Little Blue NRD

Little Blue Natural Resources District has the unique responsibility to protect our natural resources within the district through the promotion of conservation as well as proper management practices to ensure the future of our resources for years to come!  

Where We’re Located

The Little Blue Natural Resources District is nestled in the heart of the district in Davenport.  We proudly serve and support the producers, farmers, and communities in Adams, Clay, Fillmore, Webster, Nuckolls, Thayer, and Jefferson Counties. We’re responsible for helping to maintain 1,539,200 acres of land.

How We’re Funded

A variety of sources funds our operations, including the sale of conservation trees and services, assessment projects (self-supporting rural water systems), state and federal cost-sharing for projects and programs, and various grant programs. The primary source of funds, however, remains local property taxes.

Fiscal Year 2019 Budgets


  • Cash and Investments 12.1% 12.1%
  • Customer Charges 3.2% 3.2%
  • Federal and State Grants and Funding 29.8% 29.8%
  • Investment Income .1% .1%
  • Miscellaneous 7.7% 7.7%
  • Property Tax 37.8% 37.8%
  • Property Rent .2% .2%
  • Rural Water Income 8.9% 8.9%


  • Capitol .8% .8%
  • Information & Education 1.2% 1.2%
  • Operations 6.1% 6.1%
  • Personnel 25.0% 25.0%
  • Programs 6.0% 6.0%
  • Projects 43.4% 43.4%
  • Rural Water 9.0% 9.0%
  • Reserves 2.7% 2.7%
  • Water Quality 5.9% 5.9%

Our Staff

The District employs nine full-time professional staff responsible for carrying out the directives of the Board of Directors. Three full-time and two part-time secretaries as well as one Technician are also employed and serve as District contacts in the five local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offices which lie within the District. The Rural Water Projects employ two part-time employees.

Mike Onnen

General Manager

Mike oversees the general administration of the District as well as personnel management, budget, project development, District planning/policy and Legislative activities.

Donnie Engelhardt 

Assistant Manager

Donnie’s duties include administration of the Groundwater Quality Plan, groundwater quality programs, project development support, planning, budget & finance, livestock waste permits review as well as data management and systems administrator.

Kevin Orvis

Project Manager

Kevin oversees the District’s Water Quantity Management Plan, water meter maintenance, static water levels, new well permits, drainage and surface water and is the Rural Water Projects Manager.

Dylan Long

Watershed Coordinator

Dylan’s responsibilities are Watershed Plan implementation, groundwater recharge projects, Cost-Share programs, GIS mapping, database assistance and wellhead protection activities.

Kent Thompson

 Operations Supervisor

Kent is in charge of the Tree Program, Watershed maintenance, Recreation Area maintenance, Buffer Strip Program, Wildlife Habitat and equipment maintenance.

James Oltmans

Water Resources Technician

Jim is in charge of chemigation, assists with water sampling, ultrasonic meter testing, operator BMP promotion and new meter certification.

Jed Bergen

NRD Technician

Jed assists with chemigation inspections, water sampling, meter maintenance, groundwater department inventory and ultrasonic meter testing.

Kayla Jesse

 Resource Technician

Kayla assists the water department and program supervisor with various duties during the year including water sampling, flow meter and chemigation inspections and tree planting.

Marie Herbek

Administrative Secretary

Marie is the Districts bookkeeper, oversees the audit, is in charge the accounts receivable & payable, Public Water Projects accounts bookkeeping, computer data, website, secretarial and recepetionist.

Mandy Klipp

District Secretary

Mandy’s duties include Receptionist and Secretarial tasks, Records Management, Wellness Program, maintaining mailing lists and producing mailings.

Elysabeth Kierl

Media and Communications Specialist

Elysabeth’s duties include Community Outreach, Social Media, Website Development, Information and Education, Recycling and Conservation Programs.

Alicia Epps

Database Specialist

Alicia is the District’s Database Specialist. She prepares, compiles and sorts documents for data entry and then enters the data into the Districts database. Alicia also assists with secretarial services.

Rural Water Projects

Kevin Orvis, Rural Water Manager (402) 364-2145
Bruce Dux, Rural Water Superintendent (402) 300-0523
Paula Schultz, Billing (402) 729-3598

NRCS Field Office Staff

Robin Leichty, Fillmore County – NRCS Secretary
Allison Peshek, Clay County – NRCS Secretary
Sylvia Jividen, Fillmore County – NRCS Secretary
Paula Schultz, Jefferson County – NRCS Secretary
Christine Zabokrtsky, Jefferson County – NRCS Technician
Patsy Ord, Nuckolls County – NRCS Secretary
Melanie McPherson, Thayer County – NRCS Secretary
Lynetta Snelling, Webster County – NRCS Secretary