Since 2008, Richard (Dick) Gilles has served as the Farm Service Rep on the Oconto County Conservation Committee. The former dairy farmer and current WI Land+Water Board Member shared with us a little about his experiences, his thoughts on the future of conservation, and why he thinks it is important to serve the community he loves.
What committee or positions have you held with WI Land+Water committees/positions?
County Board WI Land+Water Board Member & Great Lakes Committee
How long have you been on the County Board/Conservation Committee?
2008 – Present (Farm Service Agency Rep)
What other County Board Committees do you participate in?
County Board Member 2006-2010, County Committees: Economic Development, Economic Development and Tourism, claims Committee for WI County Mutual, Operations Oversight Committee for WI County Mutual, and Community Insurance Corp.
What previous experiences/education prepared you for your position on the Conservation Committee?
Served on many Farm, Church, Civic and Ins Boards, many as chairman. Retired Dairy Farmer using many LCC programs – Nutrient Management, installed many grass waterways to prevent erosion, installed barnyard to protect against manure runoff/installed manure storage in 1980 to eliminate winter spreading.
What made you decide to run for County Board?
I ran for Co Board to give back to the community and I had served as Clerk & Chairman of the town of Lena
Why do you think it is important to be active on the Conservation Committee?
To help farmers protect our land & water, to fight invasives, help Lake Associations work with USDA & DNR, DATCP to institute programs by the same.
What does the future of Wisconsin conservation look like?
Just as WI Land+Water has changed to WI Land+Water the focus may change but the ultimate goal will always be the same…to protect our land & water. The future is good, but we need to continue having an active land conservation in all Counties.
What is you county’s most valuable Natural Resource?
Logging, gravel, sand, crusted limestone, good fishing & hunting, good hard working people.
What is one interesting fact about your county that few may know?
Some of the best walleye fishing in the Midwest off of Oconto in the Bay of Green Bay
What is your favorite outdoor activity in your county?