The nation has been watching closely as the striking images of flooding from the Midwest are broadcast to the world: farm houses and grain bins standing like lonely islands in a sea, landscapes where floodwaters stretch to the horizon and beyond, paved roads chopped into intermittent chunks, and cattle wandering in pastures scattered with ice slabs thicker than concrete.

Views like this are accurately conveying the disaster that is being faced by the 14 states expected to be impacted by recent flooding. In the midst of the tragedy, entities like Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts are stepping into supporting roles for the people and land impacted. Read more about their work in NACD’s latest blog, penned by NACD Northern Plains Region Representative Sunni Heikes-Knapton.

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An annual report is a comprehensive report on a district’s activities throughout the preceding year. If prepared carefully, annual reports can not only cover the required elements but also serve as an important public relations or district marketing tool.

Some appropriate and useful components of an annual report include:

  • Letter from the Chair

  • Financial Data: a financial summary and graphs or illustrations describing budgets

  • Business contact information: address, phone number and email addresses; Meeting locations, date and time; List of district officials, associate district officials and employees

  • Accomplishments: Milestones reached; Detailed statistics; Awards received or given

  • Partners, cooperators and donors

  • Services to customers

  • Significant changes to: Programs, Staffing, Board membership, Finance

It is a good practice in preparing annual reports to write to the audience. Make it easy to read and avoid using ‘private, insider-only’ language, technical terms or acronyms. Include photos, charts and other informative graphics to keep readers engaged. Looking for an example? Check out NACD’s Annual Report online.


During the Joint Forestry Team (JFT)’s annual in-person meeting on Mar. 11 in Washington, D.C., Jennifer Hinkhouse was formally introduced as the JFT’s Chair for 2019. Hinkhouse is the district manager of the Campbell County Conservation District in Wyoming and serves as a supervisor for neighboring Crook County Natural Resource District.

The Joint Forestry Team, comprised of NACD, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters (NASF), and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), was chartered in 2007 to facilitate coordinated, interagency delivery of forestry and conservation assistance for working forests, farms and ranches. Organizations rotate chairman duties on an annual basis.

Learn more about Hinkhouse in NACD’s press release or in the latest edition of Forestry Notes.


The National Conservation Planning Partnership (NCPP), consisting of the core conservation delivery partners, has developed a fact sheet highlighting the 10 habits of effective conservation planners. The fact sheet was created following feedback from last year’s listening sessions to serve both as a refresher and to establish a new thought process for how to provide precise technical assistance to all land users. Are you 10 for 10 on the habits for effective conservation planners?


Last week, NACD Development Director Laura Demmel and Northern Plains Region Representative Sunni Heikes-Knapton attended Field to Market meetings in Washington, D.C. Field to Market brings stakeholders together across the agricultural value chain to catalyze continuous improvement in the sustainability of commodity crop production. NACD was involved in targeted discussions with both the Verification Committee and the Education/Outreach Committee during the March 18 and 19 sessions. These committees focused their work on implementing the new strategic plan, which includes proposed outreach and education for conservation districts on the Field to Market effort.

As part of a coordinated effort on March 19, a facilitated discussion was hosted on the topic of responsible pest management in agriculture. The dialog included six brief presentations by a range of experts, including agricultural producers, university researchers and regulatory agency representatives. This content provided a framework for the 50-plus attendees to understand the current trends and status of pest management and allowed for productive conversations in small groups on opportunities for better understanding and collaborating across sectors.


NACD’s member districts and state associations are able to post job openings on the NACD District Job Board to maximize exposure for their vacancies and attract the most qualified candidates from across the nation. Currently openings include:

District AdministratorFillmore County Soil and Water Conservation District, Preston, Minn.; The position will advance administrative work managing the day-to-day operations of the district and its programs and projects. Duties include supervising operations; preparing annual plans, reports and budget; and managing financial records. Application deadline: Apr. 4.

Urban Conservation Engineer/SpecialistNorthern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, Fairfax, Va.; The technical specialist will assist with engineering-related matters to address conservation challenges in Fairfax County. Projects will include erosion and sediment control, stormwater management, natural resource stabilization, and site design and stormwater management innovations. Application deadline: Apr. 14.

Wildfire and Forest Resiliency CoordinatorKing Conservation District, Renton, Wash.; The position will help King County communities become better stewards of their community forests and become fire-adapted communities. The coordinator will focus on working at the community scale with agency partners and improving conservation on the ground through education, planning and implementation. Application deadline: Apr. 1.

District Administrator – Gallatin Conservation District, Manhattan, Mont.; The administrator will provide administrative, communications and technical services to manage the daily operations of the district. Duties include preparing documents, financial data, bookkeeping, payroll functions, writing grants, curating articles, managing website content and more.

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