Marni Thompson

Marni Thompson

Marni Thompson grew up on a family ranch near Townsend, Montana. The Meadowland Ranch raised irrigated hay, dryland wheat and registered Gelbieh cattle. After graduating from high school, Marni attended Montana State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in range science.

After college, she began her career with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) where she has worked for 26 years, starting first as a soil conservationist in Miles City, Montana, where she worked on rangeland on large ranches. She then worked 12 years as a District Conservationist in Sheridan, Montana. During those years, Marni honed her expertise on large stock water pipelines, irrigated pasture and native rangeland. It was there that Marni discovered her soil health passion when she watched Ray Archelata do the slake test. That burning passion inspired Marni to pursue as much knowledge regarding soil health as possible. She then moved to Great Falls, Montana as the Area Conservationist for Programs, assisting 13 field offices and three tribal offices in implementing NRCS conservation programs. After six years in that position, Marni was able to get back to her technical roots and was the Area Conservationist for Technology and was responsible for technical training for 13 field offices and three tribal offices. The transition to the Great Falls Area allowed Marni to gain more experience with soil health and dryland cropping and became Montana’s first Soil Health Specialist. In this role, she is responsible for soil health education, outreach, and training for the state of Montana.

Marni and her husband Jory, have three grown children and two grand children and live in Fort Benton Montana. Her passion is practicing soil health principles in her no-till garden. She also likes to ride her horses, fish and water-ski.

Your partner in regenerative agriculture
I grew up in the Crow Creek Valley, 17 miles from the small town of Townsend, Montana. I loved working on the ranch and would have gone back but the ranch was sold my senior year of high school. However, my career with NRCS has been a great opportunity to meet farmers and ranchers from all over the state and learn from them and to help others solve resource issues.

I continue to learn about soil health and have had the opportunity to visit ranches and farms throughout Montana, North and South Dakota and Minnesota. I was a member of the Montana Chapter of Soil and Water Conservation and was able to assist with two farmer/rancher soil health bus tours to North and South Dakota. For 12 years I have assisted with annual soil health workshops that became a very successful two-day Soil Health Symposium in Billings, Montana. I continue to work with ranchers and farmers across the state of Montana, assisting them in implementing the soil health principles. Working across the state of Montana on a range of land uses and different cropping systems has enabled me to gain great experience. I love to improve soil health with farmers and ranchers so that they can reduce their input costs—and I know that by farming and ranching in nature’s image we can grow healthier soil, food, farms and rural communities.

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top