Walker resident announces candidacy for Cass County Soil and Water Conservation District 5
Jennifer O'Neill has experience in detecting aquatic invasive species.
WALKER — Jennifer O’Neill has announced her campaign for the office of Cass County Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor for District 5.
A Walker area resident, O’Neill said in a news release that she combines communications experience and a conservation background in her run for the open seat.
“I’ve lived on Minnesota lakes for nearly 35 years and care deeply about preserving the quality of our lakes, rivers and wetlands for generations to come,” said O’Neill.
She currently serves on the Leech Lake Association board and previously was communication director of the Lone Lake Association in Aitkin County.
Acertified Minnesota Master Naturalist, she has worked with lakeshore property owners and SWCD districts leading projects to prevent erosion on shorelines and to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species.
As a broadcast reporter, O’Neill covered Minnesota agricultural issues and was a founding member of Minnesota Women for Agriculture.
O’Neill said a key component of the SWCD work is public engagement and collaboration.
“I bring decades of experience working with the public as a reporter and business communicator in the fields of agriculture, the food industry and banking. As a manager of people and budgets with major Minnesota businesses, I’ve balanced the needs of constituents with available sources of funding,” she said.
“It’s my goal to add my expertise, energy and enthusiasm to the great and important work SWCD is doing in Cass County,” O’Neill said.
O’Neill, a lifelong Minnesota resident, was raised in the rural southwest part of the state and in Crystal, spending summers at her family’s cabin on Leech Lake. After living in Aitkin County, O’Neill returned to Walker as a full-time resident. She graduated from Carleton College in Northfield.
In addition to her interest in the SWCD supervisor role, O’Neill is a certified Minnesota AIS detector, a volunteer Minnesota Land Trust land monitor, and a member of Hope Lutheran Church in Walker.