MDC private land conservationist brings experience to new job

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SPRINGFIELD Mo. – Ethan Kleekamp may be new to the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), but the job he will be doing is work he’s familiar with.

Kleekamp is MDC’s new private land conservationist for Greene and Webster counties. In addition to making one-on-one contacts with landowners in his counties who are seeking conservation advice, Kleekamp will work with other MDC staff, University of Missouri Extension, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and other natural resource agencies to deliver resource management information to landowners through workshops, training programs and special events. Kleekamp started his job Sept. 1. He replaces Matt Curry, who retired earlier this year.

Kleekamp has previous experience in working with landowners who are interested in improving habitat on their land. Prior to taking his current job, the Marthasville native was a biologist with Pheasants Forever, Inc. and Quail Forever. In that position, he worked with landowners in Ray, Caldwell, and Clinton counties in northwest Missouri from 2018-21. From 2021 to the present, he worked as a Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever biologist with landowners in Lawrence, Jasper, Barton, and Dade in the southwest part of the state. Kleekamp is a graduate of Truman State University and holds a master’s degree from the University of Missouri.

“I am thrilled to be joining MDC’s incredible team of foresters, fisheries biologists, and urban conservationists that serve landowners and communities here in the southwest part of the state,” he said. “As the Private Lands Conservationist for Greene and Webster counties, I am excited to begin work in the ecologically diverse landscape, with an equally diverse array of landowners, partner organizations, and other stakeholders to restore natural communities and improve wildlife habitat.”

Kleekamp will work out of the USDA Service Center in Marshfield. He can be reached at 417-468-2088 or More conservation information for landowners can be found at