Perham Decoy Show founder opens conservation office in Frazee

Photo by Robert Williams
Joseph Malakowsky, left, and Rodney Osvold distribute Friends of the Forest coloring and information books to Frazee-Vergas third and fourth grade students on Tuesday, March 19, at the elementary school.

By Robert Williams


Rodney Osvold and Joseph Malakowsky recently launched a new conservation-based non-profit organization LongView Carbon Farms in Frazee and the first official act of the due was to inspire young people by distributing free copies of the Friends of the Forest coloring book at the elementary school Tuesday afternoon.

Contributed photo
All kinds of outdoor art and especially decoys from enthusiasts around the country will be on display at this year’s 25th anniversary of “The Gathering, World’s Largest Fish Decoy Show” coming up April 12-14 at the Perham Area Community Center.

The book depicts multiple drawings of animals for the students to color with a facing page full of information about the animal and why they are important to the natural ecosystem.

“I tried to start this maybe eight times over the years and then I met Joe, who is younger than me and very good digitally, and in today’s world you have to be digital,” said Osvold.

Both partners had a desire to promote long-term conservation and began creating the non-profit last June. 

“We’re just getting started and this is our first project,” he said. “We had one kid come through the line three times. That’s what we’re here for.”

Osvold will be well-known to local outdoors enthusiasts for his ties to the annual fish decoy show in Perham. In fact, Osvold founded the National Fish Decoy Association and created “The Gathering, World’s Largest Fish Decoy Show” each April in Perham.

He grew up on a farm near Brainerd and had a love for old-growth trees. Before the age of 16, Osvold contracted with the local railroad to supply 200 oak railroad ties. This required a little logging and sawmill work on his part and he still has family today in the logging business.

After multiple careers in the food business, manufacturing, and being an entrepreneur, he decided to launch LongView. 

Malakowsky is a Detroit Lakes resident and was working as a Trainer and Sanitation technician at a Pet Food plant when he met Osvold. Malakowsky comes from a family of hunters and farmers and, as such, has a passion for conservation. His relatives left a Waterfowl Production area to aid the conservation effort, and he hopes to follow in their footsteps.

He is leading the technology side of understanding what LongView needs to be successful.

The duo chose 311 West Main Avenue in Frazee to house their office in the lodge by the goose pond. In describing the choice, they said it’s more than just a workspace—it’s where their mission comes to life.

“We are totally into conservation,” said Osvold.

The duo wants to make a difference and create a sustainable future for generations to come.

“Deforestation was going to be our driver with general conservation,” Osvold said. “We’re pretty long-term. We look at 300-400 years old-growth forests that are rapidly disappearing. We can solve the climate, carbon crisis tomorrow, but we’ll always have deforestation simply because of too many humans. We use wood. So, we wanted to get into, let’s say we bought 20 acres here in Frazee, a historic logging town, where we planted old-grove white pine that’ll be here 300 years from now so these kids’, kids’, kids’ can read about. That’s kind of what we’re about. While we do it, 10 percent minimum is going to the conservation of other things from butterflies to ducks and deer.”

Frazee has been the choice for others to create large tree planting areas also. The Frazee-Vergas FFA, led by former instructors Ken Hammer and Doug Schwarzrock led a campaign and now legacy of 1.2 million trees around the area.

Osvold was a district FFA award winner in forestry when he was a student, along with being a chapter vice president, president and state president.

“FFA taught me leadership,” he said.

Both LongView Carbon Farms founders believe in the power of nature to heal the planet. By preserving and creating nature-specific corridors, we provide important habitats for wildlife, waterfowl, and butterflies.Their work not only helps protect these species, but also plays a vital role in mitigating deforestation and combating climate change.

No matter how big or small, every action counts. 

Visit for more information or stop down to the office by the goose pond Monday through Thursday. Specific hours have yet to be announced, especially, with the 25th anniversary World’s Largest Fish Decoy Show coming up April 12-14 at the Perham Area Community Center.

For more information on this year’s special decoy show visit