ANNUAL MEETING DEADLINES APPROACH
Friday, Jan. 11, is the last day to register online for NACD’s 2019 Annual Meeting. Haven’t registered yet? Take advantage of online discounts to save an additional $15 before prices go up on Jan. 12.
In addition to a speaker line-up packed with conservation leaders from across the nation, NACD is pleased to announce Jomo & The Possum Posse will be performing after Tuesday’s Appreciation Banquet. Best known for the wildly popular viral video series, Guy On A Buffalo, Jomo & The Possum Posse have made a name for themselves with their unique blend of cynicism, dead-eyed soul and anti-machismo honky-tonk.
Make sure to reserve your room at the Marriott Rivercenter, steps away from San Antonio’s world-famous River Walk. All reservations must be completed by this Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.
Hotel Overflow Information: At the moment, the Marriott Rivercenter is sold out for the night of Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. NACD is working on adding additional rooms but has also secured a room block at the La Quinta Inn and Suites San Antonio Riverwalk for 2019 Annual Meeting attendees. The La Quinta is a two-minute walk from the Marriott Rivercenter and features complimentary wifi and a daily hot breakfast. The room rate is $199 per night plus tax. To reserve a room, please call 210-222-9181 and say you’re with the “NACD 2019 Attendee Block.” All reservations must be received on or before Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. Additional information is available on NACD’s 2019 Annual Meeting Lodging and Transportation webpage.
NACD GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS TEAM BREAKS DOWN THE 2018 FARM BILL
Now that President Donald Trump has signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law, NACD’s Government Affairs Team will be releasing a series of blog posts to break down the bill in more detail with the expected changes folks can expect on the ground as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) works to implement the new law.
The first blog post in this series focuses on the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Future blog posts will focus on other programs and issue areas, including the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and forestry policy, and will be featured in future editions of eResource.
SMITHFIELD FOODS, INC. SUPPORTS NCF-ENVIROTHON
Today, Smithfield Foods, Inc., presented the North Carolina Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts with a $25,000 donation to support the 2019 National Conservation Foundation (NCF) Envirothon competition during the association’s annual meeting in Durham, N.C. This donation serves as an additional contribution to Smithfield’s annual support of the Envirothon program in communities where Smithfield employees live and work.
“We thank Smithfield for their ongoing support of Envirothon and their generous contribution to our organization for this year’s special event,” NCF-Envirothon program manager Jennifer Brooks said. “This donation will support our collective efforts to instill and reinforce environmental stewardship in young people and help preserve our natural resources for generations to come.”
This year's NCF-Envirothon competition will take place July 28 - Aug. 2, 2019 at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C.
NACD CONTRIBUTES TO ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES MARKET MEETING
Last month, NACD President-elect Tim Palmer attended the Noble Research Institute’s Environmental Services Market steering committee meeting in Raleigh, N.C. Held on a bimonthly basis since 2017, these in-person meetings have given conservation, industry and environmental leaders the opportunity to discuss the role agriculture management practices, including no-till and prescribed grazing, play in increasing soil health, mitigating greenhouse gasses, improving water quality and having a marked effect on runoff and water use.
NACD, as part of this steering committee, is working to develop a program to incentivize and compensate producers who are successfully implementing sustainable, environmentally friendly practices on their operations to improve natural resources and provide a safe and secure food supply. According to Palmer, it is important NACD is involved in these conversations because “conservation districts are the one constant across the American landscape with the ability to support the individuals adopting these practices and help them receive the maximum benefits of the program.”
NEW CASTLE CONSERVATION DISTRICT, DELAWARE
In 2017, the New Castle Conservation District (NCCD) was awarded funding through the 2017 Urban Agriculture Conservation Grant Initiative. The funding, made possible through the partnership of NACD and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), enabled NCCD to provide support and training to urban farmers, community and home gardeners in northern Delaware.
The funding also enabled the district’s urban agriculture coordinator to create and facilitate the Grow It Yourself gardening series in partnership with the Rose Hill Community Center. This gardening education program is focused on sustainable, low-cost container gardening for adults looking to grow their own food. Grow It Yourself encouraged people to try growing their own produce and brought people together to talk about gardening and their food system. Through this program, NCCD was able to reach new audiences and build understanding of their mission in new communities.
With the help of the urban agriculture coordinator and NCCD cost share funds, NCCD gave over $12,000 of mini-grant funding to community-led urban agriculture projects across the county, including community garden improvements, a youth education program and a farmers market.
During the 2017-2018 year, the urban agriculture coordinator served as the communications coordinator for the Delaware Urban Farm and Food Coalition (DEUFFC). In this role, the coordinator helped organize the 2018 Delaware Ag Week’s only urban-focused event, the Urban Ag Session. The coordinator also created a bi-weekly newsletter to promote coalition member events, increasing the visibility and reach of the DEUFFC.
This initiative helped NCCD create a niche in the urban agriculture world and helped amplify the district’s voice in a new way to conversations around food, agriculture and sustainability in Delaware.
UAC WEBINAR FOCUSES ON PASTURE MANAGEMENT
The next NACD Urban and Community (UAC) Conservation webinar, scheduled for 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Eastern on Jan. 17, 2019, will focus on pasture management and climate change on small acreage.
Livestock and overgrazed pastures are often looked at as the villains of environmental integrity. But what if that wasn’t the case, and good pasture management by livestock owners could actually slow down or reverse climate change? Alayne Blickle, creator and director of Horses for Clean Water, will review basic techniques for good pasture management including how grasses grow, creating a winter paddock, spreading compost, rotational grazing, and managing small grazing areas. Proper land and soil management can positively affect horse health and livestock well-being, land productivity, cost-effectiveness and climate change.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, title, district or business name, state and email address. Information to access the webinar will be sent by email.
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