NACD’s 2017 Annual Meeting has a new sponsor, new auction items

The Prince George’s Soil Conservation District in Maryland is supporting NACD in a huge way at our 2017 Annual Meeting in Denver by providing the catalogs for our Live Auction event and sponsoring an evening reception. Thank you for your fantastic support, PGSCD!

Another big thanks is due to John Deere for donating a Gator Utility Vehicle for the Live Auction – we know of a few bidders in the market for one! Speaking of auction items, if you’d like a sneak peek of some of the items that will be available for purchase in January, head over to our Live Auction webpage for pictures and descriptions – and remember – it’s not too late to donate an item!

The sooner you make your donation, the more time NACD has to promote it, and the better chance your donation will receive higher bids. Head to the Live Auction webpage for the Auction Donation Form and contact NACD South Central Region Representative Tamara Daniel with any questions.

NACD attends Virginia, Washington state associations’ annual meetings

NACD Western Issues Specialist Jeff Burwell traveled to Blaine, Washington, to join 200 other conservation leader attendees at the Washington Association of Conservation Districts’ annual meeting last week.

The meeting featured the Snohomish Sustainable Lands Strategy Partnership and its work to bring ag, tribal, and environmental groups together to tackle tough issues; a presentation from the Washington State Soil Health Committee on the successes of soil health projects conducted in forested watersheds, pastures, vineyards, and on small farms and dry cropland; plus a session that showcased a steelhead and salmon habitat restoration project on the Cowlitz River and a post-wildfire recovery project led by Okanogan CD and the Colville Confederated Tribe. The meeting culminated with a luncheon where state legislators discussed the relevance of conservation districts and the funding challenges Washington districts face.

Last week in Roanoke, Virginia, NACD's Southeast Region Chair Kevin Jeffries delivered a presentation on the value of being an NACD member and the organization’s plans for the future. Over 450 people attended the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts’ annual meeting – now that’s a great turnout!

Funding opportunity: NFWF’s Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program supports locally-led stewardship of water resources in priority watersheds, coastal wetlands, and riparian ecosystems nationwide through matching grants. To date, over 800 projects in 50 states have received a total of $18 million in funding (and leveraged another $67 million in private funds) through this program.

Project proposals are due January 31, 2017, and must engage diverse partnerships and include an educational/outreach component. For more information, including a list of funding priorities for this program, qualified applicants, previously funded projects, and a fact sheet, visit the NFWF website.

Seven years ago, Chip Baker began using cover crops on his operation – H&V Farms – near Millsboro, Delaware. At first, he interseeded radish cover into knee high corn using his conservation district’s aerial seeder. Within a few years, Chip expanded his use of cover crops and embraced using multi-species cover crop mixes.

Chip would certainly qualify for the title “Soil Health Champion” for the practices he has implemented on his farm, but his dedication to teaching others deserves special recognition, too.

Every week, Chip chats with five to ten other farmers about cover crops and takes numerous phone calls regarding soil health practices. Recently, with help from the Sussex Conservation District, Chip hosted a field day on his farm where he gave an estimated 150 attendees (pictured) his take on a variety ofdifferent cover crop mixes he has used on his own operation. At the same event, SCD demonstrated how to interseed cover crop mixes with an aerial seeder, and the Delmarva Farmer – a regional paper – interviewed Chip and published a story on the field day’s success.

To read Chip Baker's SHC profile – and the profiles of our other soil health champs – visit the NACD Soil Health Champions webpage. If you or someone you know is a leader 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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