Conservation Education Hub
has officially launched on NACD's website! The hub contains all of NACD's Stewardship and Education materials, access to the Marketplace, as well as curriculum guides for students at all levels.
Just in time for Stewardship Week, NACD's new Pollinator Field Day Guide is now available for all conservation districts to download for free on
and through the hub
The first-of-its-kind guide was developed through the support of the David Rockefeller Fund Pollinator Education Initiative Grant and the Pollinator Partnership, and provides interactive learning experiences for grades K-8 by engaging them in habitat-focused, pollinator-themed activities for the classroom and outdoors.
Each activity has been correlated to education standards and provides a pathway to valuable partnerships with local soil and water conservation districts. The new curriculum guides teachers and educators through the resources and tools needed to conduct a successful pollinator field day, including planning and implementation guidelines, materials and evaluation strategies.
“By arming both traditional and non-traditional educators and facilitators with this field day guide, NACD will help provide additional avenues for communities to interact and forge relationships with their local conservation districts,”
NACD President Tim Palmer said.
NACD TRAVELS TO TEXAS TO TALK CONSERVATION
Pictured above from left to right:
Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts
(ATSWCD) Executive Director
, ATSWCD President
, NACD Secretary-Treasurer
, NACD CEO
, NACD President-elect
Last week from Feb. 24-29,
NACD President-elect Michael Crowder, Secretary-Treasurer
Ian Cunningham and CEO
Jeremy Peters were in Texas for various meetings with conservation leaders across the Lone Star State.
NACD’s leaders first met with over 100 district officials receiving annual leadership development training with the
Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board
(TSSWCB) on Feb. 25 in Temple, Texas. Crowder, Cunningham and Peters delivered remarks highlighting NACD’s member services, advocacy, education and partnership efforts. The TSSWCB training included modules ranging from district responsibilities to legal and ethics training, information on conducting effective meetings, fiduciary responsibilities and program updates.
From Temple, the group traveled to Anderson, to the home of NACD South Central Executive Board Member
, where they were also joined for dinner by representatives of ConocoPhillips to discuss mutual conservation objectives. ConocoPhillips invests in habitat protection and restoration to address complex water and biodiversity conservation challenges through the
Spirit of Conservation and Innovation
Finally, the group traveled to San Antonio, for the
, where NACD hosted a booth on the trade show floor and conducted outreach through Soil Health Champions Network members Crowder, Cunningham and
from Florida (pictured above from left to right: NACD CEO
President-elect Michael Crowder)
. The team also participated in events with Syngenta, The Fertilizer Institute, Agriculture Future of America, the National Association of Wheat Growers and the American Soybean Association.
DISTRICTS AND PARTNERS GATHER IN TENNESSEE FOR 76TH ANNUAL CONVENTION
Pictured above from left to right:
, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS);
, Tennessee Department of Agriculture (Farm Bureau);
, NACD; and
Tennessee Association of Conservation Districts
Last week, district officials, employees and partners gathered in Franklin, Tenn., for the 76th annual
Tennessee Association of Conservation Districts (TACD) Convention.
The theme of the event was “Conservation Today for a Better Tomorrow.”
NACD President Tim Palmer addressed attendees during the convention’s first general session, providing an overview of the association's programs and updates. Farm Bureau Executive Vice President
Rhedona Rose, Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) Assistant Commissioner for Business Development
Keith Harrison and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Regional Conservationist for the Southeast
James Tillman also provided remarks during the session.
The first day’s luncheon topics included updates for district officials from the Tennessee State Soil Conservation Committee, as well as information for district employees on TDA’s Land and Water Stewardship and nonpoint source (NPS) program. Later, TACD’s Soil Health Specialist
Jeremiah Durbin and Grazing Specialist
Greg Brann spoke to participants about soil health management.
At the convention’s annual banquet on the final evening, the
Cheatham County Soil Conservation District received the Conservation District of the Year Award. Guests also enjoyed a presentation from Nashville-based artist,
who gave a performance as President Abraham Lincoln.
OACD HOLDS 82ND ANNUAL MEETING
On Feb. 23, the
Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts
held its 82nd Annual Meeting in Edmond, Okla. Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor
(pictured right) greeted attendees with a message about continued progress in agriculture development and moving forward with conservation of the state's valued natural resources.
NACD South Central Region Representative
presented on the national association's accomplishments in the South Central region and in Oklahoma. Owen showcased successes and opportunities through programs such as the
NACD Technical Assistance Grants
Urban Agriculture Conservation Grants
. Owen also reviewed NACD's successes with the 2018 Farm Bill and resources available for conservation districts and district boards.
The afternoon agenda included concurrent sessions on water quality, private property rights and the new Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Application Ranking Tool (CART). Owen moderated a panel entitled "Working Smarter, Not Harder," which was comprised of conservation district staff and regional NRCS employees. The session was aimed at providing insight into the conservation district and NRCS partnership and answering questions on how to make the partnership work more efficiently.
The second day of the conference featured presenter
Dr. Jill Clapperton
with Rhizoterra and
with The Nature Conservancy. The afternoon concluded with additional concurrent sessions on soil health. One track focused on producers, while the other provided information for those interested in urban or suburban soil health practices. These sessions featured
, a partner biologist for NRCS with the Xerces Society.
Rocky Bateman and his wife
Nancy Jo are fifth-generation farmers on their family farm, which they operate alongside their three daughters
Libby. Since it was homesteaded in 1897, the Bateman Farm has been located in south central North Dakota, on the edge of the Heart River Watershed. The land is very marginal, with rolling to very rugged terrain, and receives on average 14–16 inches of rainfall annually.
The Batemans' soil health journey started first with incorporating no-till farming into their operation in 1998, and Bateman says it’s the best thing they’ve ever done on the farm. They’ve increased the organic matter levels four-fold, their water and mineral cycles are functioning again, yields have tripled since the 1970s, and both wind and water erosion from the marginal land has almost completely disappeared.
Following no-till, Bateman incorporated crop diversity and cover crops into their operation, with the long-term goal of improving the soil’s health to levels when it was native prairie sod.
Bateman believes when times are challenging, it’s a great opportunity to spread the message of soil health. In his community, Bateman has helped start a soil health mentoring program offered through the
Morton County Soil Conservation District. He also participates in “Shop Talks,” where local farmers, conservation district staff and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) personnel meet up at a producer’s farm and discuss soil health. This is a great opportunity to share success stories and learn more about soil health.
If you or someone you know would like to become a Soil Health Champion, please contact NACD North Central Region Representative
MARCH U&C WEBINAR FOCUSES ON LAND MANAGEMENT CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS
The next NACD Urban and Community (U&C) Conservation webinar, scheduled for
12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. Eastern on
March 19, 2020, will explore Land Management Certification programs.
Waldo Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) in Maine offers conservation district certification for landowners who are implementing conservation practices. The certification works at larger and smaller scales, including conservation farm and forest certification, as well as eco-landscape certification for residential properties.
Landowners will receive onsite assistance; resources to implement conservation practices, including guides and checklists; a certification evaluation; and a certificate and sign for their property.
Michigan's Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) is an innovative and proactive program that helps farms of all sizes and all commodities voluntarily prevent or minimize agricultural pollution risks. MAEAP was developed by a coalition of agriculture farmers, commodity groups, state and federal agencies, and conservation and environmental groups. Conservation districts play a role by helping to promote the program and conducting onsite evaluations.
These popular webinars, held on the third Thursday of each month, are sponsored by
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation
in partnership with the NACD Urban and Community Resource Policy Group. There is no cost to participate, but space is limited. Registration will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.
NACD Seeks Director of Development
The NACD Director of Development manages a growing resource development portfolio in support of national conservation objectives, providing engagement in and management of a comprehensive fundraising development plan, in close coordination with the CEO and management team, to identify and pursue strategic partnerships and projects; and to coordinate and conduct related outreach to businesses, foundations, NGOs and other stakeholders.
Closing date to receive priority for interviews is
Friday, March 13, 2020.
Daylight Savings Time Begins This Sunday
Daylight Savings Time will begin this
March 8, at
Before going to bed this Saturday, make sure to turn your clocks ahead one hour.
NACD's Spring Fly-In
NACD's annual Spring Fly-In is only three weeks away! Have you sent in your RSVP yet?
We're excited to once again host conservation leaders from across the country in Washington, D.C. at our annual Spring Fly-In on Wednesday, March 25.
The Spring Fly-In is our local leaders’ opportunity to engage directly with members of Congress in the nation’s capital about the needs of conservation in your community. All the information you’ll need can be found on
NACD’s Fly-In webpage
, including an agenda of the day’s activities, an FAQ document, and a new issue paper focusing on the benefits of locally-led conservation and soil health practices in addressing climate change and weather extremes.
NACD requests attendees from each state
RSVP as soon as possible
so that we can plan accordingly. To RSVP or to get more information, please email NACD’s Director of Government Affairs
Submit Your Nomination:
P2 Now Accepting 2020 Farmer Rancher Award
The Pollinator Partnership (P2) and NACD are now seeking submissions for its 2020 U.S. Farmer Rancher Pollinator Conservation Award.
Each year, awards are given in recognition of all the work that goes into protecting American pollinator populations.
The U.S. Farmer Rancher Pollinator Conservation Award recognizes the unique contributions that members of the agricultural community make to pollinators where they are needed most: supporting our food supply.
To learn more and submit a nomination form, please visit
. Nominations are due
Friday, July 10
The D.C. Environmental Film Festival will hold the first public screening of the documentary
The Sentinels on
Friday, March 13, at the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C.
The Sentinels explores the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership, a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Agriculture and Department of Interior that works across conventional boundaries to strengthen military readiness, conserve natural resources and bolster agricultural economies.
The festival event will take place from
6:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m. Eastern, and the documentary will be the third film to premiere, estimated to begin around 7:30 p.m. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmmaker, Grizzly Creek Film, and several subjects of the film.
Wednesday, March 4 at
1:00 p.m. Eastern, the Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund will host a webinar entitled "
Pollinators: The glue that connects sustainability issues."
This webinar will cover a variety of thoughts about how pollinators and their habitat and health needs can mesh with a wide range of sustainability needs, including solar power, precision agriculture, soil health, water quality and more.
To register for this free webinar, please
2020 Conservation Planning Boot Camp
NACD is currently accepting applications for the 2020 Conservation Planning Boot Camp (CPBC).
CPBC is a three-week intensive training course for district and tribal conservation district employees working to become a certified planner. During the session, course participants work side-by-side with new Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff on developing and implementing conservation plans.
Space is limited, so be sure to submit your application soon! The deadline to apply for the May 5-21, 2020 session in Lincoln, Neb., is
March 24, 2020
March 17 at
12:00 p.m. Eastern, the Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) National Soil Survey Center (NSSC) will host a webinar on the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) entitled "
Building Capacity and Maintaining Techniques: Soil Interpretations Focus Team."
This webinar will explore the NCSS and its strategies in overcoming the dilemma of increased value and usage of soil survey data in a time where fewer soil scientists are available to interpret the data scientifically.
Promote your conservation district or state association's tree sale, annual meeting, webinar, field day or more on NACD's
Calendar of Events