District Staff and Associates

Crosson in 1980 with calf, Crosson in 2013 with lab pup, Django
Crosson in 1980 with calf, Crosson in 2013 with lab pup, Django

Holly Crosson

Executive Director

541-231-2522 (work cell)
541-753-7208 ext. 201 (office direct line)
Holly Crosson joined Benton SWCD in January 2013. She brings over 25 years of experience in natural resource conservation, restoration, stewardship, and community outreach; and decades of experience farming (crops, livestock, nursery industry) in New England, northern California, and Oregon. She managed conservation programs for the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s Water Quality Division, coordinated watershed programs in the Department of Environmental Science/Policy at the University of California, Davis, managed a program focused on the international maritime industry and preventing the global spread of aquatic invasive species in the US, Canada, and Mexico (Sea Grant Extension), and was the Interpretation Coordinator for the UC Davis Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Prior to moving to Corvallis in 2012, Holly spent five years living and working on a 145-acre organic farm in the Applegate Valley of southern Oregon. Holly is thrilled to be part of Benton County’s remarkable conservation community. She loves working with such dedicated staff, board members, volunteers, and partners to collaboratively address the complex natural resource challenges of our time in a way that builds and strengthens our community. Outside of work, Holly enjoys designing the gardens around her home to create welcoming outdoor spaces for family and friends, exploring wild rivers and forests, and creating/enjoying music, art, and poetry.

Michael Ahr

Natural Resources Conservation Program Manager

541-231-2615 (work cell)
541-753-7208 ext. 202 (office direct line)
Michael joined Benton SWCD in April 2021 and will oversee conservation programs as well as coordinate the Willamette Mainstem Cooperative and the Invasive Species Program. Before coming to Benton SWCD, he worked as the Forest Conservationist at West Multnomah SWCD for 11 years assisting woodland owners in developing and implementing management plans for their properties. Forest restoration projects included thinning, habitat enhancements such as native pollinator work, invasive species control, and erosion prevention.
Michael also worked for two years in Olympia, Washington as the Outreach Specialist in the Small Forest Landowner Office at the Washington Department of Natural Resources. While at DNR, he also worked with the Natural Areas Program to identify and eradicate invasive species, survey prairie habitats to collect seed from native habitats for sensitive butterflies and assisted with an Oregon white oak release project. He has also worked on streamside restoration projects with the Polk Soil and Water Conservation District and presented education programs with the Tillamook State Forest.
He has a B.S. in Natural Resources & Wildlife Management from Ohio State University and a M.S. in Forest Resources at Oregon State University with a focus on Natural Resources Education & Extension and a minor in Adult Education. Michael grew up in Colorado and Ohio and enjoys visiting the mountains and Oregon Coast with his wife and 2 boys.

Donna in the 80s and with daughter and bird
Donna in the 80s and with daughter and bird

Donna Schmitz

Resource Conservationist II

541-753-7208 ext. 203 (office direct line)
Donna has over 30 years of experience in natural resource management.  In her current position, Donna provides natural resource technical assistance to Benton County landowners who seek solutions to reduce soil erosion, improve water quality and wildlife habitat and assists them in finding funding sources to help pay for conservation work. Prior to her work with the Benton SWCD, she was Project Manager of a large watershed scale research project conducted through the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, monitoring the effects of agricultural nutrient and pest management practices on water quality in Iowa.  Past projects included conducting hydrologic analysis of storm water and developing storm water storage and soil erosion control plans for proposed urban development.  With the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Donna evaluated highly erodible land and developed conservation plans for federal farm program participants. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay, South America teaching agro-forestry concepts at an agricultural school. She has a B.S. in Forest Management.

Teresa as a baby and an adult
Teresa as a baby and an adult

Teresa Matteson

Resource Conservationist I

541-753-7208 ext. 204 (office direct line)
With a passion for decomposition, Teresa has practiced composting at home and shared methods with her community for about a quarter century. Collaboration with local and state-wide partners provides many opportunities for Teresa to explore soil health. Teresa’s Soil Quality Project encourages farmers to make management decisions that improve soil function, reduce production inputs and protect the environment. She participates at many community events from Forest Camp to OSU’s Non-profit Career Fair.

Sara Roberts

Communications and Community Engagement Coordinator


541-753-7208 ext. 205

Sara Roberts joined Benton SWCD in August 2022. Sara coordinates the district’s communications, social media, and marketing, and also manages our education and outreach efforts. Her job is to raise awareness of our community conservation programs across Benton County, and to foster sustainable practices through high-quality, place-based education. Sara has nearly 15 years of experience in environmental education, with an academic background in environmental science and natural resource management. She began her career as a field biologist working with sea turtles in Florida, and soon found that she loved engaging with the public, so she began to pursue training in environmental education. She has worked in Florida, Ohio, Australia, California, and Oregon developing education programs on topics including invasive species, watersheds, habitat restoration, salmon, marine systems, forests, and more. Sara has also worked extensively with K-12 teachers and administrators to develop and evaluate field studies which get kids learning and exploring in the great outdoors. Having spent the last 6 years as an educator at Oregon Coast Aquarium, Sara is happy to now be working closer to home in the Willamette Valley. She has a passion for Pacific Northwest ecosystems and native plants, and spends as much time as she can in her home garden. Outside of work, Sara can also be found kayaking, reading, and strolling on shady trails with her husband and two-year-old son.

Candace Mackey

Operations Coordinator


541-753-7208 ext. 200

Candace Mackey joined Benton SWCD as Operations Coordinator in November 2022.  Candace administrates the District’s day to day business. Her job is to provide operational and administrative support to Board and staff and ensure the smooth functioning and safe operation of the District.  Candace has over 10 years of experience in non-profit administration, with an academic background in Business Administration and Music Education. She began her career as a middle school choir and band teacher, moved on to marketing in tech, then as a steward for the environment with the SCA, working in fire prevention education with the Shoshone & Paiute Tribes of Duck Valley, the Idaho RC&D, and National Park Service. This experience led to a deep appreciation for environmental education and those bringing conservation resources to communities. Since that experience, she worked for non-profit arts organizations, completing a grass-roots effort to raise a center for the arts in a rural area outside of Santa Rosa, CA and presenting world class chamber music to its residents.  Having just moved to the Willamette valley in summer of 2022, she is enjoying learning from her colleagues about all the gorgeous and valuable natural areas so close to her new home. She and her husband and 7-year old son enjoy hiking, fishing and working on their new property with the assistance of two delightful doggie companions.


Amy as a child and adult
Amy as a child and adult

Amy Kaiser

Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Benton/Linn District Conservationist

Amy Kaiser has worked for NRCS since 2006 and began her career in Montana after receiving a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management from the University of Tennessee. She has worked in Oregon since 2014 and transferred to the Tangent NRCS Field Office from the Klamath Falls Service Center in 2018. While in the High Plains of Montana, and the High Desert Basin of Oregon, she worked with multiple partners on many projects including soil health, water quantity and quality, forest health and resilience, plant and animal habitat, and riparian management. She is looking forward to working in the Willamette Basin and learning more about the Grass Seed Capital of the World.

Copyright ©2013- 2023 Benton Soil & Water Conservation District. All rights reserved.