NACD on the Forefront of Invasive Species Legislation

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining held a hearing on invasive species on Thursday, April 28. During the hearing, Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) highlighted recent efforts of NACD’s Public Lands RPG. In his closing remarks, Senator Barrasso mentioned NACD’s letter of support for S.2240, the Federal Land Invasive Species Control, Prevention, and Management Act. Senator Barrasso discussed aspects of NACD’s letter including urging the inclusion of other relevant Secretaries and departments in order to prevent invasive species, agreement that preventing introduction is only one piece of the puzzle, and containment and reduction of established populations of invasive species. 

The webcast of the hearing can be found here. Senator Barrasso’s closing remarks can be heard at 1:23.46. 

NACD at National Agroforestry Horizons Meeting

NACD Forestry Specialist Mike Beacom attended the National Agroforestry Horizons Meeting held April 27-28 in Washington D.C. NACD was one of several partners invited to participate in the two-day meeting.  

Agroforestry intentionally combines agriculture and forestry to create integrated and sustainable land-use systems. Its five practices include: windbreaks, alley cropping, silvopasture, forest farming and riparian forest buffers. The National Agroforestry Center (NAC), based in Lincoln, Nebraska, is supported by both the U.S. Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service to advance agroforestry science and practices throughout the country.  

Attendees at last week’s meeting discussed a variety of agroforestry topics and broke into small groups to explore ways the NAC can strengthen partnerships and make more landowners aware of available practices and programs.  

To learn more about NAC and agroforestry practices, visit

Former NRCS Chief Bill Richards Visits NACD

Former NRCS Chief Bill Richards met with NACD CEO Jeremy Peters on Thursday, April 28. Richards served as NRCS Chief from 1990 until 1993. He presently lives on his farm in Circleville, OH which his sons continue to operate and where they have achieved many successes in advancing conservation systems. Richards and Peters covered a host of topics, including soil health, no till, cover crops, and what organizations can do to help get more conservation on the land. Richards still shows his enthusiasm to advance good conservation measures across the nation and volunteered to continue helping spread the word about good conservation systems and practices. It was a welcome visit and NACD looks forward to continuing to work with former Chief Richards. 
Pictured: Former Chief Richards with NACD CEO Jeremy Peters

Call for Annual Meeting Theme

Planning is well underway for the 2017 NACD Annual Meeting to be held January 28-February 2 in Denver, CO! In preparation for the meeting, we are seeking your creative ideas for the meeting’s theme. NACD will provide $250 toward the 2017 Annual Meeting registration cost for the individual whose theme we select! 

To submit an idea, send an email with the subject “2017 Theme” to with 1) your name, 2) contact information, 3) and theme idea. We also encourage you to send a suggestion on a logo to correspond with your theme. 

As a reminder, past themes include: 

2016 (Reno): “Conservation: Historical Legacy Guiding a Brighter Future”
2015 (New Orleans): “Conservation: The Key to a Healthy Nation”
2014 (Anaheim): “Conservation: Locally Grown, Nationally Known”
2013 (San Antonio): “Conservation: Proud Past, Positive Future”
2012 (Las Vegas): “Conservation: We’re all in!”

The deadline for entries is Friday, May 27. Additional details about the 2017 Annual Meeting will be coming soon; but you can be sure that, as always, it will be a great time for networking with your peers, learning tips and tools to bring back home, and having some fun while you're at it! We hope to see you in Colorado! 

More Envirothon Teams Headed to Canada

Several states held Envirothon competitions the week of April 25-29 with teams advancing to the North American Envirothon. 
In Dover, DE, Charter School of Wilmington’s Team B is the winner of the 2016 Delaware Envirothon competition held at Brecknock Park in Camden on April 29, 2016. This marks the school’s 17th win in the event’s 20-year history, including an unbroken winning streak since 2002.  In Jefferson City, MO a group of freshmen students from the Pembroke Hill School in Kansas City won the 18th annual state Envirothon competition. Full Media Release And in Lincoln, NE Envirothon natural resources competition announces the winning team headed to compete in Canada! Team 1 from Concordia High School will be Nebraska’s representative this July. “Envirothon goes beyond the classroom in giving students natural resources life skills.” Full Media Release Winners from these state competitions will represent their state at the North American Envirothon July 24-29 in Ontario, Canada. 

For updates on local Envirothon competitions, including photos and media, click here.
Pictured: Team 1 from Concordia High School, Lincoln, NE

NACD May U&C Webinar

NACD and NRCS have teamed up to help districts and their partners provide much needed conservation technical assistance for urban agriculture in predominantly developed and development areas. Through NRCS’ support, the NACD Urban and Community RPG is developing a new Urban Agriculture Conservation grants initiative. NACD will likely provide funding for a technical staff person in up to 20 districts for one year. We expect to release a formal Request for Proposals sometime in May. 

The May 19 NACD Urban and Community Conservation webinar, scheduled for 12:00-1:00pm EDT, will feature this new Initiative. NACD leadership will announce the goals and RPG representatives will cover the details. A portion of the time will be used to answer districts’ questions. To best prepare for the Q&A, NACD asks that districts send any questions they have to Deb Bogar at by May 13.  

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-served 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.  



Dennis Hoyle is an NACD Soil Health Champion from Roscoe, SD. He runs an operation consisting of a beef cow herd, crops and a pheasant hunting business. The farm has been in the family since 1910, and today his two sons and a daughter are all involved in some way 
They began no-tilling in 1986 and have been rotational grazing for many years. Dennis tries to always keep the ground covered. He has implemented high stock density grazing, or mob grazing, to give longer rest periods and keep the vegetation taller. This helps feed the soil biology and water infiltration. His goal is to be not just sustainable but to restore the organic matter as close as possible to the original condition. 

Dennis is a strong advocate of soil health. He is a founding member of the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition and an associate board member of the Edmunds County Conservation District. In these roles, he has hosted a cover crop field day, bringing in nationally known speakers, and has presented and participated in discussions with the Ag Research Society. Dennis enjoys many one-on-one conversations with farmers and others. 

Be sure to check out Dennis Hoyle’s profile on the NACD Soil Health Champion’s webpages along with many other members in our network. If you or someone you know is a leader in soil health and would like to become a member of this growing network, please contact Beth Mason at NACD, or 317-946-4463, for more information. 


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