2017 Annual Meeting

Template Press Release

Click here to download the template press release.


Click here to view the Sunday and Monday Recap

Click here to view the Tuesday Recap

Press Releases

Poster, photo contest winners announced for 2016

NACD 2017 officers, executive board sworn in

Conservation leaders receive national awards

Van Dyke of New Mexico assumes NACD helm

Photos, Video, and Presentations

Photos from the 2017 Annual Meeting are available on our Flickr page.

Archived video from Monday and Tuesday’s general session, Sunday and Monday’s Expo Stage presentations, and Tuesday night’s Appreciation Banquet are available here.

Breakout Session Presentations

Conservation Expo Stage Presentations and Video

Click here to view Parliamentarian Al Gage’s Basic Parliamentary Law presentation

Click here to view Pelham Straughn’s New Federal Administration Transition presentation

Seeking a presentation not listed above? Please contact Sara Kangas.


Monday General Session and Leadership Luncheon

(in order of appearance)

Colorado Agriculture Commissioner Don Brown
Mr. Brown, a third-generation farmer in Yuma County, Colorado, was appointed to lead the state’s agriculture department by Gov. Hickenlooper in January 2015. Mr. Brown has run several successful businesses in addition to his family’s Centennial Farm; he holds two U.S. patents and has been active in the development and design of water conservation and energy development technology. Mr. Brown graduated with a degree in agriculture from Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, and received a vocational agriculture education degree with honors from Colorado State University.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper
John Hickenlooper has been sworn in as governor of Colorado twice – in 2011 and 2015. He began his career as a geologist and later opened a series of restaurants and brewpubs across the country, including the Wynkoop Brewing Co. in downtown Denver.

Mr. Hickenlooper served as the mayor of Denver, Colorado, from 2003 to 2011. As mayor, he reduced the size of city government, streamlined services and introduced successful programs to reduce homelessness and promote sustainability. He graduated from Wesleyan University with a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in geology.

Olympian Jenny Simpson
Three-time Olympian Jenny Simpson is the first American woman to win an Olympic medal in the 1500m (bronze at the Rio Olympics). She is a ten-time track and field USA champion and has represented the United States in every World Championship and Olympics since 2007, taking gold at the world championship in 2011 for the 1500m and silver in the same event in 2013.

Ms. Simpson graduated from the University of Colorado and continues to live in the state.

Documentarian Ben Masters
A film maker and wild horse expert, Ben Masters is a member of the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board – the non-governmental body that makes recommendations to the BLM on wild horse and burro management. 

In addition to sitting on NACD’s Sunday evening panel on wild horses, Mr. Masters will be introducing a showing of his hit film “Unbranded.” The documentary tells the story of four young men, including Masters, who traveled over 3,000 miles from the Mexican border to Canadian customs on the backs of wild mustangs. You can watch the movie trailer here.

Tuesday General Session

(in order of appearance)

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall
Zippy Duvall, a third-generation farmer from Georgia, served on the governing board of the Piedmont Soil and Water Conservation District long before taking the helm of the country’s largest farmer member organization. During his tenure with the district, he worked to include CAFO rules and install conservation practices to protect local water quality. In 1984, he was named the Conservationist of the Year in Green County by the district.

Tracee Bentley
Tracee Bentley is executive director of the Colorado Petroleum Council, a statewide organization focusing on energy priorities in the state, including hydraulic fracturing and energy infrastructure. Prior to joining the Council, Ms. Bentley served as legislative director and senior advisor on energy and agriculture under Governor John Hickenlooper.

She received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Colorado State University and prior to receiving her bachelor’s degree, Bentley worked in Washington, D.C., for U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell.

Chris Treese
Chris Treese is the manager of external affairs for the Colorado River Water Conservation District, the principal water policy and planning agency for the fifteen counties of northwest and west central Colorado. The River District is responsible for the conservation, use, protection, and development of Colorado’s apportionment of the Colorado River, and comprises approximately 29,000 square miles – roughly 28 percent of the land area of Colorado.

Mr. Treese moved from Denver to the wetter, better side of Colorado in 1982 to be the boomtown economist for Union Oil’s oil shale project. He holds bachelors and masters degrees in economics.

Jim Ogsbury
Jim Ogsbury is the executive director of the Western Governors’ Association, representing the governors of 19 western states and three Pacific territories. Since joining in 2012, Mr. Ogsbury has reconstructed the organization and instituted reforms to better identify and promote the Governors’ bipartisan policy priorities.

Prior to coming to WGA, Mr. Ogsbury served as legislative director for the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, managing principal of the Washington Office of Triadvocates, and clerk and staff director for the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Arizona State University College of Law.

Sam Walker
Sam Walker is the global chief legal and corporate affairs officer for Molson Coors. Prior to joining Coors and the Molson Coors merger, Mr. Walker was a partner with the Washington, D.C., law firm Wiley Rein & Fielding for 10 years, where he handled trial and non-trial matters for consumer products companies.

He has also headed the Employment Standards Administration, the largest agency in the U.S. Department of Labor, and has held a sub-cabinet position in the U.S. Department of Education and served as assistant clearance counsel during the 2000 presidential transition. Mr. Walker received his undergraduate degree from Duke University and a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School.

Colorado State Senator Jerry Sonnenberg
Jerry Sonnenberg has been farming and ranching with his family in northeastern Colorado his entire life. He was first elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2006; after serving 8 years, he was elected to serve District 1 in the Colorado Senate representing the counties of Cheyenne, Elbert, Lincoln, Logan, Kit Carson, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Yuma, Washington and Weld.

Currently, he serves as President Pro Tempore of the Colorado Senate and chairs the state’s Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee.

NRCS Acting Chief Leonard Jordan
Leonard Jordan is the acting chief of NRCS. Before being named acting chief, he served as the NRCS’ associate chief for conservation. In this role, Leonard led the agency’s conservation mission area, including all of NRCS’ conservation programs.

During his distinguished 37-year career with NRCS, Leonard has also served as the Regional Conservationist for the Southeast Region, Deputy Chief for Strategic Planning and Accountability, Division Director of Conservation Planning and Technical Assistance, and Director of the Conservation Easement Programs Division. A Tennessee native, Leonard has served as an NRCS State Conservationist for Georgia and Washington state.

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