Texas native selected to lead Iowa NRCS conservation compliance efforts

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Des Moines recently selected Darren Manthei for assistant state conservationist for compliance, the agency’s newly created leadership position, announced State Conservationist Kurt Simon.

“This position will oversee our agency’s efforts to assist farmers with wetland and highly erodible land conservation compliance while maintaining administrative consistency across the state and region,” said Simon. “Darren, who has 16 years of NRCS experience, will lead our wetland determination teams, wetland-related training and annual conservation compliance reviews with the goal of providing consistent and timely customer service to Iowa farmers.”

Most recently, Manthei served for 13 years as the Area Wetland Specialist in the Texas NRCS Bryan Zone Office. In that position he administered wetland compliance for 50 east Texas counties, conducted wetland determinations and provided state and national wetland training. He previously served as an NRCS soil conservationist and district conservationist, both in Texas.

A native of San Antonio, Texas, Manthei holds a bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University. He grew up helping manage his family’s cow-calf herd. Before relocating to Altoona, Manthei and his wife Melinda managed a small-scale operation, where they raised dairy goats, dairy cattle and raised their own meat, milk and eggs. He and his wife have eight children, ranging from 19 to one year old.