Annual Meeting registration now open

Join NACD in the Mile High City for our 71st Annual Meeting! Registration is now open for NACD’s 2017 Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado. Visit the Annual Meeting page for more information on tours, hotel information, meeting sponsorship, the pack-a-book program, the conservation expo, live auction, and more!

Make sure you register for the Annual Meeting Kick Off on Saturday, January 28, 2017, hosted by the NACD Auxiliary. The night at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science will bring together NACD family and friends for dinner, a tour through the Gem and Minerals exhibit, and the IMAX National Parks 3D Adventure, featuring glimpses at the scenic beauty of the nation's beloved parks, like Yosemite, pictured here.

The evening is all inclusive, covering dinner, transportation, admission, and the Auxiliary’s signature treat. Register before January 13, 2017 to secure the price of $125 and to reserve your spot! Click here for more information.

NACD celebrates back to school season

It’s back to school season, and NACD is celebrating by holding its biggest marketplace sale yet! For the entirety of September, printed educational materials – including bookmarks, activity sheets, placemats, posters, educator guides, and community outreach materials – are all 75% off.

Our Soil to Spoon, Where Does Your Water Shed?, Your Hardworking Pollinators, and Dig Deeper: Secrets of Soil Health materials will only be available at these deeply discounted prices until September 30, 2016. After that date, NACD will no longer offer these printed materials through our store as we transition to producing all of our educational materials digitally.

As we enter into the final stages of making our educational materials fully digital, we need your feedback! Please fill out this quick survey by Friday, September 16, to offer your opinions on the 2016 Stewardship and Education downloadable materials. Your responses help us to improve our products and our service for the future!

Should you have any concerns or questions about this survey, please feel free to contact us at

NRCS updates CSP

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service recently announced improvements to the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), making the program more accessible and more transparent for customers and partners. The update will include redesigned planning and evaluation tools, similar to existing NRCS tools, allowing producers to better evaluate their options for conservation planning. NRCS will also take into consideration input from local producers and partners when strategizing further expansion and development of the program to better identify and prioritize areas of concern.

The updates to the nation’s largest conservation program will substantially expand its reach, doubling conservation enhancement opportunities such as gypsum and biochar application strategies. The fortification of monarch habitat programs and carbon sequestration programs, along with the utilization of new conservation technologies, will help current conservation stewards to improve their beneficial impacts nationwide. To read NRCS’s press release, click here.

Department of Interior partners with CoalitionWILD for next generation of conservation leaders

Last week, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced a partnership with CoalitionWILD to prepare the next generation of conservation leaders with valuable skills, professional mentorship, and networking opportunities. The commitment of the two partners provides an opportunity for collaboration between the federal government and the non-profit, which is run entirely by young people, to develop innovative projects, activities, and events focused on environmentalism. This partnership will connect young conservation leaders with conservation professionals and experts, allowing for innovative projects and strengthening the future of conservation. To read the press release about this partnership, click here.

This month, we shine the spotlight on NACD Soil Health Champion Mike Starkey from Brownsburg, Indiana. Mike is the supervisor for Hendricks County Soil and Water Conservation District and president of the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Mike farms corn, soybean, and wheat, and raises beef for the freezer-beef market on his family’s sixth generation operation, M&J Starkey Farms. The farm has been 100% no-till for 15 years and has used cover crops for over 10 years.

Starkey lends his experiences and expertise through articles, videos, and interviews to help others understand the value that these soil health practices have on his bottom line and the environment. He states that his experiences with soil health practices have been 99% positive – virtually eliminating flooding on his fields and surviving the 2012 drought with enough improved water retention.

Starkey also opens his farm for tours and events to provide a platform to showcase conservation benefits. Most recently, he hosted an event on August 23, “Before the Harvest” sponsored by the Indiana Farm Bureau, which drew several hundred people and was attended by three Indiana gubernatorial candidates. Starkey took a moment to speak at length to the candidates as well as the crowd regarding the need for improved funding for Indiana conservation programs – one issue being addressed in the upcoming 2017 session of the Indiana General Assembly.

Be sure to check out Mike Starkey’s profile on the NACD website along with the many other members in our network. If you or someone you know is a leader in soil health and would like to become a member of this growing, progressive network please contact NACD North Central Region Representative Beth Mason at or 317-946-4463 for more information.

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