Creating More Profit for Producers: Pheasants Forever Hires Second Precision Ag & Conservation Specialist in North Dakota

Pheasants Forever and its partners have expanded the organization’s Precision Agriculture Business Planning Initiative in North Dakota with the recent hiring of Precision Ag and Conservation Specialist, Emily Spolyar. The new hire will offer business, agronomic, and conservation planning services for Midwest producers with the goal of increasing farm income by integrating conservation practices on less profitable crop acres.

In her main role, Spolyar will collaborate with ag producers to conduct precision business planning in southwest North Dakota, working closely with participating ag retailers such as grain cooperatives, certified crop advisers, ag lenders, consultants and others, to help farmers be both profitable and successful in their operations. Spolyar will utilize precision agriculture technology – focusing on return-of-investment (ROI) at a sub-field scale – to define areas where conservation practices and alternative working lands opportunities are more profitable for producers than traditional row crops, helping to diversify farm income and provide environmental benefits over the long-term. By focusing on return-of-investment (ROI), acre-by-acre, Pheasants Forever’s specialist will identify areas where conservation increases whole field profitability, shifting a longtime perception that profitability and environmental performance are competitive. 

“It is exciting to see this initiative, along with Emily’s experience in agriculture and passion for the uplands, expand into the heart of pheasant country,” stated Rachel Bush, state coordinator for Pheasants Forever in North Dakota. “She will be working in an area that has the ability to produce an amazing number of birds when habitat is on the ground and in the right place. We’re thrilled to be a part of improving farm profitability for North Dakotans, while creating more birds in the process.”

Growing up in rural southern Michigan, Spolyar gained knowledge in the field of conservation as a former FFA and 4-H participant. These experiences lead her to pursue a degree in Ag Business while attending the University of Northwestern Ohio. After graduation, Spolyar began working for Nutrien Ag Solutions in southern Michigan first as an intern, followed by a full-time position as a crop consultant. Collaborating daily with local producers to help develop sound agronomic and economic plans for working farms, Spoylar brings a wealth of land management and agricultural knowledge to her new position. “I look forward to helping our local producers identify acres that will allow them to incorporate conservation into working lands, while still maintaining profitability,” she stated.

Spolyar, an avid outdoorswoman and pheasant hunter, will be based at her home office in Dickinson, North Dakota. For more information regarding precision agriculture in North Dakota, contact Emily Spolyar at or by phone at (517) 250-2440.

North Dakota’s Precision Ag & Conservation Specialist was made possible by contributions from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, North Dakota Game & Fish Department, the North Dakota Natural Resources Trust and volunteer chapters of Pheasants Forever.

About Pheasants Forever

Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 149,000 members and 725 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent; the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure. Since creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent $784 million on 530,000 habitat projects benefiting 17 million acres nationwide.
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