The Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts (OACD) hosted the National Association of Conservation Districts South Central Region meeting July 21-23, 2019. Individuals from across the region gathered at the Winstar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville, OK to give conservation district leaders, members and partners a time and place to discuss their most pressing concerns and share their most valuable insights.
"We had a great conference with our conservation friends from Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas,and National leaders where we were able to share some of the successes in Oklahoma regarding water quality initiatives, soil health, pollinator projects, and more. Getting together like this to share these stories and being able to network helps us to work smarter and better in conserving the land and our natural resources." said Larry Wright, OACD President.
The event was kicked off with a welcome reception, which included live music with the Shawna Russell Band. Sessions began on Monday morning, and speakers included Tim Palmer, NACD President, who shared Oklahoma highlights from the Conservation Partnership, Kevin Norton, NRCS Associate Chief, who shared new and noteworthy items with NRCS, Shanon Phillips and Greg Kloxin, Oklahoma Conservation Commission, who discussed the National Water Quality Initiative Pilot and EPA 319, Kris Patton, Chickasaw Nation, who talked about Chicaksaw Nation natural resources projects, and Nathan Hart, Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, Jack Hicks, Choctaw Nation of Ok, Emmlie Bragg, Choctaw Nation of OK, and Gary O’Neil, USDA-NRCS, all sharing about Tribal Conservation in Oklahoma.
Monday afternoon included a tour, stopping at the Ryan Ranch, Rock Creek Dam, Chickasaw National Recreation Area, and ended with a private dinner at the Chickasaw Cultural Center where they were joined and welcome by Chickasaw Governor Bill Anoatubby.
Tuesday’s session included speakers Amy Sierger and Kevin Mink, both from the Oklahoma Conservation Commission, speaking on Pollinator Projects and Progress, Gary O’Neil, USDA-NRCS, Trey Lam, Oklahoma Conservation Commission, Sarah Blaney, Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts, Jimmy Emmons, Past President, Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts, and Amy Sieger, Oklahoma State Soil Health Coordinator, sharing more about soil health in Oklahoma and facilitating change, Russ Jackson, Kiowa County, OK Producer & 2019 Leopold Conservation Award winner discussing saving the soil while adding profits, and Jimmy Emmons, Dewey County, OK Producer, OACD Past President, and 2018 Leopold Conservation Award Winner, whose session was, Recovering Tillage Addict.
The event concluded Tuesday afternoon with a NACD listening session, conducted by David Daigle, South Central Regiona Chair, Bill Thomas, NACD South Central Region Executive Board Member, and Tim Palmer, NACD President.