Registration for NACD’s 2018 Annual Meeting is open!

Registration has opened for NACD’s 72nd Annual Meeting to be held January 27 - 31, 2018 in Nashville!

We have an action-packed agenda planned for you, complete with a line-up of invited speakers from influential agencies and organizations in conservation, agriculture, and forestry.

In addition to the Monday and Tuesday general sessions, the Leadership Luncheon, and Tuesday night’s Appreciation Banquet, our 2018 meeting in Nashville will feature EIGHT tours, a large Conservation Expo and Expo Stage, and the ever-popular NACD Live Auction.

...Registering to attend the meeting is easy – just click here to log in to your NACD online account. If you’ve attended an NACD meeting in the past, you already have an account, but you may need to reset your password.

By registering online, you’ll receive a $15 discount! You can also head to our annual meeting webpage to register and find information on how to book your hotel room at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center with NACD’s special discount price of $199 a night.

P.S. Don’t forget to buy your 2018 Annual Meeting t-shirt! These 100% cotton t-shirts are available in adult small to 4XL sizes and can be ordered until December 30. Please note that your t-shirt(s) will be available for pick-up in the Conservation Expo Hall when you arrive in Nashville for the meeting.

State association executive directors meet in Salt Lake City

Last week, the Utah Association of Conservation Districts (UACD) hosted the nation’s state association executive directors in Salt Lake City for their annual conference.

This year, attendees discussed aspects of association management and marketing, grant writing, conservation policy, and NACD district services with the following speakers: NACD Director of Government Affairs Coleman Garrison, UACD Executive Director Chris Kane, Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts Executive Director Bobbie Frank, The Nature Conservancy, and NACD North Central Representative Beth Mason.

Roundtable discussions and informal networking throughout the conference offered the executive directors the opportunity to compare associations, programs, funding sources, and conservation issues which will assist them as they return to their state refreshed and energized to continue moving their respective associations in a positive direction.

Local tours highlighted conservation education at the Jordan Valley Conservation Garden Park and the local Petersen Family Farm, which specializes in agritourism. For more photos from the meeting, check out NACD’s Flickr.

President Trump nominates Iowa ag secretary to head USDA mission area

Last Friday, President Donald Trump nominated Bill Northey, the current agriculture secretary for the state of Iowa, to lead USDA’s newly created Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) mission area. Mr. Northey, who served eight years as a commissioner for the Dickinson County Soil and Water Conservation District in Iowa, spoke to nearly 500 conservationists during NACD’s Summer Conservation Forum in Des Moines this July about the importance of partnerships and telling our story.

In a press release, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said he looked forward to the confirmation of Mr. Northey and urged the Senate to take up his nomination “as quickly as possible.” If confirmed, Mr. Northey would oversee the NRCS, Farm Service Agency, and the Risk Management Agency.

“Bill Northey will continue his honorable record of public service in leading FPAC,” Secretary Perdue said. “Having served the people of Iowa for the last ten years as their Secretary of Agriculture, and as a fourth-generation corn and soybean farmer, Bill has a unique understanding of issues facing farmers across the nation. He will be an invaluable member of the team.”

Mike Taylor and Michael Taylor, Jr. of Phillips County, Arkansas

Mike Taylor and his wife B.J. farm a delta row crop operation called Long Lake Plantation with their son Michael, daughter-in-law Laura, and grandchildren Merrie Leigh and Wells. The Taylor Family has been farming in Phillips County, Arkansas, since the late 1930s.

Over the years, the Taylors have taken a cotton operation to a more diverse operation which includes corn, soybeans, peanuts, and cows. In the early 1990s, the Taylors started integrating the use of cover crops to combat soil erosion. Today, cover crops are a key part of their operation.

Since the Taylors have been using cover crops on their farm, they have discovered improved soil quality and increased water and nutrient retention in their soils. With the use of cover crops on almost every acre, the operation has eased into almost completely no-till.

To read more about Mike Taylor, his son Michael, and their operation, be sure to visit their profile at the NACD website along with many other Soil Health Champions. If you or someone you know is interested 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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