NACD responds to president’s FY18 budget request

In a press release today, NACD asked Congress to reject President Donald Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget request that proposes more than $5 billion in cuts over 10 years to farm bill conservation programs.

For FY18 specifically, the president’s request includes a substantial $350 million cut to mandatory funding for the popular Environmental Quality Incentives Program and a $91 million cut to USDA’s Conservation Technical Assistance program – the very lifeblood of voluntary conservation in the United States.

The president has also requested to cut the Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry program by 46 percent ($98 million) and completely eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency’s Section 319 grant program, which helps states curb non-point pollution sources like stormwater runoff. Additionally, the budget would eliminate the Watershed Operations and Small Watershed Rehabilitation programs, which help local communities improve water quality, control erosion, and restore ailing infrastructure.

“We can provide a better approach to conservation than this budget proposal,” NACD CEO Jeremy Peters said. “NACD will work tirelessly to educate our lawmakers on Capitol Hill about the critical importance of locally-led conservation, so come fall, they’ll do what’s right by American taxpayers and our country’s natural resources.”

Perdue speaks to USDA reorganization; NACD responds

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue explained to House lawmakers last week how the USDA’s reorganization will and will not affect NRCS operations. Before House Agriculture Committee members in a hearing on May 17, the secretary testified that NRCS’ personnel and mission won’t change, but “some locations (of field offices) might change from an economy of scale perspective.”

He also said that USDA is “trying to bring the family together to better serve the customer,” so that when customers walk into any USDA office, they’re able to sign-up for a NRCS program and the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Conservation Reserve Program during the same visit.

NACD is developing comments to submit to USDA regarding the proposed reorganization and we will continue communicating any developments on this topic through eResource and other official channels as they occur.

Do you have questions or concerns about the proposed reorganization? Please contact NACD's Director of Government Affairs Coleman Garrison at

Deadline for July Boot Camp session tomorrow

The deadline for state associations to submit district employee participant information to NACD for the July session (July 11 to July 27) of Conservation Planning Boot Camp is tomorrow, May 24.

NRCS Conservation Planning Boot Camp is a three-week intensive training course that thanks to an agreement between NACD and NRCS, conservation district technical employees are welcome to attend for free. If you are interested in participating in Boot Camp, visit our website to learn more about eligibility and prerequisites, and to access participant resources. To read past participant testimonials, check out pages 19 through 21 of the most recent edition of The Resource.

Did you book your stay for NACD’s summer meeting? Have you thought up a theme for our annual meeting in Nashville?

There’s less than a month left to secure your hotel room for the Summer Conservation Forum and Tour in Altoona, Iowa, from July 15 to 19. Visit our summer meeting page to reserve your room, complete your registration, and view the tentative agenda. Early bird registration closes on June 16, so there are only a few weeks left to lock in these discounted prices.

If you have a theme suggestion for our 2018 Annual Meeting in Nashville, submit it here! You have until next Tuesday, May 30 to enter your theme ideas and logo concepts. The winning entry will receive $250 toward their annual meeting registration.

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