Chris Priest

Chris Priest, State Technician for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. His serves Page County and is based in Clarinda.

(Clarinda) -- Chris Priest wondered at times what might be next as he farmed for 10 years after graduating from Shenandoah High School in 2008.

His answer came 10 months ago when he was hired as a State Technician in Page County through The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS).

Chris and his wife, Steph, have two young children; McKenna and Harrison.  He is the son of Dee and John Priest and has two brothers and a sister; Nick, Nathan and Amanda.

He enjoys spending quality time with his family along with doing some fishing and hunting as well.

After enjoying farming for a local producer for those many years, Chris eventually knew it was time to make a change.

"With life and the family, things kind of changed and I need something a little, just a little bit different," he says. "But still in the agricultural background.  I really enjoyed it. So I found the opportunity for this, applied and not knowing if I would like it, got into it and I like it."

Chris describes some aspects of his new career.

"What it boils down to is I lay out tile and terrace jobs. Water pond jobs. But there's a lot of background stuff that some people don't see. Working  through the planning process and then working on cultural resource and potential wetland flow charts, things like that."

He says he's learned a lot already.

"Most definitely.  And there's a whole lot more to learn. I've been told that if I don't learn something new every day then I'm not doing my job right."

Chris gets good encouragement and support from his colleagues as well.

"There's a lot of good people working here in-house and we network together and we're in contact with many of the neighboring counties and we try to work together as well if opportunities arise."

For more on Chris' story, take a listen to his audio segment below.