individual plant treatment for brush control. 

Dr Robert Lyons presented programs at the October 6, 2021 CEU Range Workshop sponsored by Menard County SWCD.

Dr. Robert Lyons at the CEU range workshop. 

A program about controlling wild pigs was presented by Josh Helcel at the annual Menard County SWCD CEU Workshop.

A program about controlling wild pigs was presented by Josh Helcel.

John Smith presented a program on water wells at the annual Menard County SWCD CEU Workshop.

John Smith provided water well information.

Mark Blau and Dr. Allan McGinty at the annual CEU Range Workshop sponsored by Menard County SWCD.

Mark Blau (left) speaks with Dr. Allan McGinty, who presented a program on Drift at the 2021 workshop.  

CEU Workshop Anchor


Held Annually, First Wednesday in October

Call the Menard County SWCD office regarding CEU workshops: 


Held October 7, 2020

Menard County SWCD and AgriLife Extension held their CEU Range Workshop Wednesday October 7, 2020 at the Murchison-Whitehead Complex.
The program offered 5 CEUs:  
1 Pesticide Laws and Regulations; 1 Pesticide Drift and 3 General.

The presenters were: Cory Pence, TDA Regional Training Specialist Region 4; Dr. Robert Lyons, AgriLife Extension Range Specialist and Professor; Dr. Allan McGinty, Professor Emeritus and Bayer Consultant; Colton Flage, Central High School Jr. and Ranch Brigade Cadet; Dillon Demuth, Corteva Consultant; Larry Hysmith, AgriLife Extension Program Specialist-Natural Resources; and Tami Russell, Water Districts Manager.
A lunch of brisket, sausage, potato salad, beans and cookies was catered by Second Hand Smoke. Delicious! The event appeared to be a success. A thank you to Lowe’s Pay & Save Inc. for donating the water and to the Menard County Water District for donating the coffee snacks. The Lord blessed us with a beautiful day. This event is held on the first Wednesday of October every year.  
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Participants at the 2020 Menard County CEU Range Workshop.  Larry Hysmith (right), AgriLife Extension Program Specialist - Natural Resources, addresses the group.    

Some of the featured speakers at the 2019 CEU Range Workshop, held at the Murchison-Whitehead Complex in Menard on October 2, 2019 

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Dr. Megan Clayton, AgriLife Range Specialist

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Ryan McClintock, NRCS Wildlife Biologist

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Dr. Allan McGinty, Professor Emeritus, Bayer Representative

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Christy Burch, TPWD GIS Specialist

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 Held October 2, 2019

Josh Helcel, Extension Associate, Texas Natural Resource Institute

The Menard County SWCD and AgriLife Extension held their annual CEU Training Wednesday, October 2, 2019  at the Murchison-Whitehead Complex. This year we had 66 in attendance. The program allowed for 5 CEU credits:  

  • Laws and Regulations, by Cory Pence, TDA Regional Training Specialist, Region 4: Laws and Regulations for Applying, Storing, Disposing and Record Keeping

  • IPM by Dillon DeMuth, Corteva Representative:  Methods of Brush Control and Best Management Practices

  • Drift by Dr. Allan McGinty, Professor Emeritus, Bayer Representative:  Managing Range and Pasture Herbicide Applications to Minimize Drift

  • General by Ryan McClintock, NRCS Wildlife Biologist:  Pollinators and Pollinators Habitat Management

  • General by Josh Helcel, Extension Associate of Texas Natural Resource Institute:  Wild Pigs: Biology, Impact and Control

 An additional program was offered by Christy Burch, TPWD Regional GIS Specialist, on Using GIS in Agriculture and by Dr. Megan Clayton, AgriLife  Range Specialist, on Using Drones in Agriculture. Conie Flutsch, Menard High School TSSRM Youth Range Workshop participant, talked about her experience at camp.


We extend a huge thank you to all of our presenters.  They all did an awesome job according to attendee comments.  A great BBQ lunch was catered by 2nd Hand Smoke and sponsored by Central Texas Farm Credit. Many thanks to Central Texas Farm Credit, who has been a great supporter of Menard County SWCD, 4-H and AgriLife events.   

Menard County SWCD Directors wish to thank all who attended and so made the day quite a success. 


MCSWCD Director and Business Manager attend the

2019 Leadership Development Workshop in Temple


    The annual Leadership Development Workshop for updating SWCD Directors and employees was held February 20 and 21, 2019 in Temple, Texas. MCSWCD Director Billy Kniffen and Business Manager Charlotte Albrecht attended the comprehensive two-day workshop. 

    The program included Organization and Functions of the Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts (ATSWCD); function of Texas Conservation Association for Water and Soil (TCAWS); "Things to Beware of and Things to Be Aware of" at SWCD Board meetings by Area II TSSWCB Field Rep Kendria Ray; SWCD responsibilities in managing state and federal funds; Open Meetings Act training; Texas Public Information Act training; responsibilities of SWCD Directors; parliamentary procedure review and SWCDs' responsibilities in working with the legislative process. 

    Attendees from across the state enjoyed a meet and greet social with fajita supper.  The workshop concluded with a tour of the TSSWCB building.  

JPG B KNIFFEN AT 2019 LDW Di Em Workshop

MCSWCD Director Billy Kniffen attended the 2019 Leadership Development Workshop in February in Temple, TX.  MCSWCD Business Manager Charlotte Albrecht also attended the comprehensive two-day workshop designed to update District Directors and staff members on a wide variety of topics.  


Annual SWCD Educator Workshop
 Workshop Postponed 
Watch for Summer Dates


Local teachers Linda Palmer and Myghan Meadows attended the first Land Stewardship Institute in June 2018.  MCSWCD was proud to provide tuition for both educators to attend.  

    A new annual teacher workshop was held at TTU/Junction in June 2018.  Last summer's event, called Land Stewardship 101, was attended by 28 educators from across the state.

    Attendees were treated to a hamburger cookout one evening.  It was served by the three sponsoring SWCDs:  Menard County SWCD, McCullough County SWCD and Upper Llanos SWCD (Kimble county).  Chris Casaday, Menard County NRCS DC, manned the grill to cook the crowd-pleasing burgers.

    The workshop is also sponsored by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) and Texas Tech University-Junction.  

   Most of the participants were provided tuition scholarships by their local SWCDs or employers.

  Organizers of the workshop note that the 2019 Educator Workshop "will include the skills and teaching methods to engage students in science, nature and conservation.  The workshop will emphasize stewardship of Texas' natural resources and development of a personal land ethic.  Participants will engage in hands-on experiences in conservation topics related to soils, water quality, land ethics and health, biodiversity, plant ID, habitat and management."  

    The lovely TTU/Junction campus is located on the South Llano River and there will be plenty of outdoor activities during the workshop.

Local educators interested in attending should contact Menard County SWCD at 325-396-4708.     

JPG 2019 Teacher Workshop Flyer[144684]-
JPG 2019 Teacher Workshop Registration[1
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