NACD’s 2019 Annual Meeting is less than a month away. Haven’t registered yet? Online registration closes Friday, Jan. 11. Don’t miss out – take advantage of online discounts to save an additional $15 before prices go up on Jan. 12.

The 73rd Annual Meeting will be held at the Marriott Rivercenter, steps away from San Antonio’s world-famous River Walk. All reservations must be completed by Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.

Hotel Overflow Information: At the moment, the Marriott Rivercenter is sold out for the night of Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. NACD is working on adding additional rooms but has also secured a room block at the La Quinta Inn and Suites San Antonio Riverwalk for 2019 Annual Meeting attendees. The La Quinta is a two-minute walk from the Marriott Rivercenter and features complimentary wifi and a daily hot breakfast. The room rate is $199 per night plus tax. To reserve a room, please call 210-222-9181 and say you’re with the “NACD 2019 Attendee Block.” All reservations must be received on or before Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. Additional information is available on NACD’s 2019 Annual Meeting Lodging and Transportation webpage.

With the 73rd Annual Meeting taking place in downtown San Antonio, urban agriculture conservation will be a prominent topic. NACD will hold an urban agriculture conservation panel during Tuesday morning’s general session, featuring Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association President Andrew Smiley, Abiodun Henderson, founder and executive director of the Come Up Project, and Prince George’s Soil Conservation District (SCD) Manager Steven Darcey.

Darcey (pictured) was born and raised in Upper Marlboro, Md., where he owns a fourth-generation family operation. He served as an engineer for Prince George's SCD for 27 years before becoming district manager in 2013. Darcey is also an NACD Soil Health Champion (the first in the state of Maryland) and will bring insight regarding urban conservation strategies related to soil and water.

Additional urban conservation success stories will be shared during Wednesday's Urban Agriculture Conservation Initiative Symposium. Begin planning the sessions you’ll attend during your week in San Antonio by visiting NACD’s 2019 Annual Meeting agenda webpage.


On Dec. 21, 2018, the federal government shut down, with tomorrow marking a two-week closure. Unlike some shutdowns in the past, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other departments have managed to keep many operations and offices open. At this time, all Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff are at work and their offices are open. NRCS is using funding already approved by Congress to maintain operations, though this funding will not last indefinitely. Call ahead before making the trip to a federal office to ensure that they will be open when you arrive. A document prepared by National Conservation District Employees Association (NCDEA) is available on NACD’s District Guides webpage with suggested items for consideration as conservation districts navigate the shutdown.

On Thursday, Jan. 3, the 116th Congress met to start a new session. Newly-elected members have taken office with Democrats holding the majority in the House of Representatives for the first time since 2010. Democrats now chair all of the Congressional committees in the House and set the committees’ agendas. NACD expects to see more oversight hearings of the Trump Administration and its federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in the coming year. As committee assignments are shuffling, NACD expects members to join and leave key committees in both the House and the Senate and is tracking these changes and their implications for conservation.

With the new session, now is the perfect time to get in touch with your members of Congress. New members face a steep learning curve in understanding all the key issues in their district or state. Help them by sharing information about the role of districts and the issues important to you. For returning members, now is a good time to reach out, say hello, remind them of key issues, and thank them for their role in passing the 2018 Farm Bill. Find contact information for Representatives and Senators on NACD's Grassroots Advocacy webpage.


The National Conservation Foundation (NCF) and the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) applaud the various individuals who donated to the Next Generation Leadership Campaign. Through the generous support of so many, this campaign raised over $20,000 to help cultivate the next generation of conservation leaders.

NCF and NACD are diving into 2019 recharged and motivated by the commitment so many people displayed through their support of this campaign and its important mission. Review the testimonials of current conservation leaders on the importance of fortifying the next generation of leaders on the Next Generation Leadership webpage. NCF and NACD look forward to officially launching this program in February at the 2019 Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

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