Denis Schulte grew up on a farm near Black Hawk Lake in Sac County, Iowa. He graduated from Iowa State University with degrees in entomology and integrated pest management.
“It was the era of new herbicides, insecticides, fungicides being introduced, so it looked like a good field to be in,” Denis explains.
Denis has held a variety of positions related to his studies, including work as a Dow Chemical horticultural sales representative, a seed corn district sales manager, fertilizer plant manager and a Certified Crop Advisor. He now works for USDA as a District Conservationist for Iowa’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). His time is spent speaking with farmers and landowners about conservation projects, answering questions and solving conservation issues.
“My work is varied and I get to work with many different groups and agencies so it never gets boring. I am in and out of the office so I get to see a lot of things. I can see the results of many of our conservation practices and they last for years, so it is very satisfying.”
Denis is also involved with the Black Hawk Lake USEPA Section 319 water quality improvement project. Black Hawk Lake is on Iowa's Impaired Waters List for low water transparency due to algae build-up. The goal of this project is to reduce the phosphorus reaching the lake by 12 to 15 percent. This 30-year project will positively impact the water quality of the lake and the entire watershed.
“Water is limited and it takes a lot to clean it up. Sometimes it takes generations to restore degraded streams and lakes to healthy habitats.”
In his free time, Denis enjoys fishing, hunting, woodworking, and restoring old vehicles.