Soil & Water Conservation District

Ag Literacy Day. Reading to students.

Pictured above are Program Assistant, Courtney Murphy, and Soil Conservationist, Jedediah Dunn, reading to students about Florida Vegetables.

Pictured above are OSWCD Board of Supervisors along with staff.

Pictured above are OSWCD Board of Supervisors along with staff. Supervisor Corona is being recognized for his 25 years of service. Pictured from left to right, Audrey Kuipers, Doug Burnham, Nano Corona, Nicki Smith, Don Sellers, and Courtney Murphy.

Pictured are employees from various agencies

Pictured above are employees from various agencies attending a soil health training. From left to right, Clarence Morgan, Howard Harrison, Jedediah Dunn, Carlos Torres, Maelo Reyes, and Audrey Kuipers.


As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), statewide leaders and local and state health officials continue to monitor the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the OSWCD is taking precautions to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Starting March 23, the USDA Service Center will institute a locked-door policy. Please call 863.763.3619 if you need assistance. Rest assured, conservation planning, practice checkouts and cost share payments will continue to be processed.

There will be no Board Meeting held on November 11 in observance of Veteran’s Day. The next scheduled Board Meeting will held on December 9, 2020.

The OSWCD office will be closed Thursday, November 26 in observance of Thanksgiving Day. The office will reopen on Friday, November 27.

The application deadline for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is 11/20/20. Please see below for more information on how to apply. For any additional information, please call 863-763-3619 or visit https://www.nrcs.usda.gov







Audrey Kuipers, Program Manager
Courtney Murphy, Program Assistant
Sheila Shirah, Conservation Technician
Nicole Jahrmarkt, Conservation Technician


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Board Members

Mariano Corona, Chairman
Nicki Smith
Don Sellers, Jr.
Douglas Burnham
Glynn Rutledge, Secretary/Treasurer


due to text is adjacent to the image.

Pictured are OSWCD Board members. From left to right, Douglas Burnham, Glynn Rutledge, Donald Sellers, Mariano Corona, and Nicki Smith.

What We Do

Established by the Florida Legislature, the Okeechobee Soil & Water Conservation District was established October 9, 1950 under Florida Statutes 582. OSWCD is a governmental subdivision of the State of Florida created by local residents for the purpose of promoting and encouraging the wise use, management and general conservation of the County’s soil, water and related natural resources. The District is committed to preserving and enhancing the quality of life in Okeechobee County through conservation of its natural resources. Soil and Water Conservation Districts are non-taxing and are supported by maintaining relationships and partnership with other government agencies.

The Okeechobee Soil & Water Conservation District works closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Florida Department of Agricultural Services, creating ways to conserve water, prevent soil erosion, convert irrigation systems and inform the public about conservation problems.

Mission Statement

As an agency of the State, the Okeechobee Soil and Water Conservation District is responsible for developing and carrying out locally-led programs for the conservation, protection, and development or soil, water, and land for agricultural purposes. 

Service Area

There are 58 Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Florida, all organized by local constituents for the purpose of promoting and encouraging the wise use, management and general conservation of soil, water, and related natural resources.



Services Provided

  • Provide technical assistance with conservation planning and best management practice implementation.
  • Partner with state and federal governments to provide environmental incentive programs to landowners.
  • Administer funds for the State of Florida.
  • Educate youth through various programs including the district speech and poster contest, land judging competition, Envirothon competition, and Ag-Venture program.
  • Provide educator grants available to public, private, and home school educators interested in implementing soil and water conservation programs in their classrooms.
  • Educate the public through environmental/agricultural presentations.
  • Serve as the FWC monofilament recovery and recycling program coordinator for Okeechobee. Bins have been placed throughout the county to collect line and keep it out of our waterways. Collected line is sent off to Berkley-Pure Fishing for recycling into tackle boxes, toys, and other products.


For more information on the districts educational programs, please visit the “Educational Programs” tab on our website. To learn more about the assistance programs, click here.


Get in Touch!

452 US Highway 98 North
Okeechobee, FL 34974
Phone: 863.763.3619
Hours: Monday-Friday From 8:00am to 4:30pm