NACD’s Annual Meeting is less than three weeks away!

NACD is pleased to announce that Dr. Sam Clovis, senior White House adviser to the United States Department of Agriculture, will be providing the keynote address for Tuesday’s general session. To learn more about the confirmed and invited speakers for our 2018 Annual Meeting in Nashville, click here.

NACD’s 72nd Annual Meeting is less than three weeks away, and you only have until this Friday, January 12, to complete your registration. After this Friday, we will only be able to process registrations on-site at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.

If you haven’t completed your room reservation yet or need to make alterations to your reservation, both the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center and the Hyatt Place Nashville/Opryland have extended their reservation deadlines to Wednesday, January 10. A limited number of rooms are still available, but reservations are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Click here for hotel reservation and transportation information.

Michigan Hosts the NACD North Central Region Meeting

The NACD North Central Region Board of Directors met in Grand Rapids, Michigan, January 4 – 5, 2018 for their annual region board meeting. The board utilizes this time as an opportunity to prepare for the NACD Annual Meeting which is held later in the month in Nashville, Tennessee, by discussing state resolutions for NACD, emerging legislative issues and topics of state and regional significance.

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA regions 5 and 7), the National Association of State Conservation Agencies (NASCA) and the National Conservation District Employees Association (NCDEA) were all represented by state, regional and national leadership, sharing background information on upcoming initiatives, programs and changes within agencies and associations.

The North Central Region Board also invited two guest speakers to attend, providing the attendees with a valuable time of learning and discussion. Barry Fisher (pictured), USDA NRCS Central Regional Soil Health Team Leader, presented on the topic of “Building a Successful Conservation System to Regenerate Soil Health for You,” which took soil health beyond the basics into some technical strategies for building soil health.

Mary Judnich from Senator Debbie Stabenow’s office in Grand Rapids, Michigan, led a Farm Bill session with attendees, sharing the latest update from the Senator as the ranking member of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. With a list of NACD’s Farm Bill Principles as a place to start, attendees held a healthy discussion on what to expect, next steps and how to engage in the passage of the next Farm Bill.

Mark your calendars: Outreach to Urban Communities webinar

If one of your professional resolutions for 2018 is to reach a broader audience, tune in to the next NACD Urban and Community Conservation webinar. Scheduled for 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. EST on January 18, the topic is “Outreach to Urban Communities”.

The Pierce CD in the state of Washington developed best practices for connecting to multilingual urban agriculture communities. To build lasting relationships and bridge communities, they strive for equity in outreach and shared decision-making.

In Minnesota, the Washington CD has worked to engage Homeowners’ Associations (apartments, condos and townhomes) through a “Green Communities” project. Outreach has been driven by feedback from focus groups, which identified barriers and opportunities for clean water projects.

These popular webinars, held on the third Thursday of each month, are sponsored by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company in partnership with the NACD Urban and Community Resource Policy Group. There is no cost to participate, but space is limited. Registration will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. To register, email Debra Bogar at WITH your name, title, district or business name, state and email address. Information to access the webinar will be sent by email.

Operating a fourth-generation family farm, Adrien Lavoie grows “a little of everything,” which includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, sweet corn and pumpkins. His farm incorporates many proven soil health practices on his land such as crop rotation, multi-species cover crops, zone tillage and no-till.

This past year, however, as part of the New Hampshire Cover Crops Team, Adrien has taken part in a multimedia campaign called “We’ve Got It Covered,” specifically promoting cover crops. This team is a partnership of farmers, USDA NRCS, the New Hampshire Association of Conservation Districts and the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension which utilized field signs, blogs and social media to recognize the farmers using cover crops and encourage others to try as well.

To read more about Adrien Lavoie and his experience with cover crops, be sure to visit his Soil Health Champion profile at the NACD website. You can also visit the Lavoies Farm website and follow the operation on Facebook at Lavoies Farm. To learn more about NH’s Soil Health Team efforts, visit

If you or someone you know is interested in soil health and would like to become a member of this growing, progressive network, please contact NACD North Central Region Representative Beth Mason at or 317-946-4463 for more information.

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