Hall of Distinction

NACD created the Hall of Distinction to recognize and honor our organization's current and past leaders. District officials - past and present - featured in NACD's Hall of Distinction have made major contributions to our nation's Conservation Movement.

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The National Association of Conservation Districts was established over 70 years ago in 1946 by a group of forward-thinking conservation district officials from across the country. These leaders recognized the need for a unified voice in natural resource conservation and worked tirelessly to ensure that conservation remained at the forefront of United States agricultural and environmental policy.

The success of NACD throughout the last seven decades is attributable to the diligent work of our supporters – from conservationists to early-adopter producers, to district officials and national conservation leaders. NACD is delighted to announce that its Hall of Distinction will recognize and honor past and present district official leaders who have helped pave the way for NACD’s accomplishments.

Dennis Getchell of Maine

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Dennis Fowler Getchell of Limestone, Maine, served on the Board of Supervisors for Central Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District (CASWCD) in Maine from 1942 to 1951, and as chairman of CASWCD for eight of those years. During that time, Mr. Getchell was instrumental in organizing the Maine Association of Soil Conservation District Supervisors and served as its first president. In addition, he assisted other states within the region seeking to organize state associations. In 1946, Dennis F. Getchell was one of the dedicated SWCD leaders…

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Clarence Durban of Ohio

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Clarence Durban served the Union Soil and Water Conservation District in Ohio for nearly three decades from 1961 to 1987. He was president of the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts from 1975 to 1976 and president of NACD from 1985 to 1988. Before he passed away in 2014, Clarence farmed in southern Union County, Ohio, and was inducted into the state’s Agriculture Hall of Fame. In the early 1980s, he met with President Ronald Reagan to discuss the farm bill. Throughout Clarence’s long career in conservation, he worked tirelessly to represent the interests of Ohio’s conservation districts and NACD across the United States and abroad. He provided…

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Here’s how you, or someone you admire, can receive the honor:

  1. Individuals are inducted to the Hall of Distinction on an annual basis by their state or territory.
  2. Every state and territory may induct one person to the Hall of Distinction every fourth year. Inductees are not reviewed or selected by any committee or decision-making body.
  3. In making their inductions, states and territories are asked to send the following information to NACD via this short form:
    – The name of the state or territory making the induction;
    – The name of the conservation district where the inductee served or serves as an official;
    – The dates during which the inductee made a significant contribution to conservation at the national level and/or served NACD;
    – A photo of the nominee to be featured on NACD’s website; and
    – A brief narrative statement that clearly and concisely describes the significant contributions made by the individual, including any results or benefits achieved.

Keep in mind:

  1. Inductees must currently serve, or have formerly served, as a conservation district official.
  2. Inductees must also have made significant contributions to conservation efforts at the national level while a district official. Significant contributions may include supporting national conservation efforts as a leader within NACD.
  3. Those who have been employed by a conservation district, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a state conservation agency, a state association of conservation districts, NACD, or an affiliate of NACD are not eligible for this recognition.


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