LAST WEEK TO REGISTER FOR 2020 ANNUAL MEETING
Land O’Lakes Inc’s SUSTAIN was created in 2016 to assist American farmers and agricultural retailers in making on-farm conservation decisions from technology to management to drive sustainability across the food system. As senior director of sustainability, Weller brings his past experience as chief of USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). He also served on the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, the U.S. House Budget Committee, and the White House Office of Management and Budget.
Aligning with this year's meeting theme, "
Conservation Innovation: Working from the Roots Up
," Weller will be speaking on an industry innovation panel during Tuesday morning’s general session.
The deadline for
and for booking hotel reservations is
! Both end
this Friday, Jan. 17
. The group rate at the Bally's Las Vegas Hotel is $159 for single or double rooms, not including taxes or resort fees. To reserve your room, click
, or call 702-967-4111 and say you’re with NACD.
PARTICIPANTS CHOSEN FOR NACD'S 2020 CONSERVATION CAREERS WORKSHOP
Now in its second year, this NACD program will take place during NACD's 74th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nev., from
. A unique opportunity for undergraduate college students, the workshop is sponsored by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS); the United States Forest Service (USFS); and the National Conservation Partnership.
From a National Conservation Foundation (NCF)-Envirothon alumna to an NRCS soil tech intern, this year's participants boast an exciting range of skills and experience, who all share a passion for conservation, agriculture and natural resources management. During the week of the workshop, they will receive the opportunity to learn about career options within the National Conservation Partnership, meet conservation professionals and make valuable contacts.
NCASWCD HOLDS 76TH ANNUAL MEETING
district officials, employees and partners gathered in Charlotte, N.C., for the
North Carolina Association of Soil
Water Conservation District’
s (NCASWCD) 76th Annual Meeting.
During Monday morning’s supervisors’ breakfast,
Vice President Kim LaFleur shared
an overview of NACD's programs. At t
he general session, attendees heard from North Carolina
Foundation for Soil and
Water Conservation President
, North Carolina Farm Bureau President
, and North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner
The annual meeting's b
reakout sessions explored
a variety of
, including the North Carolina Division of Air Quality’s
“It’s Our Air”
stream restoration and living shoreline projects
for resilience; and North Carolina’s strategic visioning process, which will be showcased during the
“Partnering for Conservation Delivery Programs” breakout session
at next month’s 2020 NACD Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.
At the event’s
Conservation Education Dinner,
National Conservation Foundation (NCF)-Envirothon Program Manager
spoke about NACD's sister organization and the NCF-
Envirothon program. T
he importance of conservation education and impact of NCF-
Envirothon was underscored by
Jones Loflin and his family who were guest lecturers during the meeting’s annual M
ilton Heath Lecture series
, which were named in honor of the late University of North Carolina School of Government professor instrumental in shaping state environmental policy.
At Tuesday evening’s banquet,
Bobby Stanley and the Honorable
James B. Hunt (pictured above) were inducted into North Carolina’s Hall of Fame. Hunt served four terms as Governor of North Carolina, the longest in the state’s history, where he provided leadership on conservation legislation.
At the meeting’s close, outgoing NCASWCD President
Myles Payne handed over the gavel to 2020 President
Jr. Payne will join NACD’s Board of Directors serving as North Carolina’s alternate board member with Southeast Region Chair
NACD HOLDS NORTH CENTRAL REGION MEETING IN ST. CHARLES
Last week, the NACD North Central Region Board of Directors and regional conservation leaders and partners met in St. Charles, Mo., for the region's annual board meeting. Throughout the two-day meeting, attendees discussed conservation policy, regional issues and NACD's upcoming Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nev.
Director of Environmental Programs with the Missouri Soybean and Corn Growers Association
provided a keynote speech on the impacts of various conservation practices and weather variances on soil health and water quality.
The meeting ended with the board re-electing Ohio's
as the North Central region chair and Minnesota's
as region vice chair.
JANUARY U&C WEBINAR FOCUSES ON
The next NACD Urban and Community (U&C) Conservation webinar is scheduled for
12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. Eastern
Thursday, Jan. 16
. Entitled, "Reaching Out Through Urban Agriculture Conservation (UAC)," this webinar will feature two conservation districts who successfully developed unique programs for their community's underserved population.
Inland Empire Resource Conservation District
(RCD) in California will share its expansion efforts of the conservation district's Community Support Agriculture (CSA) Program, which was developed to help low-income families access fresh, local produce at an affordable price, while providing educational opportunities. Additionally, the program holds cooking classes, food preservation courses and nutritional information lectures to teach nutrition and healthy eating. The CSA program also provides families with nutritious boxes of produce each week, and continues to adapt and improve in order to meet the needs of the local community.
In 2019, the
Greenville County Soil and Water Conservation District
in South Carolina began a Seed Library program in partnership with the Greenville County Library System. This program is a free community resource housed at a library branch in an underserved neighborhood, providing residents with food and flower seeds, as well as monthly workshops focused on growing food, preserving heirloom/regional varieties, backyard conservation practices and more. In under a year, over 15,000 seed packets have been checked out.
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.
In 2017, NACD, in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) awarded funding to the
Prince George's County Soil Conservation District
(SCD) in Maryland to help address soil and water resource concerns throughout Prince George's County's (PGC) urban communities.
For many years, PGC leaders recognized urban agriculture as an avenue to promote healthy food access, economic development and more active lifestyles for county residents. No one however, was addressing the soil and water resource concerns associated with this growing land use.
This project set out to identify and address soil and water resource concerns in the urban ag environment. Urban agriculture may provide resource benefits, including additional green space that may reduce the need for stormwater management infrastructure in the urban, peri-urban setting. Without proper conservation techniques, however, this land use could create a negative impact on the surrounding natural resources. Concerns include accelerated soil erosion; local code and zoning regulations; lack of water for irrigation; underground/overhead utilities; soil health; heavy metal contaminated soils and good neighbor relations.
Through the grant, NRCS provided the conservation district with an X-ray Fluorescence soil analyzer to identify heavy metals on urban agricultural parcels. With this information, the district was able to advise producers on proper growing methods and how to avoid heavy metal contamination in fruits and vegetables. As the program continues to mature, a “heavy metal” soil map may be developed.
District staff provide producers with information to better understand the interaction of soil, water and nutrients associated with their urban farm. An independent conservation planning software is being developed for this program, making it the first conservation district in Maryland to use the new software.
Additionally, Prince George's SCD developed urban producer profiles and established conservation farm plan guidelines and an evaluation checklist. Over 100 farm visits were conducted, resulting in 12 individuals signed on as cooperators and two applications for the county’s urban ag property tax credit.
This project provided an opportunity to work with the county’s legislative and executive branches, resulting in securing a full-time urban ag conservation planner position. District staff worked closely with local legislatures addressing zoning issues affecting urban ag operations. The most significant accomplishment is the creation of a new conservation program within the district to provide locally-led soil and water conservation to a new, previously underserved customer base.
NACD Offices Closed Monday for MLK Day
NACD’s offices will be closed next Monday, Jan. 20, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.
NACD Board Member Benita Martin Recognized with Bordeaux Award
Now in its 23rd year, this annual event will be held Jan. 18-19, in St. Thomas; and will feature agricultural produce and products, agricultural demos, live entertainment and more. This year’s festival will celebrate the theme “
23 Years of Hardship, Hurricane and Happiness
Apply Now for Friends
of NACD District
The deadline to apply for NACD's Friends of NACD District Grant Program is
As of fiscal year 2020, donations through
Friends of NACD
will support four grants, up to $2,500 each, to be awarded at NACD's 2020 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nev. Conservation districts are encouraged to think creatively in how they can use the funds to conduct new activities or test novel approaches to their operations.
To learn more, visit
. If you have any questions, please contact NACD Pacific Region Representative
or NACD Director of Membership
NACD Fly-In Agenda Now Available
Every spring, NACD invites its members to join our staff in Washington, D.C., to promote the interests of conservation districts on Capitol Hill.
The 2020 Spring Fly-In will take place on
Wednesday, March 25
, and will consist of a breakfast briefing and a Congressional reception to celebrate the work of our members on Capitol Hill.
NACD Welcomes Friend Bill Rowekamp
NACD is excited to welcome its latest Friend of NACD,
Bill Rowekamp (pictured above, second from right).
Carter serves as a board member on the
Winona County Soil and Water Conservation District's Board of Supervisors in Winona, Minn.
Friends of NACD are individuals who are committed to the conservation of America’s natural resources. Show your appreciation for our nation’s 3,000 conservation districts by becoming a Friend of NACD. Learn more on
NACD Remembers NCPP Leader Lisa Rixen
On Dec. 26, 2019,
from Richardton, N.D., passed away at the age of 55.
Rixen served as first vice president with the National Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils (NARC&DC) for almost two decades. She also played a critical role in providing leadership for the National Conservation Planning Partnership (NCPP). Previously, Rixen worked for the United States Department of Agriculture in Dickinson, N.D.
NACD recognizes Rixen's life and her dedicated service to NARC&DC's mission.
Last Week for Live Auction Donations
The National Conservation Foundation (NCF) is
still accepting donations
for the 2020 NCF Live Auction. The deadline for all auction items to be included in the 2020 Live Auction booklet is this
Friday, Jan. 17
All proceeds from this year's auction will go to NCF to support the foundation's work in advancing the next generation of conservation leaders.
To make a donation,
visit the online donation form
. After Friday's deadline, auction items will be accepted on site throughout the day on
Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020
. Donations will be accepted until
Monday, Feb. 10
To learn more and view current auction items, visit the
2020 Live Auction webpage
. If you have any questions, please contact NACD South Central Region Representative
NACD Now Accepting Applications for
Planning Boot Camp
NACD is now accepting applications for 2020 Conservation Planning Boot Camp (CPBC) sessions.
CPBC is a three-week intensive training course, where participants work side-by-side with new Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff to learn how to develop and implement a conservation plan.
NACD will reimburse districts or individuals for the costs to participate. Space is limited, so be sure to submit an application soon.
NACD’s CPBC webpage
to learn more about the program and view upcoming sessions and requirements. Learn more about this rewarding experience by watching an informational video on our
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