Help NACD recognize the important conservation work being done around the country at this year’s Stewardship Week celebration on the National Mall! Meet us in the People’s Garden - located on Jefferson Drive and 12th Street SW, Washington, D.C. – on May 5 between 9:00am and 2:00pm Eastern to join the festivities.

All are welcome to join us in celebrating our 2017 stewardship theme: "Healthy Soils Are Full of Life!” Our special helper from NRCS, Sammy Soil, knows just how to make learning about soil conservation fun. We’ll challenge you to a soil quiz and award the winner a set of NACD’s 2017 educational materials. And there is more! Come and share your passion for conservation and the healthy use of our natural resources. For more information, you can reach us at


The federal government is currently only funded through the end of next week, April 28. While leaders in Congress have indicated that we shouldn’t expect a shutdown of the federal government like in fall 2013, NACD is closely monitoring Congress’ actions and speaking with the appropriate congressional committees to ensure they know the importance of conservation programs districts utilize.

While Congress still has work to do to finish out this fiscal year, it is important that Congress hears why programs such as Conservation Technical Assistance are important in the future as well. NACD has created a new Grassroots Advocacy webpage stocked with information and templates to help you contact Congress and advocate for issues important to conservation districts. Whether you serve on your local district board, are a landowner who has benefited from technical assistance, or are just someone who cares about conserving our natural resources, Congress needs to hear from you.

Have you personally contacted your member of Congress yet? For more talking points, click here.

More updates from Capitol Hill:

  • Agriculture Secretary nominee Sonny Perdue is expected to be confirmed by the full Senate on Monday, April 24. Stay tuned for a press release or update from NACD on Monday.

  • President Trump has lifted his hiring ban on federal employees, but don’t expect to see many new hires. By June 30, each federal agency is required to submit a budget that aligns with the cuts proposed by the president. (USDA agencies will need to find ways to reduce the department’s budget by 21 percent.) What’s more, Congress isn’t expected to pass Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations for USDA until September, so NACD expects there will be some uncertainty around budgets and hiring for several months.

Deadline approaching: NACD urban ag grant proposals

Earlier this month, NACD held an informational webinar to answer district questions regarding our second round of Urban Agriculture Conservation Initiative grants. This year, NACD will award grants to 20 urban or suburban districts through this initiative to build technical capacity for agriculture conservation.

This webinar provides guidance for the application process, as well as advice from Muskingum SWCD, one of 42 2016 Urban Agriculture Conservation Grant recipients. The deadline for 2017 proposals is May 14. For more information, head to NACD’s Urban and Community webpage.

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