San Antonio, TX
- Tuesday General Session
- NACD Elects New Officer and Leadership Team
- Live Auction Raises Record Amount
- NACD Honors National Conservation Leaders
- Photos Available on Flickr
1. Tuesday General Session
Challenges like drought, wildfire, extreme weather and water quality need attention across the country, representatives of federal conservation partners told attendees at the Tuesday General Session.
The program began with a soil health demostration from David Lamm, Team Leader and Natural Resources Specialist for NRCS. Lamm, assisted by NACD President Earl Garber and CEO John Larson, spoke about the importance of establishing soil health practices, and highlighted conservation districts as pioneers of these programs. Quick response to help producers affected by drought in 2012 was among accomplishments cited by NRCS Acting Chief Jason Weller. NRCS and partners like conservation districts provided $2.6 billion in financial and technical assistance to producers on 34 million acres of farm, ranch and forest owners last year 2012, Weller said.
Measures like the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) show that conservation efforts are reducing sediment and nutrient loading in waterways, and CEAP also shows that targeting conservation practices works, Weller said.
Conservation is “on the edge of a new paradigm” with development of state and regional programs that encourage stewardship and provide regulatory certainty for landowners who voluntarily address resource concerns such as water quality.
NACD and conservation districts are key partners in efforts to provide landscape-scale conservation and restoration on the nation’s forest lands, said Calvin Joyner, associate deputy chief of the National Forest System. The U.S. Forest Service values NACD’s participation on the Joint Forestry Team and other collaborative efforts, he said. On the ground, conservation districts work with both State and Private Forestry and federal land managers to meet common goals. That includes work in the urban forest, where conservation districts are often engaged, he added.
Joyner noted that wildfires provided challenges across the country in 2012, not just the arid West. With drought affecting large swaths of the country, forecasts are predicting a worse fire season in 2013. That will impact all Forest Service programs because the agency must transfer funds from other program areas to pay for fire suppression, he said.
Tom Martin, chief operating officer of the American Forest Foundation, also pledged continued partnership with conservation districts, as did Ellen Glinsky, senior policy advisory at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Glinsky also attended breakout sessions at the annual meeting, where she said EPA values and supports state and state-federal certainty programs that address water quality concerns.
2. NACD Elects New Officer and Leadership Team
On Tuesday, the NACD Board officially elected its new Officer Team for the years 2013-2014.
- Earl Garber of Basile, La. was elected as the 2013 NACD President, replacing outgoing President Gene Schmidt, whose two-year term ended this year. Garber, a licensed crop consultant and rice, soybean and hay producer, held the position of Louisiana Board Member for NACD, prior to being elected as NACD Second Vice President in 2009, First Vice President in 2011, and President-elect in 2012. He has served as Chairman of the NACD Legislative Foundation Committee for the past four years.
- Lee McDaniel of Darlington, Md. was elected as NACD’s First Vice President. McDaniel is the owner of Indian Spring Farm LLC, an 850 acre beef cattle and crop farm. In addition to holding various leadership positions within NACD since 2005, McDaniel served as a member of the EPA Farm Ranch and Rural Communities Committee from 2010–2011 and as President of the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts from 2005-2009.
- Brent Van Dyke of Hobbs, N.M. was elected as Second Vice President. In addition to serving as the owner and operator of Agro/Biotech—a producer of high-quality horse hay—since 1987, Van Dyke has served as an Agriculture Education teacher and as an employee of the U.S. State Department for more than 30 years.
- Dick Went of Scituate, RI was elected as Secretary/Treasurer. Went has served in NACD leadership since 2008. He has also served in a variety of state-level positions, including: President of the Rhode Island Association of Conservation Districts, Board Member of the Rhode Island Conservators Organization, Board Member of the Rhode Island Envirothon, and member of the NRCS State Technical Committee.
3. Live Auction Raises Record Amount
Annual Meeting attendees showed their conservation spirit at this year’s NACD Live Auction. Auctioneer Johnny Regula, assisted by Ralph Brokaw of Wyoming, lead conservationists in an exciting night of bidding.
The auction, held Monday night, raised more than $77,000 – a new record for the Association.
Big-ticket items included: four 30-gallon containers of Roundup PowerMax donated by Monsanto, four 30-gallon containers of Liberty Link donated by Bayer Crop Science, 100 hours of use on a new 8360R tractor donated by John Deere, and 100 hours of use on a Case i-H Magnum series tractor.
Thank you to all who bid on items at this year’s auction!
4. NACD Honors National Conservation Leaders
Leaders in conservation were honored at the Annual Appreciation Banquet Tuesday night.
- John Peterson of the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District was presented with NACD’s Distinguished Service Award.
- NACD’s Friend of Conservation Award was presented to Penny Kochtitzky of Hattiesburg, Miss.
- The NACD/Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Olin Sims Conservation Leadership Award was presented to Kenny Reichert of Chariton, Mo.
Other awards presented during the meeting include:
- NACD/NRCS Earth Team Award: Jackson County Soil and Water Conservation District, Holton, KS
- National Conservation Foundation/Presidents’ Association Award: Converse County Conservation District, Wyoming
- National Conservation District Employees Association (NCDEA) Outstanding District Board Member Award: Charles Holmes, Perry County SWCD, AL
- NCDEA Outstanding Conservation District Employees
- George Boggs, Whatcom Conservati District, WA
- Millie Langley, Guilford SWCD, NC
For more information on the winners, see the press release.
5. Photos Available on Flickr
Photos from Sunday and Monday are now available on NACD’s Flickr page.