Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever announce the hiring of five new Farm Bill Wildlife Biologists in Iowa, upping its total number in the state to 12. Among the five biologists, Buchanan, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Delaware, Des Moines, Dubuque, Floyd, Howard, Jasper, Lee, Louisa, Marion, Mitchell, Plymouth, Polk, Sioux, Warren, Woodbury, and Van Buren Counties will now fall under Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist coverage. The additional positions come at an especially critical juncture for Iowa, where the state’s pheasant population is at a modern record low.

The new positions are the latest results in Pheasants Forever’s Reload Iowa effort, a statewide initiative to improve 1 million acres of wildlife habitat on private and public land in the state. Pheasants Forever’s 12 Iowa Farm Bill Wildlife Biologists work to provide technical assistance to farmers and ranchers—through one-on-one consulting—regarding the benefits of conservation programs (such as the Conservation Reserve Program).

Randy Phelan will be located in the Le Mars Field Office and will cover Plymouth, Cherokee, Sioux and Woodbury Counties. Phelan recently retired from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), where he had a long and productive career. His last position with the NRCS was as an Assistant State Conservationist in Montana. He most recently worked for the Plymouth County Conservation District and Resource Conservation and Development as a Contract Specialist. Phelan can be reached by Email.

Tyler Harms will be located in the Indianola Field Office and will cover Warren, Jasper, Marion and Polk Counties. Tyler is a recent graduate of Iowa State University, where he received both his BS and MS in Wildlife. Before deciding to focus on a career in private lands wildlife management, Tyler spent many summers with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources as a Water Patrol Officer. Harms can be reached by Email.

Dan Borchardt will be located in the Charles City Field Office and will cover Floyd, Chickasaw, Howard and Mitchell Counties. Borchardt will be transitioning from a Wetland Specialist position with the Bremer County Soil and Water Conservation District. He received his BS in Fish and Wildlife Biology from Iowa State University and has considerable experience in fish and wildlife management. Borchardt can be reached by Email.

Chris Hiher will be located in the Manchester Field Office and will cover Delaware, Buchanan and Dubuque Counties. He comes to Pheasants Forever from a similar position with Pheasants Forever in Illinois, where he worked with conservation partners for nearly two years. Chris received his BS in Wildlife from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. Hiher grew up on a dairy farm in Northwest Illinois. He can be reached by Email.

Casey Bergthold will be located in the Donnellson Field Office and will cover Louisa, Des Moines, Van Buren and Lee Counties. Casey is a native of Northeast Missouri and holds a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a MS in Biology from Tennessee Technological University. He spent two years working as a biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, after which he relocated to Southeast Iowa in 2010. Since that time, he has worked for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Iowa State University as a biological aide. He also served as an Earth Team Volunteer with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Fairfield, Iowa. Bergthold can be reached by Email.

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist program has, in just 9 years of existence, accounted for more than two million acres of habitat being created or improved for wildlife, and currently staffs more than 90 Farm Bill Wildlife Biologists throughout the country. For more information on the Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist program in Iowa, please contact Ginger Walker, Pheasants Forever’s Prairie Pothole Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist Manager, at (712) 229-8275 or Email Ginger. For all other inquiries, please contact Rehan Nana, Public Relations Specialist for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, 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 130,000 members and 700 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.

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