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President Michael Crowder – West Richland, Wash.
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 the 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.
First Vice President Kim LaFleur – Plympton, Mass.
First Vice President 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.
Second Vice President Ian Cunningham – Pipestone, Minn.
Second Vice President Ian Cunningham owns and operates a fifth-generation family farm, Cunningham Family Farm, LLC, with his son Richard just outside of Pipestone, Minn. An NACD Soil Health Champion, Cunningham was an early adopter of soil health practices like cover crops, no-till and strip till.
Cunningham is a district supervisor for Pipestone Soil and Water Conservation District in the southwest corner of the state and has served on the board since 1999. He climbed the ranks of the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (MASWCD), serving as area secretary-treasurer, area co-director, area director, state board member, vice president and president of the state association. Cunningham first became involved with NACD as a member of the board of directors in 2012. He served on the district outlook task force, the farm bill task force, and served as chairman of the association’s legislative committee. Most recently, Cunningham served as the North Central Region Representative on NACD’s executive board.
In addition to his previous work on the Couteau des Prairie Resource Conservation and Development Council and his leadership at the Pipestone Performing Arts Center, Cunningham remains an active member in his community, serving on the Pipestone Area Community Foundation board of directors and as a member of the Al Opland Singers since 1988.
Secretary-Treasurer Gary Blair – Starkville, Miss.
Secretary-Treasurer Gary Blair retired from Southern AgCredit, ACA, formally known as Federal Land Bank, in 2016 after 36 years of service to agriculture in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas. Currently he has a private consulting business, Legacy Land & Financial Consulting. He has several clients including Addicus, a multifamily office financial business located in Tupelo and Oxford, Mississippi. Blair is the Managing Member of Blair Legacy Tree Farm located in Carroll County, Mississippi and is a member of the Forest Landowners Association.
Blair is a 1981 Graduate of Mississippi State University with degrees from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (BA- Agribusiness) and the College of Business (BBA-General Business Administration). He is married to the former Johnna Pulley of Jackson, Miss. They have one son Jonathan, 31, a graduate of Mississippi State University, College of Business.
Blair is a former President of the Mississippi Forestry Association, Mississippi Association of Conservation Districts, Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce, United Way and Lions Club. He was a Council Chairman for the Lions of Mississippi, National President of the Mississippi State University Alumni Association and member of the board of director of the Mississippi State University Development Foundation. He was also the Mississippi State University representative on the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET) for Land Grant Universities.
He currently serves as a board member for the Carroll County Soil and Water Conservation District, Mississippi Forestry Foundation and Mississippi State University Fellowship of Christian Athletes Chapter. He has served NACD as a Southeastern Executive Board member, Mississippi Board member, Finance Committee Chairman, Communications Committee Vice Chairman and Forestry Resource Policy Group Vice Chairman. He has also served on the NACD Legislative and Resolutions Committees.
He has been named Mississippi State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumnus of the Year.
Immediate Past President Tim Palmer – Truro, Iowa
Immediate Past President 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.
Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Peters – Washington, D.C.
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.