NACD’s Annual Meeting begins Friday!

It’s finally here! The 72nd Annual Meeting of the National Association of Conservation Districts begins this Friday, and we can’t wait to see you in Nashville.

While you’re preparing to depart for the Music City, please visit our Annual Meeting webpage, where you can view the final Annual Meeting program, the Live Auction catalog, and more.

As you pack for your time in Nashville, don’t forget to leave room in your suitcase for your favorite titles in conservation! Books donated to NACD’s Pack-a-Book program will be donated to Dodson Branch School, a Pre-K to eighth grade school in Jackson County, home to 290 students.

The Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center is an expansive property, so be sure to pack comfortable shoes and take any needed medications or equipment with you, especially if you’ll be attending one of our eight tours around the state of Tennessee.

There are plenty of transportation and parking options to get you around Nashville and to and from the airport! Visit our Annual Meeting website for information on shuttles, parking, and public transportation and to reserve your tickets.

Mississippi, Delaware host annual meetings

The 73rd Annual Meeting of the Mississippi Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) was held Jan. 17 - 18 in Jackson, Miss. The meeting featured a variety of breakout sessions, training opportunities, partner exhibits, and an interactive “Family Feud” game (pictured).

Additionally, awards were presented to the many outstanding districts, employees, legislators and partners of MACD. NACD Secretary-Treasurer Kim LaFleur addressed the general session to provide updates on NACD internal and legislative activities.

Last Tuesday, NACD Northeast Region Representative and Policy Specialist Eric Hansen attended the Delaware Association of Conservation District’s (DACD) annual meeting in Dover, Del. He presented district supervisor service pins and introduced NRCS’ new video on Hugh Hammond Bennett. At the meeting, DACD recognized outgoing State President Robert Emerson and outgoing Executive Director Robert Baldwin for their service.

Interested in seeing the Hugh Hammond Bennett film? NACD will host a screening on Sunday, Jan. 28 at 8:00 p.m. onsite at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.

WOTUS Court Update

Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued a ruling which settles the question of whether Waters of the US (WOTUS) lawsuits should be heard in federal district courts of federal courts of appeal. The decision that it is the federal district courts which have jurisdiction does not address the merits of whether the 2015 rule is constitutional and does not impact the Trump Administration’s efforts to repeal the rule. However, it does create some uncertainty because the current nationwide stay of the rule was issued by an appeals court and with this ruling, that court must now lift this stay. For more information on this subject, click here.

Federal government shuts down, reopens

On Friday, Jan. 19, Congress failed to pass legislation funding the government. As a result, the government was shut down until an agreement was reached yesterday afternoon and signed into law yesterday evening by President Donald Trump. This bill, another continuing resolution, funds the federal government at current levels until Thursday, Feb. 8.

The National Conservation District Employees Association (NCDEA) developed a guide for districts to consider when creating operational policies regarding federal shutdowns. To consult the guide and make sure your district is prepared, please visit NACD’s District Guides webpage and scroll to the bottom.

Save the date: Our Farms, Our Future Conference

Join our nation’s leading farmers, ranchers, researchers and educators in St. Louis on April 3-5, 2018 to explore a wide range of innovative, sustainable solutions to agriculture’s most pressing dilemmas.

The Our Farms, Our Future Conference will address major food sustainability trends with presentations by a diverse group of farmers and ranchers using a wide range of systems to produce vegetables, grains, fruit, cattle, hogs, poultry and other livestock sustainably.

Hosted by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT/ATTRA), the conference will feature plenary sessions and workshops for grain, livestock and specialty crop producers, as well as material relevant to researchers, educators, agency leaders and nonprofit representatives.

Eight farm tours will feature sustainable models of rural and urban agricultural production within the vibrant St. Louis food system. Register today to save your spot and receive early registration discounts. Early registration ends on Feb. 22, 2018. For more information, visit

Conservation Planning Boot Camp Opportunities Available

NACD is offering an invaluable opportunity to as many as 70 conservation district and tribal district employees to expand their conservation planning and implementation knowledge and skills by participating in the NRCS Conservation Planning Boot Camp (CPBC) training in Lincoln, Neb.

Seven CPBC training sessions will be held in 2018, one each month from March – Sept. NRCS has reserved 10 seats in each session for NACD to fill with district or tribal district employees.

We have already filled the vacancies for the March session, however, space is available in all remaining sessions April – Sept., and we are currently accepting employee participation nominations. You can find details on the employee nomination process - as well as eligibility and prerequisite requirements - on the NACD CPBC webpage or contact NACD CPBC project lead Phylis Vandevere at

The future of putting conservation on the ground promises to be a competitive business, thus putting more and more pressure on districts to deliver. With this in mind and with help from conservation partners, districts in North Carolina are exploring implementing a "training credit" model to educate and bolster credibility for district officials. Read more in this latest installment of “Did You Know?” from the District Operations and Member Services Committee.

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