President Brent Van Dyke is a retired teacher and FFA advisor from Hobbs, New Mexico. He has worked for the State Department, specifically U.S.A.I.D., for more than 15 years as a contract advisor for agricultural projects in Eastern Europe and Eurasia.
Van Dyke served as vice president of New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts from 2006 to 2009. Prior to that, he served as the board of supervisors chair for Lea County Soil and Water Conservation District. He was elected to represent NACD’s Southwest Region on the executive board in 2011.
A life-long resident of New Mexico, Van Dyke and his wife Kim farm irrigated alfalfa and coastal Bermuda hay in Lea County, New Mexico, and cotton in Plains, Texas. They also run a commercial and registered cattle operation in Southeastern New Mexico.
President-elect Tim Palmer operates a 1,200-acre row crop and cow/calf to finish operation near Truro, Iowa. He has served on the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District’s board since 2003, and has held the titles of director, vice president and 2010-2011 president of the Conservation Districts of Iowa, the state’s district association.
Palmer was a governor-appointed member of the Iowa State Soil and Water Conservation Committee from 2012-2014. In 2013, he was elected to represent the NACD North Central Region, where he served for four years. Palmer and his wife Shelly, along with sons Geoff and Greg, use conservation measures extensively on their farm and are active promoters of water quality and soil health initiatives.
Second Vice President Michael Crowder holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in natural resources and environmental sciences, as well as numerous conservation awards, including Benton County and Washington state’s “Wildlife Farmer of the Year” awards, the Washington Association of Conservation Districts’ “Young Tiger” award and Ducks Unlimited “Wood Duck,” “Bronze Mallard” and “Silver Mallard” awards.
For eight years, Crowder taught wetland restoration, wildlife science and ecology as an adjunct professor at Washington State University Tri-Cities. He currently manages farming operations in Illinois and Washington state, and is actively involved in the management of his family’s third-generation farm in Indiana.
Secretary-Treasurer Kim LaFleur is the state advisor and program director for the Massachusetts FFA Association and an independent consultant to agricultural organizations and associations. LaFleur has served as president (2007-2010) and vice president (2010-2012) of the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Districts, an NACD board member (2007 to 2013) and an NACD executive board member (2013-2016). In 2012, she was the recipient of the NRCS/NACD Olin Sims Conservation Leadership Award.
LaFleur, along with her husband Jeff and two sons Cameron and Logan, reside in Plympton, Massachusetts, where they own and operate Mayflower Cranberries, a 112-acre cranberry farm and agri-tourism business. LaFleur also breeds and shows World Grand Champion miniature horses and serves as the chair on the Plymouth County Conservation District’s board. For five years (2009-2014), LaFleur was executive director of the Massachusetts Farm Wineries and Growers’ Association. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife and fisheries biology from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst.
Immediate Past President Lee McDaniel operates his family’s Indian Spring Farm in Darlington, Maryland. He has served on the Harford Soil Conservation District’s board since 1997 and has been chairman of the board since 2005. He has served two terms as president of the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts (from 2005 to 2009), and has been a member of the NACD Board of Directors and Executive Board since 2005. McDaniel holds a B.S. in agricultural economics from Cornell University.
McDaniel and his wife Connie, a retired school teacher, grow corn, soybeans and alfalfa on their 850-acre farm. Conservation practices on the farm include cover crops, no-till, grassed waterways, diversions, spring developments, strip cropping, stream bank protection, grassed and wooded buffers and stream crossings.
Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Peters joined the staff of NACD in 2006 and became the association’s Chief Executive Officer in April 2015. Peters manages the association and leads advocacy efforts on behalf of the nation’s 3,000 conservation districts.
During his career with NACD, Peters has served as Chief Operating Officer as well as Legislative Affairs Manager. Earlier in his career, he served as Federal Policy Director for American Farmland Trust and directed climate, conservation and energy programs for National Farmers Union. He previously worked on Capitol Hill for former Congressman Earl Pomeroy, D – N.D., who sat on the House Agriculture Committee and the Ways and Means Committee.
Peters grew up on his family’s farm raising cattle in Wise County in rural southwestern Virginia. He holds bachelor’s degrees in political science and history from Emory and Henry College, as well as a Master of Public Administration degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.