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The first SWCD in Minnesota - the Burns-Homer-Pleasant district, later renamed the Winona SWCD - was created in 1938 in response to the Dust Bowl of the 1930's.  Also known as the “dirty thirties,” intensive farming during a time of drought allowed high winds to erode the landscape and carry clouds of dust from the Great Plains all the way to Washington, D.C.  Districts were subsequently developed across the country to encourage landowners to alter their farming techniques in order to more wisely use our soil and water resources.  Over the years, soil and water conservation districts expanded their focuses beyond agriculture to also provide assistance in forested, lakes and urban areas of their communities.  Districts have also expanded their base of clientele to include not only private landowners, but also other units of government such as counties, cities, townships and watershed districts.