Announcing NACD’s 2018 Annual Meeting logo, theme

Congratulations Nicole Hawk of Mercer County SWCD in Ohio! Nicole’s theme submission – “Conservation Takes Center Stage in Music City” – has been chosen to be featured at next year’s annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, January 27 – 31, 2018.

Are you considering joining us in Nashville? Does your district or state association have a unique story or successful project it would like to share from a national platform? NACD is accepting breakout session proposals for the upcoming annual meeting until September 1. The application is available here and should be submitted to Eric Hansen at

Join us for a webinar on NACD’s new logo

Updating the look of NACD’s branding elements – and publishing guidelines on their use – gives your national association and its members the foundation to enhance NACD brand awareness and name recognition countrywide.

To make NACD’s new logos as easy to use as possible for our members, we are holding a webinar on Friday, August 18 from 10:00am to 11:00am Eastern. In this free webinar, attendees will learn the appropriate uses for NACD branding elements and have time to ask specific questions. An archived copy of the session will be available on NACD’s website for those who are unable to attend. If you would like to join, email Director of Communications Whitney Forman-Cook to receive the call-in information.

NACD speaks at House Agriculture Committee listening sessions nationwide

The U.S. House Agriculture Committee traveled the country last week listening to what stakeholders have to say about the upcoming farm bill. Conservation districts were well represented at these listening sessions by NACD North Central Executive Board Member Ian Cunningham, NACD Board Member and South Central Region Chair Jule Richmond (pictured above), and Karen Buhr, executive director of the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts.

In San Angelo, Texas, on July 31, Richmond told the panel that “Locally-led, voluntary, incentive-based conservation serves agriculture best.” Three days later in Morgan, Minnesota, Cunningham (pictured below) asked the committee to “fight to maintain USDA's ability to do their part” in maintaining the conservation delivery system in the U.S.

On August 5 in Modesto, California, Buhr asked the committee to maintain funding for conservation technical assistance in the farm bill. “The Conservation Title is critical to assisting farmers and ranchers in maintaining their properties and agricultural businesses and complying with regulation. Technical assistance is a critical part of this given the diversity of landscapes and crop types here in California.”

To be the first to know about NACD’s grassroots advocacy work, sign-up for email alerts on NACD’s website and follow us on Facebook.

NACD Urban Agriculture Conservation Initiative: Fairbanks Soil and Water Conservation District, Alaska

The Fairbanks SWCD in Alaska was awarded a NACD Urban Agriculture Conservation (UAC) grant in 2016 to help south-side city residents grow “stores outside their doors” with backyard and community gardens. During evening “walkabouts” in Fairbanks neighborhoods, the district staff asked residents about their interest in gardening and attending grower workshops. With the information they gathered, the staff identified already established community gardens to host educational workshops, and searched for new sites to create gardens.

To build ongoing support for current and new gardens, the district met with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension, JP Jones, the City of Fairbanks, Fairbanks Master Gardeners, NRCS, the local Rotary, and other agencies and businesses. Borough Mayor Karl Kassel even passed a rezoning measure to permit community gardens in the South Cushman area as a result.

Through partnership planning and many donations, community gardens have been established at Fairbanks Neighborhood Housing and at the Corinthian Baptist Church. Participants in the Fairbanks SWCD’s Youth for Habitat summer work program built 16 raised beds out of donated garage doors, and the Fairbanks Youth Facility built 16 raised beds out of donated warped lumber from the local mill. Numerous other groups donated resources and services.

Working with public and private sector partners, the district also created and hosted several well-attended workshops on how to: start seeds, grow food in containers, build healthy soils, and practice sustainable weed management, among other topics. To learn more about the project, click here to go to the district’s website, or here to read a NACD blog post.

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