St. Paul, Minn. - Pheasants Forever (PF) announces Eric Magedanz of Revillo, South Dakota, and Jordan Croatt of Madison, Minnesota, as the organization's newest Farm Bill Wildlife Biologists in Minnesota. Magedanz will work out of the Ortonville USDA/Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) office in Big Stone County, while Croatt will work from the Marshall USDA/SWCD office in Lyon County.
These positions are a result of Minnesota's Farm Bill Assistance Partnership which provides staffing to local offices, supplying technical assistance to landowners on CRP, Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) and other private lands programs. Partners include Pheasants Forever, Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources (DNR), USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, participating Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Prairie Pothole Joint Venture and many local partners.
PF's Farm Bill Wildlife Biologists provide on the ground technical assistance to landowners who can benefit from federal Farm Bill conservation programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program as well as stateside programs like the Reinvest in Minnesota buffers program. The biologists also assist farmers with various programs and practices recommended by PF and partner organizations.
"Adding partnership biologists like Eric and Jordan is vital to making sure Minnesota farmers and landowners understand conservation options available to them through the Farm Bill and other programs," states Matt Holland, PF senior field coordinator, "We know these positions are helping landowners, our partners and our resources by working to deliver key conservation programs available here in Minnesota."
Croatt grew up on a working farm near Madison, Minnesota, and graduated from Bemidji State University with a bachelor's degree in biology and an emphasis in wildlife management. Prior to joining Pheasants Forever, Croatt had intern positions with the Minnesota DNR - Shallow Lakes Division, and the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks as a wildlife technician. In his free time, Croatt can be found outside hunting whatever is in season.
"In my new position, I will focus on spreading Pheasants Forever's habitat and conservation message to foster a stronger presence of upland habitat," Croatt says, "Helping people realize the benefits of simple protocols, such as waiting a few weeks to cut road ditches, can really benefit nest and brood survival of upland nesting species."
A South Dakota native, Magedanz grew up working on his family's farm located in Revillo, South Dakota. He graduated from South Dakota State University with a bachelor's degree in biological science and majored in wildlife and fisheries. Prior to joining Pheasants Forever, Magedanz held various positions within the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Park - Wildlife Division, including public hunting access/wildlife depredation/commercial fisheries supervisor. Most recently, Magedanz held the position of PF habitat specialist in South Dakota, but relocated with his new position to Minnesota.
"I believe that conservation and proper land management is important in sustaining a working and healthy ecosystem that can be utilized by hunters, non-hunters, and wildlife alike. It is from this idea that I thoroughly enjoy working with existing resources to improve what we have," says Magedanz, "I strongly believe that idea lives at the core of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever (QF), and I am excited to help improve wildlife habitat within Minnesota."
Minnesota is home to more than 25,000 PF/QF members and 78 combined PF/QF chapters. For more information on the Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist program, please contact Ginger Walker, PF and QF Prairie Pothole Region Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist coordinator, at (712) 229-8275 or Email Ginger. For all other inquiries, please contact Rehan Nana, PF and QF public relations specialist, at (651) 209-4973 or Email Rehan.
Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 135,000 members and 720 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent, the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure.