Board of Directors
Is the Director for APHIS Plant and Protection and Quarantine programs in North and South Dakota. Dave has a BS degree in botany and an MS in animal and rangeland science from North Dakota State University. Dave has worked on a variety of projects including rangeland grasshopper control, biocontrol of weeds, agricultural and environmental pest detection surveys, emergency programs, and Foreign Service projects in Brazil and Guatemala. Dave is a long time Weed Control Association Board Member in the Government Representative position.
Jim Hennessy 1st VP
Jim grew up in Berthold ND where he was raised on family farm and cattle operation. He graduated from NDSU with a BS degree in Animal Science w/ Minor in Ag Education.
Jim is the Ag Agent with Mountrail County Ag Agency which he also has the Weed Control Officer position for the county. Jim has been Agent/Weed Officer for 27 years. He is married to Jana and is living on a farm near Berthold where he enjoys his horses, doing Leather work, processing meat and outdoor cooking.
Jim has a crew of 13 weed sprayers for the county and fights an aggressive weed battle in Mountrail County.
Brent Nelson is the Weed Control Officer for Walsh County and works with a variety of agencies, individuals, public and private business and communities to obtain long-term control of noxious weeds, through the implementation of several weed management methods. During the past 20 plus years in this position Brent has experienced several changes to the methods used to combat Noxious Weeds and several changes to the State Noxious Weed List. Brent has seen firsthand the importance of having an integrated approach to Noxious Weed Control and was directly involved with the first Biological Control releases of Leafy Spurge Flea Beetles in the county.
Brent was raised on a small grain/livestock farm North of Petersburg, ND and holds a BA from the University of North Dakota. He worked for the NDSU Extension Service and Walsh County Soil Conservation District prior to his current position with Walsh County as the Weed Control Officer/Emergency Manager/911 Coordinator. He is an active member of the community serving on several local boards and state associations. He has severed as President of the several State Associations, including the NDWCA in 2003.
Brent and his wife Becky live in rural Walsh County and have 4 children. They are active supporters of 4-H and enjoy a variety of hobbies and outdoor activities.
Cody Schnabel Past President
My name is Cody Schnabel. I am the Weed Control Officer for Morton County, North Dakota. I am also currently Second Vice President of the North Dakota Weed Control Association.
I grew up by Upham North Dakota on our small family farm. I went to college at Bismarck State College for a degree in Ag Sales and Service.
My wife, Tasha, and I live in Mandan. We have two little kids, Colten and Hailee. On my free time I enjoy everything the outdoors has to offer. I think Tasha sometimes enjoys time with the family outdoors too.
Merlin Leithold Exec Secretary
Merlin lives on the family farm in Elgin ND which has been in the family for 92 years, raising cattle, horses, and a few chickens. Graduated from Elgin High School, attended Dickinson State College, and Capital Commercial College in Bismarck. Worked at a grain elevator for 14 plus years half of those serving as manager. He has been the Grant County Weed Officer since 1991. Been on the NDWCA board of directors for 18 consecutive years serving as president in 1998. Has been the lobbyist since 1995 and Executive Secretary since 2013. Married to Lorele, they have 5 children and 8 grandchildren.
Ron Manson Area II Director
Weed Control Officer from Stutsman County ND. Grew up in the Valley city area where he spent most of his early years playing sports, hunting and fishing. After high school he attended both UND and VCSU studying biology and human resource. He worked 3 years for the US Fish and Wildlife Service as a research biologist before beginning work at Stutsman County Weed Control in 1997. He currently lives in Sanborn, ND with his wife Heather and their 3 children. He spends most of his free time the same way he spent it as a youth, (watching) sports, hunting and fishing.
Katie is the Billings County Weed Officer. She has been a commercial applicator working for Billings County Weed Board since 2009. She became the Weed Officer in 2015. She began severing on the NDWCA board of directors in 2016, she became president in 2018, and is currently the area 5 director. She has a bachelor’s degree in natural resources and range management. Katie received the 2017 Ag. Commissioner’s Weed Control Partner Award.
Katie grew up in Medora North Dakota where her parents owned the Cowboy Café and raised register Quarter Horses. Katie and her husband Frankie ranch northwest of Grassy Butte North Dakota, where they raise Red Angus cattle. In her spare time, Katie enjoys riding horse, working on the ranch, cooking, and enjoying time with friends, family, and her corgi Visa.
Bill Walker Industry Rep
William “Bill” Walker started his career in vegetation management in Algona, Iowa in 1979 working for a company called Lawn Manicurists (for 5 years), (since changed to Brush and Weeds Inc.). From there he worked for another company (for 5 years) until he started his own companies in 1989, ran his own companies for 10 years and sold them and started his career on the other side of the application business in Pesticide Sales and Vegetation Management Consulting.
Bill has been working in the vegetation management field for 39 years now, he sits on the North Dakota Weed Control Association board of directors as their Industry Representative, Belle Fourche River Weed Management District board and is a past member of HHC (Healthy Habitats Coalition) and has lobbied in Washington, DC for better Vegetation Management on Federal Lands and is a member of numerous State and Federal organizations dealing with vegetation management.
Bill helps to put on numerous training schools every year dealing with Pesticides Safety, Proper Application, Equipment Training, Calibration Training, Noxious Weed Identification and other aspects of vegetation management and is always happy to come and help individual agencies in figuring out their vegetation management needs and solutions.
Rick Schmidt Area IV Director
I started as Oliver County Extension Agent and Oliver County Weed Control officer in December of 1993. We operate a club lamb, registered angus and simmental operation east of Center. I am married to Renae and have 4 girls, Rebecca, Reanna, Rachel and Reagan.
Richard Weisz NDDA
My name is Richard Weisz and I am the Noxious Weeds Specialist for the North Dakota Department of Agriculture. I was born and raised in Bismarck, ND. I attended North Dakota State University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Crop and Weed Science. I have been working with the Department of Agriculture since 2014 and have been in my current role since March 2018. I currently reside in Bismarck with my wife Cortney and our three dogs. A few passions of mine are family, friends and the outdoors.
Derrill Fick Area III Director
I am the current Weed Control Officer for Ward County and have held this position for the past 20 years. I have been a NDWCA Area III director off and on since 2001 and I have been President of the NDWCA in 2008 and in 2015. Along with being the current Area III director I am also the current chairman of the Education Committee for the Association.
Before I was hired as Weed Control Officer for Ward County I owned and operated my own spraying company right out of high school doing weed control in lawns and insect control in trees along with noxious weed control for Ward County. Along with this spraying operation I helped my mom and dad on our family farm. I currently live on this family farm with my wife and we continue the haying/farming operations that I grew up with.
Travis Jepson 2021 President
Travis is the Stark County Weed Control Officer. He has been with the county for 12 years starting as a member of the spray crew and in 2017 became the weed control officer. He is a native of Killdeer and attended school there. While in school he participated in football and FFA. Fishing was a passion he pursued at the end of the school day. After high school he enrolled at NDSU majoring in mathematics/biology. Travis is married to Katie and they have two daughters. Cooking and doing activities with his family take up his free time.
Stan Wolf 2nd VP
Stan is the Cass County Weed Control Officer since 2004. He has developed an aggressive weed control program, utilizing contractors to spray state, county, and township road ditches. He also monitors and sprays Water Resource and county owned properties where needed. He initiated a program whereby newly platted subdivisions will need to submit and file a Weed Management Plan with the county planner and the weed control office.
He has served as NDWCA president in 2010, past board member of the NDWCA, and has served on several association committees.
Stan grew up on a cattle/grain farm in Emmons County. He attended NDSU and graduated with a MS degree in plant breeding. He worked as a sunflower breeder then as a sugar beet research/sales agronomist before joining Cass County Weed Control. He and his wife Beth have two children. They live on a hobby farm and enjoys woodworking.