Millie Langley, NCF-Envirothon Chair, grew up on a dairy farm in Ossipee, N.C. She current works as a soil conservationist for the Guilford Soil and Water Conservation District in North Carolina.
Langley also serves as an NCF-Envirothon Representative for the NCF Board of Trustees. She has been involved with NACD since she began her conservation district employment in 1988.
Langley recently spoke with NACD about NCF and NACD, their goals and their legacy.
Why is supporting NACD important to you?
Not only does NACD support the soil and water districts, district employees and district employees association, they now are a very supportive network for the Envirothon. Soil and water conservation districts and the national association are just a great fit for that educational program.
How did you become involved in the Envirothon program?
Somewhere around 1990 and 1991, Mr. Kenneth Langley was the chairman of our state education committee for the North Carolina Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and he asked me to serve on a committee for the new Envirothon program. I said yes, mainly because he was my father-in-law, and it’s the best thing I ever did!
Why is supporting NCF and its programs important to you?
Well, NCF has taken a large role in promoting conservation by adopting the Envirothon and then the Next Generation Leadership Institute, so those two main programs are very important to continuing and seeing conservation into the future.
“We’re educating students with Envirothon and training new leaders in soil and water conservation, and that right there is a great foundation for the success of conservation in the future.”
In your opinion, what is the purpose/impact of the Next Generation Leadership Institute?
Developing leadership and securing future leaders who know about conservation and agriculture, as well as educating supervisors on how to advocate.
In your opinion, what is the purpose/impact of the NCF-Envirothon?
The greatest impact is involving students and exposing them to all different aspects of resource conservation. I think we’re doing all that while we’re creating leaders for the future. They are learning about conservation, teamwork, agencies and different groups who do that work – so its career development for them and develops leadership skills in these young adults.
Why is education essential in conservation?
People, if they don’t know how to conserve or what needs to be conserved, are not going to change their ways. Everybody needs that base knowledge of where our food comes from. Just that kind of knowledge is essential. We need forestry, farmers to grow crops and wildlife lands. We need all of that together in a balanced way. You can’t just do that without knowledge of what fits where.
What would you say is the single most important reason to educate the next generation of conservation leaders?
To secure the future of conservation and the future of our planet.
Why is diversity important in conservation?
We are all here on this earth. It doesn’t matter who we are, who we represent or our backgrounds – we’re all human beings. So, we want everyone involved. Everybody has a voice.
Why should individuals donate to this campaign?
Without the funds, we can’t get the job done. Please donate. I would like to see everyone contribute to this wonderful group of people who care about conservation and the Envirothon.
Please help support conservation leaders by donating to the #FutureFocused campaign! As we prepare for a new 2021 NGLI cohort and the rescheduled 2021 NCF-Envirothon competition in Lincoln, Nebraska, set to be held in July 2021, your financial support is needed to help keep these programs moving forward.
Every contribution matters, and your support will be matched dollar-for-dollar throughout the campaign.