Recap: Conservation Leadership Forum and Tour

NACD’s summer meeting in Minnesota last week hosted two panels of guest speakers, several expert presentations, and extensive networking opportunities for our members… And don’t forget the all-day conservation tour!

The Forum’s first panel featured agribusiness reps from CHS, Land O’Lakes, and the GNP Company, and dug deep into sustainable agricultural supply chains. Ian Cunningham, president of the Minnesota Association of Conservation Districts, moderated the discussion and teased out some really important information for districts interested in working with corporations to advance conservation.

The second panel was all about conservation planning and NRCS’ Resource Stewardship Evaluation tool. For those of you that are interested in learning more about this tool, reach out to your local conservation district or NACD. If you’d like the PowerPoint presentations referenced during this panel, or the other presentations (including that inspiring session on leadership), email NACD Communications and Operations Coordinator Sara Kangas.

If you missed the tour, but would like to hear (and see!) the highlights, check out NACD’s Facebook and NACD’s Blog – and feel free to share!

NACD Soil Health Network and NSTA collaborate

The Northern Seed Trade Association (NSTA) highlighted NACD’s Soil Health Champions Network during their annual meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota, last week. NACD’s North Central Representative Beth Mason, along with NACD soil health champs Jack Herricks of Cashton, Wisconsin, and Mark Ditlevson of Owatonna, Minnesota, presented at the conference and offered practical perspectives on soil health.

Throughout the conference, Herricks (pictured on the right) and Ditlevson (on the left) were able to meet with attendees and tell their conservation stories. Both soil health champs have learned a great deal about cover crops, no-till, and other conservation practices over the years, so they had plenty to share! They answered questions about seeding and seeds, application of fertilizer, cover crops, transitioning between crops, and how to build overall soil health.

As the Soil Health Champion Network continues to grow in membership, NACD continues to promote opportunities for Soil Health Champions to share their wealth of knowledge through outreach. For more information on this network and how to become a member, please contact Beth Mason.

Call for proposals: NACD U&C webinars

The deadline for submitting presentation proposals for next year’s NACD Urban and Community webinar series – July 30 – is fast approaching. These popular webinars, sponsored by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, have covered a variety of urban and community conservation topics over the past four years.

You can view a full list of archived webinars here. Past webinars have been led by conservation districts, as well as other entities, and have served as opportunities to share information about conservation projects and programs. They are held on the third Thursday of each month from 12:00pm to 1:00pm EDT.

If you would like to give a presentation, send a brief paragraph describing the program/project you’d like to showcase to NACD Northern Plains Representative Deb Bogar. You’re also welcome to send suggestions for future webinars to Deb, too, by July 30.

Minnesotan conservation district provides free water testing

The Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), along with the cities of St. Martin and Kimball, and Minnesota’s Agriculture and Health Departments, are hosting two nitrate water-testing clinics on Tuesday, August 2 and Thursday, August 4, from 4:00pm to 7:00pm CDT. Tuesday’s clinic will be hosted by the City of St. Martin at the St. Martin City Hall and Thursday’s will be hosted by Kimball at the Kimball City Hall.

To participate in the free testing clinics, bring your water sample to one of the clinics or drop off a sample at the Stearns County SWCD Office. For more information on proper sample collection or managing nitrate sources, contact the Stearns County SWCD at (320) 251-7800 ext 3 or visit their website.

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