The Fall 2019 edition of
The Resource has arrived!
This fall's edition of
The Resource, which you can access by clicking on the cover below, is packed with exciting updates and stories from districts and conservation leaders nationwide.
From fighting invasive species to using art to educate community members on the importance of water management, districts are leading the charge in tackling today's most pressing resource concerns.
Check out some of the highlights:
- On page 12, learn how the Winkelman Natural Resource Conservation District (NRCD) in Kearny, Ariz., worked to protect grazing for private landowners
- On page 14, read how an annual art installation started by the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District in Noblesville, Ind., raises awareness on water quality and conservation
- On page 24, get exciting updates on NACD's 74th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nev.
- On page 34, hear from our valued partner, John Deere, and how the organization helps support our mission
Within this edition, you'll also read about some of NACD's new developments, including updates from the government affairs team and an overview of the National Conservation Foundation (NCF)-Envirothon's new season.
We hope you enjoy this fall edition and are inspired by the stories of conservation districts making a change across the nation.
NACD PRESIDENT TIM PALMER ATTENDS MACD ANNUAL MEETING
NACD President Tim Palmer (pictured above) attended the
Michigan Association of Conservation Districts' (MACD) Annual Conference and Meeting held in Bellaire, Mich. Over 250 directors, staff and partners attended the three-day meeting.
On Monday, Palmer delivered a keynote presentation to meeting attendees. Palmer also presented MACD President
Art Pelon with an award for his eight years of service to the state association. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Deputy Director,
Dr. James Averill and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist,
Garry Lee also recognized Pelon's dedication to Michigan's conservation districts and conservation partnership.
In addition to delivering the keynote message at the open lunch, Palmer participated in the directors roundtable discussion, regional breakout meetings and MACD’s annual business meeting held the following day.
During these events, he was an active participant, sharing comments and responding to questions about directors' duties and responsibilities, and the support NACD provides to conservation districts.
NACD ATTENDS AFA CONFERENCE IN MISSOURI
Last week, NACD staff attended the annual Agriculture Future of America (AFA) Leaders Conference in Kansas City, Mo., and participated in the AFA Opportunity Fair with an NACD booth. More than 800 current undergraduate students attended the conference, which focused on career skills development and making connections with industry, agencies and organizations involved with agriculture and natural resources management.
NACD Director of Development
(pictured above) and NACD South Central Region Representative
greeted students at the booth and discussed NACD internship opportunities in Washington, D.C., and the
upcoming Conservation Careers Workshop
, which will be held during NACD's Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nev. Demmel and Owen were also featured in an industry round-robin careers discussion where they shared their career development story with several groups of students.
During the Leadership Awards banquet on Friday evening, AFA presented the 2019 AFA Leader in Agriculture Award to
, CEO of Farm Journal and the 2019 AFA Young Leader and Agriculture Award to
from central Missouri, who own and operate a fifth-generation farm specializing in food grade white corn and soybeans.
CONSERVATION LEADERS MEET IN OREGON FOR OACD MEETING
With the fall well underway on the west coast, many state associations of conservation districts will meet in the next few weeks to bring together conservation district officials and partners. Last week, the
Oregon Association of Conservation Districts
(OACD) met in Redmond, Ore.
Over 60 people attended from the state's 45 conservation districts and partner organizations. Attendees received important updates on OACD’s activities, including progress toward specific goals after hiring
Jan Lee as the new executive director.
With Lee’s hiring, the association has recently updated its by-laws and is also developing state-level advocacy documents and guidelines under the leadership of OACD President and NACD Board Member
Terri Preeg Riggsby. Attendees helped to further review and amend these documents at the meeting.
In addition to the OACD business conducted at the meeting, representatives of partner organizations also provided programmatic updates. The Oregon Water Enhancement Board led a discussion on the
100-Year Water Vision
, a document currently in development at the request of the governor to help guide state-level activities related to water resources in response to changing climate and population dynamics.
Other partners present at the meeting to provide updates included
of the Washington State Conservation Commission, who discussed marketing conservation districts; the Oregon Department of Agriculture; the Oregon Agriculture Trust for farmland preservation; the Oregon Envirothon; the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and NACD. Two districts also provided program updates—the
Deschutes Soil and Water Conservation District
(SWCD) and the
—both of which previously received
NACD technical assistance grants
, greatly expanding their capacity for irrigation technical assistance.
FORESTRY NOTES Q&A: JAD DALEY
is the President and CEO of
, the nation’s oldest forest conservation organization founded in 1875. Recently, he sat down with NACD Forestry Specialist
to discuss a number of topics.
Beacom asked Daley what advice he would give to NACD and conservation districts in providing assistance to broader reforestation efforts like those in northeastern states.
Daley told NACD, “This is a total partnership effort, and conservation districts have a huge role to play through technical assistance, facilitating cost-share and even just helping to identify suitable areas. One of American Forests’ most key partners in reforestation is the
Mojave Desert Resource Conservation District
in California, where we are replanting burned over areas in the San Bernadino Mountains.”
Daley also responded to questions about urban forestry, regional learning labs, and the role forestry can play in combating climate change.
In 2016, NACD, in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) awarded funding to the
Wake Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) in North Carolina to help provide urban agriculture outreach and awareness opportunities for the community's youth; underserved residents; women; new, beginning and established farmers and landowners.
Another endeavor with the Wake County Urban Agriculture Collective has resulted in a forum for the local urban agriculture community to share resources, successes and challenges. By establishing this communication system, the center is better able to work toward long-term solutions on problems faced by Wake County’s urban agriculture community.
The Wake SWCD piloted a new service avenue by helping agricultural growers learn about, and adhere to, established and upcoming Good Agricultural Practice protocols. This program, in partnership with the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association’s Local Produce Safety Initiative and The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle (a local hunger relief organization), was critical in offering training on the increasing impacts and importance of food safety protocols that ultimately influence the best management practices for soil health and water quality of farmland.
Wake SWCD staff site visits connected small-scale urban farmers to the local programs offered by the district and NRCS. Some urban growers providing produce to underserved communities were not aware of financial assistance opportunities available through the Farm Service Agency, NRCS or the SWCD until these visits.
Join the Conservation:
Recently, NACD launched its Discussion Board, inviting members to participate in an open discussion on topics of their choice.
Our first question comes from
Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District Director Janine Rybka who
posted: "Has any conservation district created a nonprofit partner organization? We believe that if we do so, we can hold vacant land parcels and apply for a variety of currently restricted grants. If your organization has investigated or implemented this option, I would like to learn more about the process and successes."
to join the conversation. Have a question or want to start a topic? Click on the button below!
District Employees Gather in Tennessee
for Annual SECDEA Conference
Last week, over 100 district employees from throughout the southeast gathered in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., for the 2019 Southeast Conservation District Employees Association's (SECDEA) Annual Conference. Presided over by SECDEA
President Hope Daley
from Mississippi, the two-day conference provided the opportunity for conservation district employees to gather, share ideas, and hear updates from partners, including the National Conservation District Employees Association (NCDEA), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and NACD.
Throughout the conference, district employees across the southeast region showcased a variety of conservation education programs and outreach activities.
The conference also engaged participants in a hands-on
or fish printing activity, and featured sessions on the
Bee Cause Project
and soil health before culminating in an evening banquet. During the banquet,
of Mississippi, received the SECDEA Employee Award and
, also of Mississippi, was recognized with the SECDEA Official Award.
Last Week for Priority Internship Applications
NACD is seeking 2020 spring interns to work full-time in Washington, D.C. Interns work with NACD's government affairs and communications staff to advance the association's legislative agenda.
Interns will learn the interworkings of federal natural resources and environmental agencies, as well as the roles conservation districts and state conservation agencies play in the development of natural resources, agricultural and environmental policies.
NACD Attends NYACD Annual Meeting
NACD Second Vice President Kim LaFleur delivered a keynote speech at the New York Association of Conservation Districts' (NYACD) annual meeting.
LaFleur provided an overview of the national association's programs and advocacy work. NYACD also used the annual meeting as an opportunity to conduct district supervisor training, elect officers, and present annual awards.
Sam Casella, NACD Board Member for New York, was re-elected President of NYACD.
Take advantage of NACD's
offer before it ends this month!
Whether it's for the holidays or a birthday, our 14-oz. customized
makes a great gift to show your appreciation for your employees. NACD's fall promotion includes two mugs, professionally-engraved with your district's logo.
To order, visit
. To create your custom district logo, please contact NACD Stewardship and Education Coordinator
. The offer is valid through
Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019
U&C Webinar on
Wednesday, Nov. 13
3:00 p.m. Eastern,
NACD will host
a free webinar
to review the Request for Proposals (RFP) and respond to members' questions.
To learn more about the initiative and to best prepare for the webinar, please visit
, which includes the RFP and Frequently Asked Questions documents. The webinar will also be posted
for those who are unable to attend.
To register for the webinar,
. If you have any questions prior to the webinar, please contact NACD Senior Advisor
NRCS Accepting Public Comments to
Last week, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced it is soliciting public comments on all of its conservation practice standards, as required by the 2018 Farm Bill.
This initial set of revisions to 13 practices is open for public comment until
Friday, Nov. 22, 2019.
NACD encourages conservation districts across the country to review these 13 practices and to provide public comments if needed, in order to ensure that they will address local natural resource concerns and meet the needs of district cooperators.
A total of 94 conservation practice standards will be revised over the coming months. To learn more, visit the
Federal Register's website
Submit to NACD's Poster and Photo Contest
The annual poster contest is open to students from kindergarten through 12th grade and celebrates the 2019 Stewardship theme “
Life in the Soil: Dig Deeper. ”
The photo contest is open to all amateur photographers who reside in the U.S. or its territories. Contestants are allowed to enter up to five photos in each of the four categories: conservation practices, close-up conservation, conservation in action, and agriculture and conservation across America.
Submissions for both contests are due
Dec. 1, 2019.
To learn more and submit your entry, visit
Promote your conservation district or state association's tree sale, annual meeting, webinar, field day or more on NACD's
Calendar of Events