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Hosted in partnership with the
Nevada Association of Conservation Districts
(NVACD), this year's meeting will be held in Las Vegas, Nev., from
Feb. 8-12, 2020
at the Bally's Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, and will focus on the theme, "
Conservation Innovation: Working from the Roots Up,
" exploring innovative techniques for delivering conservation on the ground.
Don't forget to book your hotel room! The Bally's Las Vegas is located right in the center of the Las Vegas Strip. The group room rate 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. Reservations must be completed by
Friday, Jan. 17, 2020
This year's meeting boasts
a diverse lineup of guest speakers
, including Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
Chief Matt Lohr
, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR)
Scientific Program Director
Dr. LaKisha Odom
, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)
Senior Director of Government Relations and External Affairs Dave Gagner
and National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB)
President Rita Frazer
In addition to
offering several exciting tours
to some of Las Vegas' top attractions, we've added an exciting new event on Saturday evening—an opportunity to attend the Tournament of Kings, an entertaining show experience that includes a three-course dinner with the purchase of a ticket.
75 YEARS OF MASWCD
On Dec. 2-4, more than 469 conservation leaders from across the state of Missouri gathered in Osage Beach for the 71st annual training conference and 75th anniversary of the
Missouri Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (MASWCD).
On Monday evening, meeting attendees honored award recipients at the awards banquet, including the 2018 Hugh Hammond Bennett Award recipients
Marilyn Stevens. MASWCD Executive Director
Peggy Lemons (pictured above with MASWCD
President Ryan Britt) was also honored for her tenure and distinguished service.
On Dec. 3, NACD North Central Region Representative
led a breakout session on
NACD’s Soil Health Champions Network
, featuring Missouri Champions
. NACD Director of Communications
led a presentation on how conservation districts can utilize social media to champion their message.
NJACD HOLDS ANNUAL MEETING IN COLUMBUS
Last week, the
New Jersey Association of Conservation Districts (NJACD) held its annual meeting in Columbus, N.J.
Even with a shortened agenda from oncoming inclement weather, NJACD held a supervisors meeting, officer elections, awards program and a district staff training.
NACD Northeast Region Representative
Eric Hansen delivered a keynote presentation on the history of the conservation partnership and opportunities for conservation districts at NACD. Hansen highlighted examples of innovative programs at other conservation districts across the region. Additionally, Hansen and state conservation partnership leaders hosted a roundtable on the value of the conservation partnership and grassroots advocacy.
WASHINGTON STATE CONSERVATION LEADERS GATHER FOR WACD
The three-day meeting provided abundant opportunities for supervisors to engage with state and national leadership, including hosting listening sessions with new WACD Executive Director
President Jeanette Dorner
, Washington Association of District Employees (WADE)
President Renee Hadley
NACD First Vice President Michael Crowder
During the general sessions, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Western Regional Conservationist
and Washington State Conservationist
Roylene Comes at Night
provided ample partner updates and celebrated the partnership between WACD, NACD and NRCS. Several local agencies, including the
Washington State Conservation Commission
(WSCC) highlighted ongoing program updates such as conservation planning training through the WSCC
Center for Technical Development
The conservation district supervisors also had the opportunity to address significant issues for conservation districts through the state resolutions process, including whether supervisors will be included on the local general ballot. WACD will continue to review the process and decide the best course of action for conservation districts across the state.
The state association is looking forward to an active 2020, with planning for
Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020
, where conservation district supervisors will meet with their state-level policymakers to share the important activities of their conservation districts.
First picture above, from left to right:
Foster Conservation District
and alternate NACD board member
Palouse Conservation District
HOSTS ANNUAL COOPERATORS' DINNER
Last week, Delaware's
Sussex Conservation District (CD) hosted its annual Cooperators’ Dinner in Bridgeville, Del. This year, the dinner was part of a fundraiser for the Delaware Envirothon, which raised $1,500.
Conservation leaders from across the state were joined by NACD Northeast Region Representative
Eric Hansen and over 300 attendees to celebrate the cooperators of the year and the success of the Sussex CD. The district has had a lot to celebrate this year, with the district delivering $1.6 million in cost share in the past year, up from $1.2 million. The district also increased cost share utilization in the past year to just over 60,000 acres, about a quarter of the total cropland acres in the county.
At the dinner,
Vernon “Chip” Baker, Jr. was recognized as the 2017 Cooperator of the Year and
Richard Carlisle was named the 2018 Cooperator of the Year. The district also recognized
Bill Vanderwende for his service and leadership as a district board member. In honor of his service, Sussex CD's newly expanded office building will be named the Vanderwende-Evans Conservation Center.
In 2017, NACD, in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) awarded funding to the
Ciudad Soil and Water Conservation District
(SWCD) in New Mexico to help the district host workshops on conservation easement and sustainable agriculture, pilot an accredited high school agricultural program, and develop a conservation easement guidebook for landowners. Additionally, the district partnered with private landowners, the Rio Grande Agricultural Land Trust (RGALT), Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) and Bernalillo County Open Space (BCOS).
A primary focus was the continuation and growth of Bernalillo County’s Grow the Growers (GTG) farmer training program, which included technical training and demonstrations. Trainees were involved in all workshops and provided in-field and class-based mentorship to APS interns who shared the program's curriculum.
The high school internship program was implemented by Querencia Institute and provided educational opportunities to eight students.
An average of 30 participants from the agricultural community took part in the four sustainable agriculture workshops, which provided take-home materials, accommodated participant questions and gathered short surveys to provide feedback for the development of future workshops.
Conservation workshops were held at the historic Gutierrez-Hubbell House property and the Agri-Nature Center in the Village of Los Ranchos. Mailers were sent to all agricultural tax-exempt property owners in the valley, which were provided through partnerships among the Mid-Region Council of Governments, BCOS and RGALT.
A Conservation Easement Guidebook (pictured right) was produced by RGALT, which proved useful in educating the public on the technical, legal and financial aspects of the process, as well as the practical, ecological and economic reasons. Partners such as BCOS and NRCS were specifically mentioned and were represented at the workshops.
These projects have since grown with GTG program integrating further curriculum into training seasons, developing specialized modules to address regional challenges to production and expanding field space. With the RGHS internships continuing into the third season in 2020, funding has expanded for assistant coordinators and wider APS district participation in planning.
Looking forward, RGALT and BCOS will provide further outreach and assistance to landowners to develop conservation easements for at-risk agricultural lands. Learn more about
on NACD's website.
NACD's Government Affairs Update:
USDA to Open CRP General Signup
On Monday, landowners were able to start applying to enroll acreage in the
Conservation Reserve Program
(CRP) under the first general signup since 2015.
Additionally, the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are revising the CCC's CRP regulations to implement changes made by the 2018 Farm Bill.
Finally, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is
still accepting public comments
on its first major rule implementing the 2018 Farm Bill's changes to the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Comments can be submitted until
Monday, Jan. 13, 2020
For a refresher of the changes to CSP included in the farm bill, visit
Did Your District
Apply for RCPP?
Applications for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) closed on Dec. 3.
DOI Announces Reorganization Efforts
On Tuesday, Dec. 3, the Office of the Intergovernmental and External Affairs at the Department of the Interior (DOI) announced the agency is moving forward with its reorganization into 12 unified regions.
These regions are based on watersheds with the intent of fostering enhanced coordination among bureaus and providing better customer service.
In the announcement, DOI emphasized that this creates accountability closer to the field, with a greater emphasis on local decision-making.
NCF Seeking Items for Annual Meeting
The National Conservation Foundation (NCF) is
still seeking donations
for the 2020 Live Auction, which will be held on
Monday, Feb. 10, 2020.
A longstanding tradition at annual meeting, the auction has always been a successful fundraiser and event favorite.
Items such as Case IH's Magnum™ 310 pictured above, are donated by NCF supporters and will be available to bid on, as well as other special items and destination packages made possible by the generous donations of conservation districts, state associations, organizations and individuals like you.
This year's auction proceeds will all 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
. The deadline for all auction items to be included in the 2020 Live Auction booklet is
Friday, Dec. 20, 2019.
Auction items will be accepted on site throughout the day on
Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020.
P2 Seeks Artist for 2020 Pollinator Poster
The Pollinator Partnership (P2) is seeking an artist to render the 2020 Pollinator Poster with this year's theme of “
Pollinators, Plants, People, Planet
Each year, P2, along with a wide range of partners (including federal agencies and nonprofits like NACD) design and distribute an educational pollinator poster. About 100,000 posters are distributed throughout the U.S. each year, and the posters are enjoyed and used in a wide variety of venues from classrooms, fairs, conferences and offices, to homes and educational trainings.
NACD Welcomes Honorary Friend Kimberly Uldricks
NACD is excited to welcome its latest honorary Friend of NACD,
Uldricks serves as NACD's Director of Membership. Her favorite part of NACD is the people, from the colleagues within the organization to district staff and partners.
When she is not in the office, Uldricks's favorite pastime is hiking and spending time with her son, Teddy. Fun fact—her favorite insect is the monarch butterfly because of its fascinating and beautiful life cycle.
Welcome Kim, and thank you for all that you do!
Interested in becoming a Friend of NACD? Learn more on
Districts Awarded Conservation Grants
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) awarded more than $24 million in grants through the On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials (On-Farm Trials), a new component of the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) first authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill.
Sixteen projects are receiving On-Farm Trials awards, including two districts
Allamakee Soil and Water Conservation District
East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District
. The projects will focus on soil health management systems and practices, as well as on irrigation water management, precision agriculture and a variety of management technologies.
Promote your conservation district or state association's tree sale, annual meeting, webinar, field day or more on NACD's
Calendar of Events