ND Water December 2020 - Getting to Know Garrison Diversion Director
The Garrison Diversion Conservancy District (Garrison Diversion) board of directors consists of an elected official from each member county of the 28-member district. Directors are elected to serve their county for a four-year term.
The full board meets quarterly, with additional committees meeting at various points throughout each year.
A large variety of interests and backgrounds provide a diverse group of individuals, but collectively, they all have the same purpose in mind. The members work to fulfill Garrison Diversion’s mission to provide a reliable, high quality and affordable water supply to benefit the people of North Dakota.
As we continue profiling the directors who comprise the board, we introduce to you John Peyerl, Ramsey County, and Dave Johnson, Benson County.
Representing Ramsey County since 1999, John Peyerl has been dedicated to water development in North Dakota through his service on the Garrison Diversion board. John is a former chairperson and long-time member of the Engineering and Operations Committee.
“When the board position was opening after Russ Dushinske, I thought I could fill the void and become a voice, provide input on how we could put Missouri River water to use for North Dakota,” said John. “I continue to run for this position in the election because, altogether, this is an amazing organization. There is a wide variety of talent on the board, and we are all working together for the same things. Irrigation development is increasing and we are establishing a path for water to the
central and eastern part of the state. These are very important projects for North Dakota.”
John has always been active in community service. He served on the BTR Farmers Co-op board and the Churchs’ Ferry-Penn Fire District board. He is also former president of the Ramsey County Farm Bureau. In recognition of his service, John has been honored with the Ramsey County Conservation Award and the North Dakota Water Wheel Award. He continues to farm near Penn. He and his wife, Diane, have six children and 21 grandchildren.
Dave Johnson, veteran member of the board of directors, has been serving Benson County since 1987.
“I decided to run for a seat on the board when I could because my dad, Vern Sturlaugson, had been a director for many years,” said Dave. “His participation was not unnoticed by us kids. The seed was planted for developing an interest in water development, especially through rural water projects.”
While he has served on several committees, the Recreation Committee is near and dear to Dave’s heart. “I love providing funding to deserving projects across the state, and especially to those projects that benefit my area. This is the fun part of our ‘job’,” says Dave. "I think an important thing to note about Garrison Diversion, that so many people don’t realize,
is that throughout the years, a lot of things the Garrison Diversion Unit project started out to do, have been done. Irrigation development by McClusky is increasing, rural water reaches around the state and the Red River Valley Water Supply Project is set to deliver water to central and eastern North Dakota. Now, I realize the project isn’t near as grand as it was imagined in the beginning, but real things are happening all these years later; quite a bit has been accomplished.”
Dave lives near Minnewaukan with his wife, Karen. He doesn’t let the grass grow under his feet, as he stays busy as a farm equipment dealer in Maddock, a crop insurance agent and farms with his son, Derek. He has been active in both the Minnewaukan and Maddock communities, serving on several local boards over the years. In addition, Dave was a long-time basketball official and now evaluates basketball officials in the Big Sky and Summit Conferences.
Dave and Karen like to spend time at their second home in Whitefish, Mont., skiing and hiking.