Bev Blekeberg wasn’t even in high school yet when she realized she might enjoy a career in a conservation field.
“I guess from the time I was in grade school I was interested in conservation,” Blekeberg said. “Our grade school teacher was really good. We had a lot of outdoor acdtivities and learned about trees.”
Around her sixth or seventh grade school year, Blekeberg wrote an essay that won an award from statewide association of soil conservation districts.
So applying for a position with the local district 25 years ago seemed like an obvious fit.
“I saw an ad in the paper and put in an application,” Blekeberg said.
And it was a good fit for Blekeberg, who retired in early November after nearly 25 years with the Pierce County Soil Conservation District.
“Things have really changed in 25 years,” she said. “When I started working there, CRP was a new thing. There was a lot of interest in it at the time.”
Technology was another big change she has experienced on the job.
“Of course computers came into it,” she said. “When I started working, they had their first computer. Now everything is on computers. Things have changed a lot.”
But Blekeberg has kept up with the changing times, and has thrived in the position.
She was recently named North Dakota’s state soil conservation employee of the year.
“To me, that was quite an honor,” she said. “There are about 60 districts in the state.”
Now that she is retired, Blekeberg said she and her husband Orvin will spend more time keeping up with grandchildren and maybe take a trip to Seattle to visit a daughter.
But she won’t be giving up the soil altogether.
“I like to garden so I’m looking forward to next spring when I’ll have more time to work in my yard,” she said.
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