MDC assigns a new conservation agent for Buchanan County

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St. Joseph, Mo. – Kelsey Gillenwater is the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) new agent patrolling Buchanan County. Gillenwater joins the MDC team serving the public and protecting forests, fish, and wildlife resources in northwest Missouri. She is already familiar with the geography. Gillenwater is a St. Joseph native with a degree in wildlife conservation and management from Missouri Western State University.

“I was lucky there was an opening in my home county that gave me the opportunity to come back,” she said. “My family has given me an appreciation of the outdoors. I grew up hunting, kayaking, fishing, boating, and helping on family farms. My dad has been my role model through the years, teaching me to hunt and dragging me along on adventures. He has always pushed me to do what I love. In high school I knew I wanted to become a conservation agent, so I took various agriculture and biology classes to expand my knowledge in this field.”  

Gillenwater graduated in October from MDC’s Conservation Agent Training Academy in Jefferson City. The new agents received more than 1,200 hours of training in criminal investigations, defensive tactics, firearms qualifications, and technical instruction in fish, forest, and wildlife management. Training also included courses in legal studies, communications and conducting education programs, and First Aid/First Responder and CPR certification.

During her college years, she worked part time for MDC as a Discover Nature — Fishing instructor and helped with other nature or outdoor skills programs.

“As a conservation agent, I look forward to meeting more members within my community,” Gillenwater said. “I want to meet with people of all ages to help share the love of the outdoors and what our natural resources have to offer.”

Gillenwater welcomes calls about concerns or regulations. To reach her, call 816-262-3512 or by email at