Natural Resource Specialist
Samantha Fazekas is a Natural Resource Specialist at the Jasper County Soil and Water Conservation District and is eager to get involved in upcoming conservation projects. Prior to this job, she earned a degree in Sustainability Studies at Indiana University South Bend and spent time volunteering for Fernwood Botanical Gardens in Buchanan, Michigan and Kankakee Wetlands Organic Gardens in South Bend, Indiana. She is passionate about protecting and conserving her local environment which furthers her interest in acquiring knowledge and skills to protect the natural systems that provide for her and her community.
Mark Jordan has lived the majority of his life in Jasper County. He was born and raised on the family farm growing corn, soybeans, hay & purebred beef cattle. He left Jasper County to attend Purdue University where he earned a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering. Mark’s twenty year engineering career started at John Deere in Ottumwa, IA. He then spent eight years working for FMC on specialty vegetable harvesters in Hoopeston, IL. He wrapped up his engineering career with nine years at Caterpillar in Lafayette as Engineering Manager of core engine components. Mark served on Purdue’s Engineering Alumni Board as Vice President and currently serves on the Jasper County 4H Council.
He and his wife, Heidi, have three children and have since moved back to Rensselaer to help manage the family farm. They have implemented many conservation practices into their farm management program such as: filter strips, cover crops, no-till, grassed waterways, windbreaks, and conservation grazing methods. Mark enjoys many outdoor activities with his family including camping, downhill skiing, and 4H. Mark has served on the Jasper County SWCD Board since 2016.
Lana Zimmer has served on the Jasper County SWCD Board since 2004. As an experienced grant writer, her primary contributions have been focused in that area. As a lifelong resident of Jasper County, Lana resides with her husband Tom on the family farm in Jordan Township along with Iroquois River where they have restored more than 3 acres of tall grass prairie and are also growing and wholesaling produce and specialty crops. Lana is a retired professor from Saint Joseph’s College where she taught in the Education Division specializing in science education. Her primary interests include sustainability education, sustainable agriculture, and place-based, experiential learning. Lana has broad knowledge and experience in many conservation practices, and hopes to continue to bring awareness to the community about the many ways individuals can help protect and preserve the quality of our soil and water while at the same time sustaining economic development.
Mark Kingma is a lifelong resident of Jasper County. He has been married to his wife, Linda, for 34 years and enjoys spending time on the water, particularly Lake Michigan. He also manages to get on the golf course on occasion. In addition to farming, Mr. Kingma is a seed corn sales representative for Asgrow/Dekalb and has served on the Jasper County Farm Bureau board for 6 years. He has been implementing various conservation practices on his fields for many years including no-till, cover crops, and buffer strips. Mark has served on the Jasper County SWCD Board since 2015.
Jim Martin was first elected to the Jasper County Soil and Water Conservation District in 2008 and
became the chairman in 2011. Jim has served as the District Director for the Indiana Association
of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Jim also served on the State Soils Board task force: Conservation 2016 and Beyond, a study group formulating policy for the future conservation programs for Indiana SWCDs. Jim has attended numerous seminars, trainings, and conferences representing the Jasper County SWCD. Jim was active in the construction of the Science Education building for the SWCD at the Jasper County Fairgrounds, donating countless hours toward the building's completion.
Jim is a life long resident of Wheatfield and Walker Townships and has served his community in
volunteer organizations for many years.
Stuart Orr graduated from Indiana University South Bend with a BS in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. After college, Stuart served for a year in AmeriCorps, and has spent the last 14 years working for the Indiana Chapter of The Nature Conservancy as a Restoration Ecologist, and since 2018 as Prescribed Fire Program Manager. Stuart’s professional skills include invasive plant control, prescribed fire, vegetation monitoring, rare plant conservation, and conservation planning. Stuart also serves on the Indiana Pesticide Review Board as the Conservation Organization representative. Stuart is a lifelong resident of northern Indiana, and lives with his wife, Jessica, daughter and several dogs in rural Walker Township. Stuart enjoys many avocational activities such as gardening, hunting, fishing, foraging, and cooking. Stuart has served on the Jasper County SWCD Board since 2020.
United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service Staff
Civil Engineer Technician
Soil Conservationist Technician
Civil Engineer Technician