NACD Conference Expands Conservation Boundaries . . . . (Continued)
James Settlemeyer, Nevada Assemblyman and long time conservation district leader, helped open the conference at Monday morning's general session. He spoke of the commitment three generations of his family have had to conservation and conservation districts. Next, NACD CEO Krysta Harden and NACD Acting President Steve Robinson spoke, encouraging conference attendees to push beyond not only conservation boundaries, but also their own personal boundaries.
Mark Rey, USDA Undersecretary for Natural Resources and the Environment, and Stephen Allred Assistant Secretary for the US Department of the Interior, joined NACD leadership in addressing issues that expanded upon the conference theme, "Conservation Beyond Boundaries." Rey gave an update of the Administration's key concerns for the Farm Bill, reminding the audience that the President has gone on record refusing to sign a Farm Bill that raises taxes or fails to reform the commodity title. Speaker remarks and presentations and other conference resources will be made available on NACD's website at http://www.nacdnet.org.
1. NACD Elects New Leaders
The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) elected new leaders this week at their 62nd Annual Meeting in Reno, Nevada. As a result of a special election, former Secretary/Treasurer John Redding of Monroe, Georgia was elected as 2008 NACD President. The resulting Secretary/Treasurer vacancy will be filled by Gene Schmidt from Hanna, Indiana.
Steve Robinson of Marysville, Ohio was elected President Elect and will take the helm as NACD President in February 2009. Bob Cordova of Colorado Springs, Colorado will remain NACD Second Vice President.
Two new Executive Board members were also elected. Cliff Lundin from New Jersey was elected to represent the Northeast Region on the Board. He replaces retiring Executive Board member Joe Lomax, also of New Jersey. Jerry Snodgrass from Illinois was elected to replace Gene Schmidt on the Executive Board representing the North Central Region.
2. Bylaw Amendments add Delegates, Change NACD Structure
The NACD Board of Directors voted on Tuesday to amend the Association’s Bylaws to include additional voting members. Delegates receiving individual voting rights include Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia and American Somoa. The Bylaw change also assigned the territories to the Pacific Region.
The Board also accepted Nevada’s request to move from NACD’s Pacific Region to the Southwest Region, resulting in an additional Bylaw change.
3. Conservation Partners Speak Out
NACD Second Vice President Bob Cordova presided over the final general session of NACD’s 62nd Annual Meeting. The session, titled “Working Beyond Boundaries,” featured partners from many different walks of life that all share an interest in conservation. Nevada FFA President Jake Baker kicked off the session with words of encouragement and a call to action for conservationists to open their minds to new ideas and not to get caught up in details. USDA Farm Service Agency Administrator Teresa Lasseter spoke to the crowd about the history and future of the Conserve Reserve Program (CRP) and thanked NACD for its partnership and its members for helping to make CRP an effective and successful program. . . . . . (Continued on Page 3)