There are only two weeks until NACD’s 2017 Legislative Fly-In, and today is the last day to RSVP!

While NACD works hard to be your advocate in Washington, D.C., nothing can replace in-person meetings between you – the conservation district officials who do the critical work of implementing and promoting conservation on the ground – and your members of Congress.

If you have any questions about where you should stay, how to get around the city, or the best way to schedule meetings with your members of Congress, please visit our Fly-In webpage or reach out to Director of Government Affairs Coleman Garrison.


Last week, NACD President Brent Van Dyke, CEO Jeremy Peters, and two Soil Health Champions – Kenneth McAlister of Texas and Donavon Taves of Louisiana – met with a cross section of the Commodity Classic’s over 9,200 attendees.

Kenneth (pictured to the right of Brent) and Donavon spoke with producers about soil health management practices and offered locale-specific advice on water management. Are you interested in learning more about the Soil Health Champions Network? Visit our website and check out the SHC spotlight below!

Michael Crowder, general manager of Barker Ranch, is one of six NACD Soil Health Champions from Washington state. In addition to serving on the Benton Conservation District’s board (his local district) and as a state leader for the Washington Association of Conservation Districts, Michael serves as NACD’s second vice president.

(Michael is pictured here, at far left, with his fellow NACD officers for 2017-2019. Between Secretary-Treasurer Kim LaFleur and President Brent Van Dyke is Lee McDaniel, NACD’s immediate past president. To the far right is Tim Palmer, first vice president.)

Situated along the Yakima River, Barker Ranch receives an average of six to eight inches of rain annually. The majority of the ranch is enrolled in the NRCS Wetland Reserve Program, and its primary goal is to ensure year-round habitat for migratory waterfowl such as ducks, geese, and sandhill cranes. To this end, Michael uses both wetland and upland vegetation management for wildlife habitat, incorporating cattle to manage vegetation and no-till farming practices in wildlife food plots.

To read more about Michael Crowder and his operation, check out his profile online. If you or someone you know is a leader 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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