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Pushing the Boundaries Texas Soil and Water Conservation Society hosts Ann

Pushing the Boundaries: Texas Soil and Water Conservation Society hosts Annual Convention

Story by Jaime Tankersley

The Texas Council of Chapters of the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) hosted their 44th annual convention which focused on �Pushing the Boundaries of Conservation.�

SWCS is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization, founded in 1943, that serves as an advocate for conservation professionals and for science-based conservation practice, programs and policy.

The three day event held a multitude of guest speakers, exhibits and family affairs. A rainwater harvesting seminar was part of the opening day events. The Abilene Christian University (ACU) graduate and undergraduate students presented their research on rainwater harvesting while Texas AgriLife Extension and Texas Parks and Wildlife also contributed to the technical tour.

Dr. Florah Mhlanga, ACU Professor of Animal Science, presented research done by a graduate student using six tropical legumes to study agronomic performance and nutritive values. The objective of the study is to help poor rural farmers improve their standard of living in third world countries.

Upon the completing the opening ceremony, the technical program continued with Stephen Hartman, Executive Director of the University Land System and Dr. Dale Rollins, Wildlife Specialist, Texas AgriLife Extension. Presentations covered land and higher education in Texas and Pointing to Quail: The Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch.

�It�s an opportunity for people from various agencies to come together for continued education trainings,� Ebony Benton, outgoing SWCS president said.

�One advantage that the Texas Council provides is that it is small enough that you can build close networks. If I could pass one thing along to new and future members, it would be that what you put in to it is what you get out of it.�

For attendees of this year�s conference, the program continued with motivational and educational speakers. Nancy Robinson Masters, Author and Pilot, had folks up out of their seats and engaged in a full on interactive session. �Turning Your Downs into Ups� was Masters theme, and with that she motivated over 40 SWCS members to rise from their chairs and dance before the segment ended.

A trip to the Fort Griffin Fandangle in Albany, Texas, a master naturalist program by local master naturalist, Roger B. Clark, and the annual Texas SWCS business meeting wrapped up the conference. With the closing ceremonies, SWCS welcomed new president, Laura Broyles. Broyles is currently the Natural Resources Conservation Service District Conservationist in Eden, Texas.

The next meeting will be in June 2011 hosted by Lubbock, Texas. Also, Texas will be hosting the national meeting in 2012 in Ft Worth, Texas. Anyone interested in becoming a member can go directly to the website http://www.tx-swcs.org to locate a registration form.

NRCS is part of exhibiter�s row during the 44th Annual Texas SWCS conference held in Abilene, Texas.

Texas SWCS conference attendees look over finished wildlife rainwater catchment system which was built during day one of the annual convention.
NRCS is part of exhibiter�s row during the 44th Annual Texas SWCS conference held in Abilene, Texas. Texas SWCS conference attendees look over finished wildlife rainwater catchment system which was built during day one of the annual convention.
Participants of this year�s Texas SWCS conference settle in for the opening ceremony. Texas SWCS members were up and out of their chairs for a presentation given by Oklahoma author and pilot, Nancy Robinson Masters.
Participants of this year�s Texas SWCS conference settle in for the opening ceremony. Texas SWCS members were up and out of their chairs for a presentation given by Oklahoma author and pilot, Nancy Robinson Masters.