NACD readies for summer meeting

NACD’s 2017 Summer Conservation Forum and Tour kicks off this Saturday in Altoona, Iowa! This meeting – held in partnership with Iowa’s Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioners’ Annual Conference and Business Meeting – will offer networking events, engaging speakers, and interactive tours on water quality and soil health.

Here are some details to help you plan ahead:

  • Before you arrive at the Des Moines International Airport, call the Prairie Meadows Hotel at 515-957-3000 to reserve your seat on the complimentary shuttle to Altoona.

  • When you arrive at the meeting, make sure to pick up your name tag! The registration desk will be open starting on Saturday, July 15 at 4:00pm. You can register on-site and purchase tour tickets there, too.

  • The full and final meeting agenda is available online!

We’ll see you in Altoona!

New state-by-state forestry directory tool released

The Joint Forestry Team (JFT) – made up of NACD, NRCS, the U.S. Forest Service, and the National Association of State Foresters – added a new tool to its website this summer. The site's nationwide map now offers a listing of relevant forestry leaders, PLUS links to existing state-level forestry memorandum of understanding (MOU), Forest Action Plans, and Wildlife Action Plans for every state.

The JFT's purpose is to make recommendations that result in coordinated interagency delivery of forestry and conservation assistance for working forests, farms, and ranches. To access JFT resources, including the team’s archived webinars, click here.

New posts are on NACD’s blog

Does your district or state association have a story to tell? Have you considered telling it on NACD’s blog? We publish posts by guest columnists regularly and would love to work with you! For more information, contact NACD Director of Communications Whitney Forman-Cook.

What’s in a soil science certification? - One of the many ways the Soil Science Society of America is working with NACD to accelerate the adoption of improved agricultural production and natural resource stewardship practices has been through its certification programs for soil science professionals.

Leopold Award honors conservationists on working lands - With more than 75 percent of land in the United States privately owned, it’s important to recognize and celebrate the voluntary conservation achievements of working lands owners. The Leopold Conservation Awards Program was designed to do exactly that.

Indiana conservation district plays part in alleviating food insecurity - The Container Garden Project was born out of a desire “to provide a way for food pantry guests to easily grow and harvest fresh vegetables right outside their door,” said Andrew Fritz, the urban agriculture conservationist for Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District in Indiana.

Lucas Soil and Water Conservation District, Ohio

Through a 2016 NACD Urban Agriculture Conservation (UAC) grant, the Lucas Soil and Water Conservation District (LSWCD) in Ohio launched the Safer City Soils Project, a workshop series on lead contamination, soil sampling, soil health, and soil remediation in Toledo food deserts.

Through its Safer City Soils workshops, the LSWCD teaches residents about local, state, and federal programs available to address food deserts and the many resources available to urban producers in the new USDA Urban Agricultural Toolkit. Five garden sites that were assessed for soil contamination early on the project are now used as case studies for the workshops, providing both hands-on training for the attendees and soils information to the landowner. In addition, field days have been held at participating community gardens to demonstrate soil sampling and conservation planning techniques.

The district is collaborating with Bowling Green State University to connect students to real-world work and research experiences through the Safer Soils Project. LSWCD is also partnering with Toledo GROWS and the Lucas County Extension to assist interested residents in developing baseline soils information for urban agricultural projects.

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