Our People

Joel Leland

Conservation Associate, Saginaw Bay, Michigan

Lansing, MI

Joel Leland headshot.

Joel Leland Joel Leland, Conservation Associate, Saginaw Bay in Michigan. © Rebekah Wuchner/TNC

Areas of Expertise

Nutrient Management, Manure Management, Feed Management, Dairy Production, Row Crop Production


Joel joined The Nature Conservancy in September of 2021 as a Conservation Associate, working primarily in the Saginaw Bay Watershed. In this role, Joel works with both dairy farmers for the “Feed-in Focus” program and wheat farmers for the “Sustainable Options: Wheat” program. Joel also helps coordinate “Farmer-led Watershed Groups” throughout the state. Regardless of the program, Joel’s main focus is to further the adoption of sustainable practices on the farm.

Prior to joining TNC, Joel worked as a critical partner delivering the Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance (MAEAP) program in the Saginaw River Watershed. Joel holds dual degrees from Baker College—an Associate of Applied Science & Agricultural Technology in Animal Science (Summa Cum Laude) and a Bachelor of Business Administration (Magna Cum Laude). Joel was born and raised on a small farm in Shiawassee County where his family had a small dairy operation and farmed 300 acres. Although the cows are gone and the farm was condensed down, Joel took over managing the farm about a decade ago. Joel’s farm is MAEAP verified and he practices conservation by having buffer strips along county drains and wood edges.

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