Conservation District Officials Unite in Washington, D.C.

On National Ag Day, conservation leaders from across the nation assembled on Capitol Hill alongside NACD to advocate for locally-led conservation.

The 2018 Fly-In brought together 150 conservation district officials representing 27 states, who met with their representatives to communicate the value of conservation program funding.

At the morning’s breakfast, NACD members heard from House Agriculture Committee Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry Chairman Representative Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and Ranking Member Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio (pictured). To read more about their remarks, click here.

During this evening’s congressional reception, Fly-In attendees will be addressed by USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey, who previously served as a district commissioner of Dickinson County SWCD in northern Iowa.

The 2018 NACD Spring Fly-In is sponsored by the National Watershed Coalition (NWC) and the National Conservation District Employees Association (NCDEA). More information on the Fly-In, including issue papers, is available here.

National Conservation Partners Meet with
Under Secretary Northey

Leaders from the national conservation partnership met with newly sworn-in USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey in Washington, D.C., on March 19 in conjunction with NACD’s spring legislative fly-in.

Pictured here from left to right: NACD President Brent Van Dyke, Under Secretary Northey, National Association of State Conservation Agencies President Cindy Lair, National Conservation District Employees Association President Tim Riley and NACD President-elect Tim Palmer.

The partner leaders welcomed Under Secretary Northey to his position and briefed him on a range of topics including the importance of locally-led conservation, ongoing efforts by the conservation partnership at the federal, state and local level to respond to customer demand, and how the partnership can help provide the strongest possible customer experiences in the future.

The group also discussed current workforce shortages, encouraged NRCS hiring to get underway, and ways the conservation partnership can assist USDA to continue providing effective conservation planning assistance and program delivery.

Formerly a conservation district commissioner for the Dickinson County Soil and Water Conservation District in Iowa, Undersecretary Northey held one of his first public meetings with the conservation partnership in his new role at USDA.

Soil Health Champions Network Reaches
200 Members

This month, NACD’s Soil Health Champions Network (SHCN) surpassed 200 members!

To celebrate the progress the network has made since its inception in 2015, SHCN staff lead and North Central Region Representative Beth Mason authored this blog post. Mason describes what it takes to be a Soil Health Champion and what benefits Champions receive from the network.

With 43 of 50 states boasting network members, there’s still more to go! We need membership in every state and territory to reflect the unique soil health challenges reflected across different landscapes and climates. If your state or territory knows someone who should become a Soil Health Champion, contact Beth Mason.

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