Annual Meeting Deadlines just days away

There are just over six weeks until NACD’s 72nd Annual Meeting in Nashville, but you only have until the end of this week – Friday, December 15 – to take advantage of the following opportunities:

  1. Register under discounted, early bird prices: Click here to view the registration form.

  2. Donate an auction item! NACD is accepting donations through the end of the week from individuals, organizations, and state associations. Click here to browse the current selection.

  3. Secure a booth in the Conservation Expo – with targeted hours and a range of booth sizes, including premium spaces and XL spaces, this year’s expo will be the hub of activity at the Annual Meeting.

  4. Become a sponsor! Sponsors help to make our meeting possible, and there are myriad opportunities for you and your organization to participate. Click here for more information.

  5. Spotlight your district – the work done by our conservation districts is extensive and significant; discuss your programs, projects, and successes by applying to the District Share Fair.

Although the deadline to secure your room at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center is January 5, rooms are already selling out! NACD has secured an additional room block at the Hyatt Place Nashville/Opryland January 26 – February 1 for $174 per night. A complimentary shuttle to and from the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center will be available for guests staying at the Hyatt Place Nashville/Opryland.

Tours are beginning to sell out as well – register online today to save your seat, and you’ll save $15 when you do!

Indianapolis Hosts National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health

The second National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health was held December 7 – 8 in Indianapolis, Indiana, providing a forum for farmers and conservation professionals to explore recent developments in the use of cover crops and gain insights on improving soil health. This event was hosted by the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) with sponsorship from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

NACD was well-represented among the attendees and speakers. First Vice President Tim Palmer (pictured here with SWCS Executive Director Claire Lindahl, center, and North Central Region Representative Beth Mason, left) spoke at a session on soil health policy issues, while Mason engaged attendees in the expo hall at the NACD exhibit – showcasing the NACD/Datu soil health case studies and the NACD Soil Health Champions Network.

In addition, members of the NACD Soil Health Champions Network played an integral role in the conference. Keith Berns of Nebraska and Jimmy Emmons of Oklahoma were both headlining speakers, and spoke at breakout sessions, while Mike Starkey and Rodney Rulon of Indiana hosted tours on their farms the last day of the event. Other members from the network traveled in from around the country to attend.

To review the program, list of topics and speakers, and event highlights, please visit the SWCS website.

Henricopolis SWCD, Virginia

The Henricopolis Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) serves the citizens of Henrico County in Virginia, including the capital of Richmond. Through the Urban Agriculture Conservation Initiative, the district provided technical assistance for a farm-to-school urban agriculture project in the Greater Metropolitan Richmond Region. 

The district worked with the Shenandoah Permaculture Institute to design and plan a 5.5 acre farm site. The Cornerstone Community Farm’s design is extremely diverse, an intentional approach that aims to diversify production in order to cultivate a diverse ecosystem and to diversify farm revenues. It is a living laboratory where education and entrepreneurial opportunity intersect to support community health while building young farmers, scholars, and business leaders. (Pictured above: Students from Fairfield Middle School show off a portion of their harvest before the weekly youth-run farmstand. More than 300 students have helped produce and distribute over 10,000 pounds of fresh produce at Cornerstone Farm during spring and summer 2017.)

A growing partner coalition supports the operation of the farm itself, as well as its programs. Sustaining partners include: Henricopolis SWCD, Henrico County Public Schools, Virginia Commonwealth University, Community Food Collaborative, USDA NRCS, Henrico County Board of Supervisors, Henrico County School Nutrition Services, Enrichmond Foundation, Historic 17th Street Farmers Market, and Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.

Among Cornerstone Farm’s greatest accomplishments is perhaps that the farm project exists at all. Only through the hard work of many individuals and organizations did the project come to life. Cornerstone serves as a case study for how future community development efforts might show greater effect when agriculture, education, and civic engagement intersect.

Review your district’s contact information

Last week, NACD debuted new, interactive district maps in our Conservation District Directory. To locate your district, simply click on your state, then identify your corresponding pin! If your district’s contact information is incorrect, incomplete, or missing, please contact NACD Communications and Operations Coordinator Sara Kangas.

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