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70th Annual OACD Meeting Well Attended

70th Annual OACD Meeting Well Attended

NRCS booth at the OACD meeting
A special Oklahoma NRCS display was created to provide more information about the status of Oklahoma's flood prevention structures, including rehabilitation and maintenance. Oklahoma's natural disasters of 2007 were highlighted, with information on emergency action plans.

Assistant State Conservationist for Operations Gary O'Neill presenting awards at OACD meeting
Assistant State Conservationist for Operations Gary O'Neill presented partnership awards to groups and individuals that made outstanding conservation contributions in 2007.

Conservation...Our Purpose. Our Passion display
NRCS has a new national display booth to go along with the new campaign, "Conservation...Our Purpose. Our Passion." The booth is available through LANDCARE.

Oklahoma RC&D booth at OACD meeting
The Oklahoma RC&D Councils recently got a new display which they set up at the trade show during the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts meeting.

State Conservationist Ron Hilliard presentation to June and Frank Austin
Ron Hilliard, Oklahoma State Conservationist for the USDA-NRCS, presents Frank and Jean Austin with a framed print of their family on their farm near Geary, Oklahoma. The Austins are featured in a national NRCS campaign.

Over 400 attended the opening session of the 70th Annual State Meeting of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts, at the Reed Center in Midwest City, on February 25-27, 2008. The theme of the meeting was, "Conservation College." Topics discussed during the meeting focused on a wide variety of natural resource conservation issues including legislation, upstream flood control dam rehabilitation and water quality protection issues. A trade show and evening entertainment were also enjoyed by all attendees.

At the Monday morning opening session, the Honorable Gary Lumpkin, Presiding Judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals, led all conservation district board members in a reaffirmation of the Oath of Office. John Redding, president of the National Association of Conservation Districts, explained a fundraising drive to refurbish the NACD national headquarters in Washington, D.C.

At the Monday luncheon, Ron Hilliard, Oklahoma state conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), presented the new NRCS national campaign, entitled "Conservation...Our Purpose. Our Passion." which included a short video. He then presented Frank and June Austin with a framed photograph. The Austin family and their farm were one of eight NRCS customers from across the nation featured in the video. Frank recently retired from the Central North Canadian River Conservation District board of directors.

Following that, State Treasurer Scott Meacham , gave an overview of the state's fiscal status. Morning and afternoon breakout sessions provided educational programs on flood control, water quality and district management topics.

Hilliard addressed NRCS employees in a session on Monday afternoon, discussing current issues, the new marketing campaign, and more. Assistant State Conservationist for Operations , Gary O'Neill , gave a report on the current budget situation and status of the Farm Bill. Lanny Miller, assistant state conservationist for programs, fielded questions about program information and upcoming issues.

Former Gov. George Nigh, gave a "commencement address" at the closing luncheon on Tuesday.

The meeting gave conservation district directors and personnel from across the state the opportunity to share their experience and knowledge with colleagues during several breakout sessions and workshops held during the three-day event. The three-day meeting included presentation of awards honoring directors and personnel for service. Special awards were presented to individuals who practice conservation on their farms and ranches.

Part of this story is adapted from an article in the Tecumseh County Wide News
Dee Ann Littlefield, public affairs specialist, Waurika, OK
NRCS March 2008

Last Modified: 03/20/2008

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