Your national NCDEA Board has been very active in 2015 working on NCDEA and partnership activities to further accomplish mission objectives and honor the NCDEA vision created by our founding members nearly 24 years ago.
In January/February at the NCDEA Annual Meeting held in conjunction with the NACD Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA a number of changes took place to the NCDEA Board and Officer team. You can find a complete listing on the NCDEA website at www.ncdea.org.
I would be remiss if I did not take the opportunity to thank a long standing member of the officer team that has served since February, 2003 and completed her service on the team as of February, 2015 – Connie Richmeier of Kansas. Connie started on the officer team as Secretary, and eventually held each position including Treasurer, Vice President, President, and most recently Immediate Past President. The NCDEA Board thanks Connie for her many years of service, and appreciates that she continues to offer her talents, experience, and expertise to NCDEA as needed.
Some of the many activities NCDEA has undertaken since the annual meeting include:
- Signed onto, in conjunction with our national partners, multiple letters urging House and Senate Budget Committee Members to protect mandatory funding for farm bill conservation programs as they consider a budget for fiscal year 2016.
- This was also the theme for Capitol Hill visits when President Tim Riley and Executive Director Rich Duesterhaus represented NCDEA during the NACD Spring Fly-In.
- The National Conservation Partnership quarterly meeting was held in conjunction with the NACD Fly-In. All partners (NACD, NRCS, NASCA, NRC&DC and NCDEA) were present at that meeting. The next quarterly meeting is being planned for August in Washington, DC.
- NCDEA also signed a letter supporting House and Senate Resolutions designating 2015 as the International Year of Soils and notes 2015 as the 80th anniversary of the signing of the Soil Conservation Act on April 27, 1935. The Senate Resolution has now passed and we are working for action on the part of the House.
- NCDEA Past President Irene Moore, and former NCDEA Southeast Regional Representative Mendel Wade agreed to represent NCDEA on the National Conservation Planning Partnership Leadership Team working on the National Conservation Planning Partnership initiative and attended the initial planning meetings in Atlanta, Georgia April 13-14, 2015 and Spokane, Washington July 14. In addition, your NCDEA Board worked to recruit and name additional NCDEA representatives to serve on Action Teams for this effort.
- The NCDEA Board was able to discuss the entire initiative in depth on Friday, June 19, 2015 with representatives from the National Team (NACD, NASCA, NRCS) at their Mid-Year meeting held in Irving, TX, June 18-19, 2015. Your NCDEA Board was honored to have Dick Went (NACD), Mike Brown (NASCA), Leonard Jordan (NRCS), Tom Christensen (NRCS), and Gayle Barry (NRCS) all in attendance for this discussion as well as updates from their respective organizations regarding partnership activities.
- In addition, the Mid-Year meeting proved very productive as the Board reviewed all partnership activities relating to the NCDEA strategic plan, and reviewed and reported on regional employees’ activities/NCDEA committees/NACD Resource Policy Groups and Foundation Committees. The Board also continued work on characterizing and evaluating state conservation delivery systems as part of the 2014 Contribution Agreement with NRCS. One of the meeting highlights was a presentation of local conservation district program activities by Virgil Helm of the Dalworth SWCD, Arlington, TX. It has become a tradition and goal of the NCDEA Board to invite local district(s) representatives to attend their Mid-Year meetings and has proven to be very informative for the Board as well as offer the local district(s) a perspective of the work of NCDEA.
- NCDEA was also well represented at the NACD Summer Meeting in Spokane, WA, July 10-13, 2015. I attended and reported to the NACD Board as well as represented NCDEA on committees and other NACD events, while other NCDEA Board members and representatives attended for committee purposes, as well as continued work on the Conservation Planning Initiative. As information regarding the ongoing work on this initiative is released you should expect to see it disseminated through the NCDEA communications network by the NCDEA Regional Representatives and Board Members.
Other than the ongoing work of NCDEA Representatives throughout the country on committees, policy groups, and task forces, more specific upcoming activities include, but are not limited to:
- The National Conservation Partnership quarterly meeting – August2015, Washington, DC. President Tim Riley will be attending and participating on behalf of NCDEA.
- NACD Northeast Regional Meeting, August 2-5, 2015, Davis, WV. President Tim Riley will be attending and reporting on behalf of NCDEA.
- Arizona NRCD State Association Summer Convention – August 11-13, 2015, Litchfield Park, AZ. Vice President Jeanette Hale has agreed to attend and give a presentation on behalf of NCDEA.
- NASCA Annual Meeting – Sept 29 - Oct 1, 2015 – Corpus Christi, TX. President Tim Riley will be attending and reporting on behalf of NCDEA.
If you took the time to visit www.ncdea.org you may have taken note that there are current vacancies for Regional Representatives in the Northern Plains and the Southwest regions. The NCDEA Board is working to fill these vacancies, and welcome any/all suggestions you may have to assist in this effort. For this or any other questions/suggestions/input you may have for your NCDEA organization, please do not hesitate to contact your regional representative, Rich Duesterhaus, NCDEA Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org) or myself (email@example.com).
NATIONAL CONSERVATION DISTRICT EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION
Timothy M. Riley
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