Between President Trump’s proposed budget cuts to conservation and his administration’s push to “encourage private sector conservation planning,” it’s more important than ever that conservation leaders contact their members of Congress.

NACD has created a new Grassroots Advocacy webpage stocked with information and templates to help you contact Congress and advocate for issues important to conservation districts.

Right now, it is critical Congress hears directly from you why Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA) funding is crucial to this country’s conservation delivery system. If CTA were to be eliminated or severely reduced, it would drastically hinder the ability of conservation districts and our partners to deliver conservation assistance in communities nationwide. For more talking points, click here.


NACD’s Spring Fly-In attendees discussed the future of voluntary conservation at an evening reception on Capitol Hill last week – were you able to attend? (If not, here’s a short recap of the event.) Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and Ranking Member Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry both spoke, highlighting the importance of conservation programs over the long-term and urging attendees to continue the good fight now and through the next farm bill negotiations.

Conservation district officials and other conservation leaders from across the country met with more than 140 congressional offices, stressing the need for adequate conservation technical assistance funding and the importance of farm bill conservation programs. Click here to read their talking points.

Pictured above is Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del., with 11 of the 13 men and women from Delaware that attended the fly-in. First-term Rep. Blunt Rochester serves on the House Agriculture Committee and several of its subcommittees. From left to right, in the first row, is David Baird, Abby Baird, Rep. Blunt Rochester, Gwen Pierce, Debbie Absher, and Robert Palmer. In the back row is Robert Baldwin, Tim Riley, Mike Brown, Norman Pierce, Edwin Alexander, and Kevin Donnelly.


President Trump’s Agriculture Secretary nominee Sonny Perdue answered several questions specific to conservation at his first nomination hearing last Thursday. In response to a question from Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, the former Georgia governor said he came from a part of the world that sees “farmers as good stewards.”

“They want to care for the land,” Perdue continued. “Instead of prescriptive type regulations, let’s give them the ability to do that and incentivize them to be even better than they have in the past.”

In another exchange with Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., Perdue said “NRCS is a big part of American agriculture.”

The Senate will hold a business meeting tomorrow to vote on whether or not to send Perdue’s nomination to the floor. This meeting will be a formality – Perdue may not even be in attendance – and NACD expects the full Senate will confirm Perdue before Easter recess.


NACD now supports the National Outstanding Young Farmer Program – America’s oldest farmer recognition initiative. Conservation districts can partner with NOYF, too. A quarter of NOYF’s recognition criteria for honorees is conservation-based, meaning districts can help NOYF identify and recognize outstanding young conservation farmers.

A one-page flier – listed under “National Outstanding Young Farmer Program” on NACD’s Partner webpage – provides a description of the program. To make a nomination, complete the two-page form online (or on NACD’s Partner webpage) and mail it by August 1 to Rich Norz at 116 South Branch Rd, Hillsborough, New Jersey 08844.

As part of a six-month series on district operations, the Did You Know? monthly feature in eResource will highlight chapters of the NACD District Outlook Task Force report: “Blueprint for Locally-Led Conservation – A Strategy for District Success and Sustainability” (available here on our website). This month’s chapter tackles training.

Conservation districts don't just represent rural communities - they have a broad membership representing rural, suburban, and urban conservation interests. Districts also employ a diverse array of folks with different skill sets and backgrounds. To ensure and maintain uniformity and a level of competency in the conservation delivery system, it is important that all employees receive administrative, public outreach, legislative, and technical training. (Read the rest of this chapter summary on NACD’s blog).


Tune in Thursday, April 20 at noon for an NACD-hosted, Scotts Miracle-Gro-sponsored webinar on using GIS in urban watersheds. Representatives from Franklin SWCD in central Ohio will explain how they have prioritized locations for stormwater management practices using extensive GIS datasets – and how the City of Columbus is following in their footsteps.

Registration is free, but please RSVP to NACD Senior Advisor Deb Bogar with your name, title, district or business name, and state.

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