Meet the Soil & Water Commissioners Running for Election

Vernon Fish

Vern is a retired professional conservationist and still teaches resource management.  Vern spends a lot of time paddling, hiking, skiing and mountain biking along Black Hawk Creek.  As a result he is dedicated to improving water quality and enhancing waterways in Iowa.  As a native Iowan, he also understands the many challenges facing producers who are trying to make a living and protect their valuable soil.  Our challenge is sustaining our agricultural heritage while enhancing soil health and maintaining our water quality.  Serving on the Black Hawk County Soil & Water Conservation District allows Vern to focus his skills and passion on this challenge.

Geraldine ‘Jeri’ Thornsberry

Jeri currently serves as chair of the Black Hawk Soil and Water Conservation District and she also serves as secretary on the board of Conservation Districts of Iowa, an association that represents all 500 elected commissioners throughout the state of Iowa. Jeri is passionate about conservation whether in the urban or rural sections of Black Hawk County. It is her wish that citizens in Black Hawk County continue to support conservation practices designed to promote sustainable agricultural practices on rural land while also expanding conservation practices in urban areas. She believes that we are all in this together.

Russell Wright

Russell was born and raised on a farm in Barclay Township in Blackhawk County. Russell has farmed with his parents ever since he was old enough to ride on a tractor with them.  Russell has a passion for conservation and leaving his land, and the earth, in better condition for his kids than when he got it.  To accomplish this goal he has employed several conservation practices on his own farm and hopes to encourage others to do so as well.  Since retiring from John Deere after 30 years, Russell now has the time to focus on spreading the message of conservation.  Russell enjoys being a parent, and now a grandparent, being outdoors and grilling/outdoor cooking.