NACD Announces 2019 Stewardship Theme

The NACD Stewardship and Education Committee is pleased to announce the 2019 Poster Contest and Stewardship Week theme: “Life in the Soil: Dig Deeper.”

Soil is a dirty topic, but everyone needs to learn more about it! Soil is the foundation for many of the items we use in our daily life, such as food, clothing, clean water, homes and more. Healthy soil equals healthy food, which equals a healthy you. Don’t treat your soil like dirt! Contact your local conservation district to help you care for your soil.

Rules, entry forms and other resources for the 2019 NACD Poster Contest will be available for download on the 2019 Stewardship Week page later this summer. The 64th Annual Stewardship Week will take place April 28 – May 5, 2019.

For more information, visit our Stewardship Program webpage.

Conservation in the Caribbean

During the week of June 24, NACD leadership and staff will travel to Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) to meet with local officials and observe the recovery efforts following Hurricane Maria.

Through the coordination and collaboration of Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Caribbean Area Director Edwin Almodovar, NACD will have the opportunity to build relationships and support NACD members and districts in Puerto Rico and the USVI.

NACD President Brent Van Dyke, Southeast Region Executive Board Member Jim Harreld, Director of Projects and Partnerships Rich Duesterhaus, Director of Communications Stephanie Addison, and Southeast Region Representative Phylis Vandevere will represent the organization next week during meetings, field visits and roundtable discussions. These individuals will also meet with government officials, conservation district leaders and staff, receive updates on the technical assistance grants in the territories, provide support and advice on conservation district restructuring initiatives, and discuss the viability of scheduling NACD related events in the future.

Be sure to stay tuned to NACD’s social media channels and follow the hashtag #ConservationInTheCaribbean to receive live updates from the Caribbean as well as blog posts from each of the NACD representatives' perspectives.

NACD Government Affairs Update

On June 13, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry marked up The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. The Senate expects to move on the bill before the Fourth of July recess. NACD submitted a letter to committee leadership expressing support that the bill maintains overall Conservation Title funding and does not merge EQIP and CSP like the House version. NACD has also expressed reservations that this bill evolves RCPP far past its original intent at the expense of current conservation delivery.

Last week, NACD provided comment to a variety of outlets regarding the Senate farm bill’s strengths and opportunities for improvements.

  • NACD President Brent Van Dyke on Adams on Agriculture with Mike Adams
  • NACD President Brent Van Dyke on The Barn with Brian Allmer
  • NACD Director of Government Affairs Coleman Garrison on KQLX 890 AM with Mick Kjar

This week, the Senate is considering taking up a $15 billion recissions bill that would cut millions from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) budget, including $157 from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and $335 million from programs not extended in the 2014 Farm Bill.

Boost Your Company or Organization's Exposure at the Summer Meeting

The 2018 NACD Conservation Forum and Tour and Southeast Region Meeting, held Aug. 3-8 in Williamsburg, Va., will provide conservation officials, landowners and operators and agency and industry professionals with the opportunity to network, tour the area, and learn more about the region’s natural resource issues. This meeting is made possible in part thanks to the support of our sponsors, Truax Company and Panasonic.

Interested in gaining exposure for your organization or company’s services or products? There are still spaces available in our exhibition hall – click here to learn more about sponsorship and expo opportunities.

Michigan District Helps Support Flint’s Green Infrastructure

In partnership with the city of Flint, Mich., Genesee Conservation District (GCD) is bringing urban forests back to a healthy state and educating residents in the process.

“One of the best benefits that has come out of this partnership is the response from residents,” GCD senior conservation coordinator Jeffrey Johnson said. “They are excited. The city didn’t have the budget to maintain and care for the trees the way we are now. I think the fact that they can see results is one of the biggest upsides.”

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) with GCD sparked the movement to form a partnership for tree maintenance across the city. Read more in the latest edition of Forestry Notes.

Newly-published book highlights women’s role in Montana conservation

In her debut memoir, “Montana Women From the Ground Up: Passionate Voices in Agriculture and Land Conservation,” author Kristin Ellis creates portraits of pioneering women who share their experiences of successes, growth and failures in farming and ranching Montana’s vast landscape.

With their forward thinking, nurturing abilities and “gumption” to “make hay out of thistles,” these women persevered and thrived in Montana agriculture, while creating a better landscape for the next generation. You can purchase the book from these Montana conservation districts or through Amazon (make sure you’ve connected your account to NACD’s Amazon Smile).

Even though the book is done, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) is continuing to collect stories for their oral history project. The DNRC works with local conservation district personnel to identify women landowners and operators and record their stories. 51 of these women’s stories are available now on the DNRC website.

2016 Urban Grant Recipient Wins Award

In 2016, the Allegheny County Conservation District (ACCD) received funding from NACD and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) as part of the urban agriculture conservation grant initiative. ACCD’s project focused on urban soil health and contamination, especially in the thousands of vacant and abandoned lots in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. The ACCD Urban Soils Program works with local communities to identify and address the significant environmental concerns around urban soils, including lead, arsenic and heavy metal contamination. On May 24, ACCD received a Western Pennsylvania Environmental Award for their project’s innovation and effectiveness.

To date, ACCD has offered over $150,000 in free testing services, and hundreds of hours in free technical assistance toward community and greenspace projects. ACCD has also raised awareness of soil health and contamination issues in communities around the county and given guidance on sustainable practices. ACCD has begun conducting its own mapping and research efforts, seeking to better understand the nature and extent of legacy contamination across the urban environment.

A short video on the project can be found here.

Call for urban and community conservation webinar presentations

Since 2012, the NACD Urban and Community Resource Policy Group (RPG) has partnered with The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company in offering monthly urban and community conservation webinars. These webinars cover a variety of topics with districts and businesses sharing their projects, programs and resources and are held 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. ET on the third Thursday of each month. View a full list of past webinars, as well as links to presentation PDFs and archived webinar recordings on NACD’s website.

The RPG is now seeking your input for the series beginning in October 2018. Help us design webinars that help you! Please take a moment to:

  1. Offer to give a presentation, and/or

  2. Tell us the urban and community conservation topics/issues and/or speakers you would like to have covered.

Send a brief paragraph describing the programs, projects or speakers you would like to see showcased to Deb Bogar by June 30.

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