State Conservation Commission

Updated January 11, 2022


The State Conservation Commission consists of five elected commissioners, two ex officio members representing the Agriculture Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, Kansas State University, and two appointed members representing the Kansas Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The nine commissioners serve according to K.S.A. 2-1904.

  • Elected commissioners serve two year terms.
  • The method of election is by an area caucus of the district from each of the five administrative areas of Kansas.
  • Areas I, III and V shall elect in odd years.
  • Areas II and IV shall elect in even years.
  • The elected commissioners take office on January 1.
  • The Division of Conservation shall appoint a successor to fill an unexpired term of an elected commissioner. The successor shall be a resident of the same area as that of the predecessor.

Elected Commissioners



Ted Nighswonger

Area I Commissioner

Andrew Larson, Jr.

Area II Commissioner

Sam Sanders

Area III Commissioner

John H. Wunder

Area IV Commissioner, Vice-Chairperson

Rodney Voorhees

Area V Commissioner, Chairperson

Ex Officio Commissioners



Daniel (Dan) L. Devlin

K-State Research and Extension

Peter (Pete) J. Tomlinson, Ph.D.

K-State Extension Specialist for Environmental
Quality Agronomy Department

Appointed Commissioners




Terry Medley

Program Manager

Division of Water Resources
Kansas Department of Agriculture

Karen Woodrich

State Conservationist

Natural Resources Conservation Service
United States Department of Agriculture

SCC Media Corner

The State Conservation Commission took a break from their hard work for soil & water conservation at the Kansas State Fair Thursday, September 13, 2018, to enjoy the Ag Appreciation Luncheon with Governor Jeff Colyer and Secretary of Ag Jackie McClaskey.

2018 Kansas State Fair

SCC News

State Conservation Commission Members Recognized for Conservation Efforts

The Kansas Leopold Conservation Award® honors Kansas landowner achievement in voluntary stewardship and management of natural resources, and is presented by the Sand County Foundation in conjunction with the Kansas Association of Conservation Districts and the Ranchland Trust of Kansas. Lazy VJ Farms is owned and managed by Rod Vorhees and his family. When Vorhees began taking a leadership role at the farm, he focused on improving land health, converting tillage land to cover crops and using other methods to extend the time of available quality forage. The pastures on the ranch are managed using rotational grazing, and dedicates care to land management issues such as nongame wildlife, pollinators and migrating species.

The Don Rezac Memorial Award recognizes an individual who exemplifies commitment to conservation, community leadership and family, and is presented by the Kansas Association of Conservation Districts. Larson is a self-employed farmer who has served Kansas conservation efforts in a number of roles including on the State Conservation commission since 1994 and on his Conservation District Board starting in 1978. He embraces the grassroots approach to conservation: “locally led, locally developed and implemented” and values the building and maintaining of relationships and partnerships throughout many levels.

“The Division of Conservation appreciates the dedication of both Rod Vorhees and Andy Larson to the efforts of conservation in Kansas,” said Rob Reschke, director of the KDA-DOC. “Local involvement is critical to conservation, and we are fortunate to have the leadership of these two individuals, as well as the example they have set for others by implementing conservation practices on their own land.”

The Kansas Division of Conservation works with local Conservation Districts, Watershed Districts, other special purpose districts, and State and Federal entities to administer programs to improve water quality, reduce soil erosion, conserve water, reduce flood potential and provide local water supply. These efforts support KDA’s mission, which includes helping to ensure a safe food supply, protecting natural resources, promoting public health and safety, protecting animal health, and providing consumer protection to the best of their ability.The Division of Conservation in the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA-DOC) is pleased to recognize Lazy VJ Farms near Fredonia as the recipient of the 2017 Kansas Leopold Conservation Award and Andrew Larson Jr. of Finney County as the recipient of the 2017 Don Rezac Memorial Award.

2017 Leopold Conservation Award

2017 Don Rezac Award