NACD and the Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts (ATSWCD) are pleased to announce the theme for the 2019 Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, is “Mission Focused: Fulfilling Our Legacy.” The 73rd Annual Meeting will be held Feb. 2-6 at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter.

NACD is now accepting applications for breakout sessions for the 2019 Annual Meeting. Applications must be submitted to NACD Northeast Region Representative and Policy Specialist Eric Hansen at by Friday, September 14.

NACD offers a number of informational breakout sessions during the Annual Meeting, focusing on the work of districts and their partners across the country. Sessions typically are 60-90 minutes long and in most cases, showcase several speakers at 20-30 minutes each. Once again this year, NACD is seeking proposals that fit in one of four themes: Communications; district operations, member services and partnerships; natural resources policy and protection; and stewardship and education.

NACD’s breakout sessions are some of the most popular activities among attendees at the meeting. Please help us spread the word about this opportunity and consider submitting a proposal.


The 2018 NCF-Envirothon Competition is officially underway in Pocatello, Idaho. Students from across the United States, Canada and China arrived on the campus of Idaho State University on Sunday, July 22. The week-long competition will test their knowledge on the five subject areas: Forestry, Soils, Wildlife, Aquatic Ecology and this year’s current issue, Western Rangelands.

The NCF-Envirothon Competition concludes this Friday, July 27, with a closing ceremony that will honor the Top 10 overall team scores, as well as top station awards. The teams finishing in the Top 3 will receive cash awards from Smithfield Foods, while fourth through tenth place will receive cash awards from Canon Inc.

Editor’s note: Last week’s eResource misattributed the cash awards for the top three placing teams to Canon Inc. Canon Inc will provide cash prizes for the fourth through tenth place teams, and Smithfield Foods will provide cash prizes for the top three overall teams. Thank you to both companies for your generous support of the 2018 NCF-Envirothon competition.


Conservationists from across the Northeast gathered in Lancaster, Pa., last week for NACD’s Northeast Region meeting. NACD Secretary-Treasurer Kim LaFleur (pictured) delivered a keynote address on NACD’s current initiatives, including the technical assistance grants. Eric Hansen, NACD’s Northeast Region Representative and Policy Specialist, gave an update on the Northeast Region Capacity Building Pilot Project and led a work session for the project.

Attendees had the opportunity to learn about the full breadth of conservation in the Northeast. Tours and breakout sessions focused on stormwater management; Pennsylvania’s Dirt, Gravel, and Low Volume Road Maintenance Program; on-farm soil health; and the role of the Amish community in conservation. The Northeast Region meeting was held in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts’ annual meeting and the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission meeting. The 2019 meeting will be held in Connecticut.


On Friday, July 20, USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey and U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) visited with the Benton Conservation District (BCD) in Washington state for a conservation roundtable and tour of local operations.

The day began with a roundtable discussion of BCD’s priorities, including irrigation, riparian and wildlife issues, water quality, NRCS staffing levels in the state and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) caps and rental rates.

The tour included a stop in West Richland, Wash., at NACD Second Vice President Michael Crowder’s Barker Ranch, where the group discussed the significance of water to the region. Crowder described the importance of conservation districts, the state association, NACD and other conservation partners, and also discussed interactions and collaborations with tribes. The day concluded with a stop at Berg Farms in Prosser, Wash. Pictured above from left to right: Under Secretary Northey, NACD Second Vice President Crowder, Congressman Newhouse, and Washington State Department of Agriculture Director Derek Sandison.


The Soil Health Institute (SHI) is a non-profit organization that utilizes the input and collaboration of partnering organizations, including NACD, to further their goal of supporting soil stewardship and advancing soil health.

NACD North Central Region Representative Beth Mason serves as co-chair of the SHI Communications and Education Action Team, a group of professionals from various organizations, agencies, institutions and related industry. The team has spent time over the past year developing two tools for SHI that will assist in the promotion of soil health: an online catalog of soil health educational resources and a soil health events calendar.

The online catalog of soil health educational resources guides users to different materials and information on soil health to assist in educating children as well as adults. While this catalog is extensive, you may go online and submit additional resources for possible inclusion in the catalog.

The Soil Health Events Calendar helps promote soil health events around the country. Additionally, you can search the calendar for the next soil health event in your area. Anyone with an upcoming soil health event open to the public is encouraged to submit details online to add to the calendar. Events can range from local field tours to state, regional and national conferences.


The Conservation Technology Information Center's (CTIC) 11th Annual Conservation in Action Tour (CIAT) kicked off with a networking event and social on Tuesday, July 10 in Annapolis, Md. Every year, the tour is held at a different location, and this year's tour titled, “Bringing Back the Bay,” focused on the Chesapeake Bay and its unique natural resource concerns.

NACD Past President Lee McDaniel, Northeast Region Representative and Policy Specialist Eric Hansen and summer interns Katrina Vaitkus and Meghan Selip (pictured) attended the tour.

For the first stop, three buses of conservationists headed over to the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, where panelists discussed the Oyster Recovery Program. The next stop was at Councell Farms, a 2,000-acre farm of corn, soybeans, wheat, fresh market vegetables and timber, where tenth-generation farmer Chip Councell discussed his farm's nutrient management plan, including soil pits, cover crops and no-till.

The tour’s third stop, Hutchison Farms, addressed their successfully-implemented practices in improving the water quality of the Tuckahoe River, located right next to the farm. The CIAT concluded at Triple Creek Winery with an explanation of their rotational grazing, hydroponic cucumbers and a look at their beautiful vineyards.

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