NEWS FROM NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CONSERVATION DISTRICTS: VAN DYKE OF NEW MEXICO ASSUMES NACD HELM

VAN DYKE OF NEW MEXICO ASSUMES NACD HELM DENVER, Feb. 3, 2017 – Brent Van Dyke, born and raised in Springer, New Mexico, was sworn in as the president of the National Association of Conservation Districts, one of America’s largest conservation groups, at the organization’s 71st Annual Meeting. The NACD Board of Directors elected Van Dyke to lead the member organization at NACD’s 2016 Annual Meeting. Van Dyke served one year as president-elect, and starting now, will serve two years as president. “Brent knows conservation – he comes from the farm and understands how important sustainable agriculture is to not only the American economy, but to people around the world,” NACD Immediate Past President Lee McDaniel said. “Brent also understands that our work as the ‘Voice of Conservation’ includes engaging with our more non-traditional urban and tribal partners. He sees the need to broaden NACD’s base and intends to continue the policies established in my tenure to that do just that,” McDaniel continued. Van Dyke and his wife Kim reside in Hobbs, New Mexico, where they run a commercial and registered cattle operation. The Van Dykes also raise irrigated alfalfa and coastal Bermuda hay in Lea County, New Mexico, and cotton in Plains, Texas. Prior to assuming the presidency, Van Dyke served as vice president of the New Mexico Association…

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HOLLEY, COLLINS, AND BOOTHE NAMED AACD LEGISLATORS OF THE YEAR

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (December 12, 2016) – The Alabama Association of Conservation Districts (AACD) named State Senator Jimmy Holley (R-Elba), State Representative Terri Collins (R-Decatur), and State Representative Alan Boothe (R-Troy) as Legislators of the Year during a recent award ceremony held at the Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach. Click the links below to learn about each award. Sen. Jimmy Holley – Senate Legislator of the Year Rep. Terri Collins – House Legislator of the Year Rep. Alan Boothe – House Legislator of the Year

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LAWRENCE COUNTY CONSERVATION DISTRICT NOMINEE WINS LAND CONSERVATIONIST OF THE YEAR

PRATTVILLE, Ala. (August 22, 2016) – The Lawrence County Conservation District nominee for a statewide conservation award takes home the top honor. Blythe Cotton Company of Town Creek was recently awarded the Land Conservationist of the Year Award at the 2016 Alabama Wildlife Federation Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards banquet. The banquet was held on Friday, August 5, 2016, at The Marriott Legends at Capitol Hill in Prattville. The Blythe Cotton Company is a family farming operation comprised of Jimmy Blythe, Jr., his wife Betty, daughter Jamie, and her husband Kenny Paul Arnold. The farm, located in Town Creek, rotates cotton, corn, wheat and soybeans and uses a diversified cropping system on 3500 acres. Their no-till conservation method has been utilized to reduce soil erosion from 15 tons to less than 1 ton per acre. At the same time, it has increased organic matter, improved soil health, decreased runoff potential from fertilizers and pesticides. Blythe Cotton also uses the latest technology in Precision Agriculture using data collected from yield and soil maps to improve their soil stewardship and overall land stewardship. Lawrence County Conservation District Chairman Allen Pickens, District Administrative Coordinator Henrietta Taylor, and District Conservationist Kathy Gotcher joined the Blythes for the awards dinner. AWF Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards are the most respected conservation honors in the state of Alabama.…

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ALABAMA CONSERVATION LEADERS RECEIVE NATIONAL RECOGNITION

CHEROKEE, N.C. (August 1, 2016) – Two distinguished Alabama conservation leaders receive national recognition. Dr. Richard Guthrie from Bullock County and Barnett King from Crenshaw County were officially inducted into the Southeast Region National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) Hall of Fame on Monday, Aug. 1, 2016, in Cherokee, North Carolina. Alabama’s delegate to NACD and board member, Dr. Carol Knight, presented the honors at a luncheon and ceremony that coincided with the SE NACD annual meeting at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, July 31-Aug. 2. “The Alabama Association of Conservation Districts (AACD) is fortunate to have many distinguished members, but these two stood out to be deserving of this honor this year. Both have demonstrated a life-long commitment to the wise use of natural resources, conservation education, and promoting agriculture in our state,” said Dr. Knight. From his childhood raised on a cattle farm, through his pursuit of education and a career, to today, Dr. Guthrie has devoted his life to conservation. With a doctorate in Soil Science, Dr. Guthrie retired from a 20-year career as an NRCS soil scientist and later led Auburn University’s College of Agriculture as Dean. He sat for 5 years on the Soil & Water Conservation Committee and currently Chairs the Bullock County Conservation District. At age 90, Barnett King continues 31 years of active…

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GRANT BRINGS LOCALLY-GROWN FOOD, EDUCATION TO SOUTHWESTERN JEFFERSON COUNTY

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (July 27, 2016) – Fresh, locally-grown food is coming to southwestern Jefferson County thanks to a $50,000 grant secured by the Jefferson County Conservation District. The District competed against dozens of other applicants across the country for the National Association of Conservation Districts-funded grant and is the only conservation district in Alabama to become a recipient. “We are honored to have been selected for this grant. Fresh food, especially in parts of the Birmingham-metro area, is hard to come by for some. These food deserts contribute to hunger, poor learning in school, unemployment, and health issues, so we’re excited about how this funding will impact the community,” said John W. Morris, Chairman, Jefferson County Conservation District. The Urban Conservation Grant will focus on strengthening urban agriculture by funding a full-time project coordinator who will conduct educational workshops and spearhead the effort to construct a hoop house in the Hillman Neighborhood for residents to learn how to grow their own vegetables. Virginia Ward of Bessemer has 25 years of experience in agriculture and community organizing and will serve as the project coordinator. “I am delighted to have this opportunity to help revitalize this neighborhood,” said Ward. “Our vision is to increase access to food and to be a catalyst for inter-community cooperation. In this part of the metro area,…

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