Brian Johnson elected to SD Soil Health Coalition Board, Dave Ollila to join staff

South Dakota Soil Health Coalition
Farm Forum

PIERRE — Brian Johnson of Frankfort, S.D, was elected to the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition (SDSHC) board of directors, during the annual meeting of membership held Jan. 16. Johnson will be taking the place of previous board member Jason Kontz, who along with his wife Morgan and their four children grow corn, soybeans and operate a deep pit finishing barn. Kontz was presented with a commemorative shovel and lifetime membership in appreciation for his family’s service and contributions to the soil health movement in South Dakota, over the past two years. Kontz joined the board in 2018 and will be greatly missed.

Johnson joins a board of eight other directors who, along with several staff members, work to promote improved soil health across the state through education and research. Johnson, along with his parents Alan and Mickie, wife Jamie, and children, farms diverse acres of cropland as well as manages grassland while raising a herd of Angus beef cattle on their operation in Spink County. Soil health practices they utilize include no-till, incorporating diversity into their crop rotations, cover crops, nutrient management, as well as implementing best use strategies on marginal acres. The Johnsons are heavily involved in their community and Jamie Johnson is a member of the board of directors for the South Dakota Soybean Association as well as Spink County Conservation District.

Another notable organizational update includes the addition of Dave Ollila as a SDSHC staff member beginning in March of 2020. Ollila, South Dakota State University Extension sheep field specialist and a long time agriculture educator, will be retiring from his current position at the end of February and looks forward to assisting South Dakota producers, especially those in the western portion of the state, with soil health related questions and consultations. Ollila lives with his family near Newell, where they raise sheep and manage a diverse crop and forage operation.

For additional information regarding SDSHC staff and contact information please visit