Alapaha Conservation District to Offer Feral Swine Control Services

The Alapaha Conservation District is excited to announce their participation in Georgia Association of Conservation District(GACD)’s Feral Swine District Initiative. Landowners in Berrien, Clinch, Cook, Echols, Lanier and Lowndes Counties are invited to participate in the District’s feral swine control services.

Supervisors in picture Left to Right: Derry Bennett/Cook, Jake Ford/Berrien, Carlos Vickers/ Berrien, Owen Prince/ Echols, David Fields/ Lowndes, Bill Darsey/ Lanier, Marshall Locher/ Hog Control Custodian, Jake Atkison/ Hog Control Custodian

Supervisors in picture Left to Right: Derry Bennett/Cook, Jake Ford/Berrien, Carlos Vickers/ Berrien, Owen Prince/ Echols, David Fields/ Lowndes, Bill Darsey/ Lanier, Marshall Locher/ Hog Control Custodian, Jake Atkison/ Hog Control Custodian

Several Conservation Districts in Georgia have partnered with GACD for funding to acquire feral swine control equipment. Conservation Districts then contract with local Hog Control Custodians who perform eradication services within the District.

Landowners and producers across the state report that GACD’s Feral Swine District Initiative has made a tremendous difference in reducing feral swine damage. Farmers who have been forced to make a decision not to plant peanuts, corn, or soybeans in some of their best soils due to feral swine damage are now considering planting these crops.

For more information about feral swine control within the Alapaha Conservation District visit www.gacd.us/feralswine or call Hog Control Custodian Marshall Locher at (229) 444-8616.

Danny Hogan Inducted into NACD SE Hall of Fame

Congratulations to GACD Board Member and Central GA Conservation District Supervisor Danny Hogan for being inducted into the National Association of Conservation Districts Southeast Region Hall of Fame!

Danny Hogan NACD SE.jpg

Danny is a third-generation farmer from Laurens County with a BS in Agriculture from the University of Georgia. At Hogan's Farm, Danny, along with his son Richie, works with his local USDA- Natural Resources Conservation Service office to assist in the implementation of numerous conservation practices to protect soil and water resources. Practices are utilized while growing wheat, oats, peanuts, cotton, soybeans and managing 140 acres of pastureland, 700 acres of timberland, Black Angus and Limousine cows, Paint and Quarter Horses. Danny has hosted legislative tours and field days on his property to showcase and promote conservation practices.

Danny’s passion for natural resources conservation is evident as he has received numerous awards and recognition for his efforts including being named Laurens County Conservationist of the Year, Forest Stewardship Certification and was the 2008 Governor’s Stewardship Award winner for Georgia.  In 2017 Danny was inducted into the Georgia Association of Conservation Districts Hall of Fame.

He is a member of the Pine Country RC&D Council, Georgia Water Council Board, Upper Oconee State Water Planning Council, Georgia Department of Agriculture Equine Commodity Board, Laurens County Livestock Facility Committee, and in 2019 was appointed to the Equine Advisory Committee by State Veterinarian Robert Cobb. He also serves on the Georgia Farm Bureau Equine Committee and is a lifetime member of the American Quarter Horse Association. Danny has previously served as the Laurens County representative on the Farm Service Agency Committee and is Past Chairman of Central Georgia Conservation District and the Georgia Association of Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors, having served two terms. Danny currently represents Georgia with the National Association of Conservation Districts.

Danny is married to Lesia Hogan and they have four children and seven grandchildren.

Summer 2019 Outstanding DPA Lizzie Horton

GACD would like to announce Elizabeth (Lizzie) Horton as Outstanding DPA Summer 2019. Each quarter this recognition is given to a DPA that stood out in supporting their district, agency partners, and community and Lizzie is definitely deserving.


Lizzie has served as one of Middle South Georgia Conservation District’s DPAs in the Tifton USDA Service Center since April of 2018 where she quickly learned and excelled in providing conservation planning support. “Lizzie is a very hard worker and does everything that’s needed. I can show her anything once and she has it down. That has meant a lot.” says Craig Bevan, District Conservationist, Tifton, GA.

Lizzie has offered assistance to numerous outreach events including representing NRCS and GACD at the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, school outreach, and volunteering at the Natural Resources Conservation Workshop (NRCW), held at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, her alma mater.“Lizzie has been instrumental to NRCW the past two years. Her familiarity with the campus and staff was monumental to those new to the workshop. You can really tell she has a love for what she does,” stated Michelle Boone, NRCW Director.

Brian Ponder, GACD Board Member and Middle South GA District Supervisor, says"Lizzie has been such an asset to our district as well as a help to NRCS. She is a pleasure to work with and we can trust that no matter the task given to her she always exceeds our expectations"

CONGRATULATIONS LIZZIE!

Broad River Conservation District Now Offering Feral Swine Control Services

Hog Control Custodian Tracy Cagle, District Program Assistant Annalise Sampson, District Supervisor Vance Maddox.

Hog Control Custodian Tracy Cagle, District Program Assistant Annalise Sampson, District Supervisor Vance Maddox.

The Broad River Conservation District is excited to announce their participation in Georgia Association of Conservation District’s (GACD)’s Feral Swine District Initiative. Landowners in Franklin, Elbert, Hart, Madison, Banks, Oglethorpe, and Wilkes Counties are invited to participate in the District’s feral swine control services.

Following an Initiative spearheaded by the Brier Creek Conservation District in partnership with GACD, several Conservation Districts in Georgia have acquired feral swine control equipment and are contracting with local Hog Control Custodians to eradicate feral swine within the District.

Landowners and producers across the state report that the Feral Swine District Initiative has made a tremendous difference in reducing feral hog damage. Farmers who have been forced to make a decision not to plant peanuts, corn, or soybeans in some of their best soils due to feral swine damage are now considering planting these crops.

For more information about feral swine control within the Broad River Conservation District visit www.gacd.us/feralswine , call 1-833-411-GACD or email District Program Assistant Annalise Sampson at Annalise.sampson@gacd.us

GACD Vice President and local District Supervisor enters partnership with Wrangler

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Marty McLendon, GACD Vice President and Chair of the Flint River Conservation District, is no stranger to the importance of utilizing conservation practices on his 8,800 acre commercial farm in Calhoun County, GA. In partnership with his local NRCS office, McLendon had assistance with the implementation of practices like cover crops, crop rotation, and conservation tillage which not only conserves natural resources but also improves production efficiency on his farm.

Only five cotton growers in the United States were given the opportunity to partner with Wrangler on their Wrangler Rooted Collection of jeans and t-shirts which honors producers who implement conservation practices. McLendon was one of the lucky five due to his diligence to stewardship of the land and soil health. Wrangler plans to source 100% of its cotton from farms using soil health practices by 2025.

GACD Board Member and Middle South GA Conservation District Supervisor Brian Ponder has also turned to retail with his company, Southern Drawl, that boasts sheets made from Georgia grown cotton.

Products like the Wrangler Rooted Collection and Southern Drawl provide a direct connection to local, conservation minded farmers that help make the clothing you wear and products you use every day.

Click here to purchase from the Wrangler Rooted Collection.

Click here to Purchase from Southern Drawl Cotton.

2019 NRCW Scholarship & Award Winners

Every year, Conservation Districts in Georgia sponsor high school students to attend the Natural Resources Conservation Workshop (NRCW) held annually at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, GA. The 5 day Workshop allows students to take part in lectures and hands-on activities to boost their knowledge of Georgia’s vital natural resources. It also provides them with a taste of college life while delivering valuable insight into careers in agriculture and natural resources through their counselors and instructors.
Over $17,000 in scholarships was awarded at the event.

Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to Conservation Districts for providing this opportunity for the students!

Georgia's Conservation Districts and GACD provided a $6,500 scholarship to the overall highest scoring individual at this years  Natural Resources Conservation Workshop .  Congratulations to our 2019 Scholarship Winner, Nate Mooney! Nathan resides in Ellijay, GA and is an upcoming senior at Gilmer County High School. Nathan was sponsored by the Limestone Valley Conservation District.   Thank you to the following Conservation Districts for their generous donation to the scholarship: Alapaha,    Altamaha Soil and Water Conservation District   , Blue Ridge Mountain,    Brier Creek and Columbia County Soil and Water Conservation Districts   , Broad River,    Catoosa County Conservation District   , Central Georgia, Clayton County, Coastal, Cobb County,    Coosa River Soil & Water Conservation District   ,    DeKalb County Soil and Water Conservation District   ,    Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District   ,    Fulton County Soil and Water Conservation District   , Gwinnett County, Hall County,    Henry County Soil and Water Conservation District   , Lamar County, Limestone Valley, Lincoln County, Lower Chattahoochee River, McDuffie County, Middle South Georgia, Ocmulgee River,    Oconee River Soil and Water Conservation District   , Ogeechee River, Ohoopee River, Piedmont, Pine Mountain, Rockdale County, Satilla River, Towaliga , Upper Chattahoochee River, Walton County,    West Georgia Soil and Water Conservation District

Georgia's Conservation Districts and GACD provided a $6,500 scholarship to the overall highest scoring individual at this years Natural Resources Conservation Workshop.

Congratulations to our 2019 Scholarship Winner, Nate Mooney!
Nathan resides in Ellijay, GA and is an upcoming senior at Gilmer County High School. Nathan was sponsored by the Limestone Valley Conservation District.

Thank you to the following Conservation Districts for their generous donation to the scholarship:
Alapaha,
Altamaha Soil and Water Conservation District, Blue Ridge Mountain, Brier Creek and Columbia County Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Broad River, Catoosa County Conservation District, Central Georgia, Clayton County, Coastal, Cobb County, Coosa River Soil & Water Conservation District, DeKalb County Soil and Water Conservation District, Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District, Fulton County Soil and Water Conservation District, Gwinnett County, Hall County, Henry County Soil and Water Conservation District, Lamar County, Limestone Valley, Lincoln County, Lower Chattahoochee River, McDuffie County, Middle South Georgia, Ocmulgee River, Oconee River Soil and Water Conservation District, Ogeechee River, Ohoopee River, Piedmont, Pine Mountain, Rockdale County, Satilla River, Towaliga , Upper Chattahoochee River, Walton County, West Georgia Soil and Water Conservation District

NRCS Chief Lohr Visits Georgia

GACD and USDA NRCS hosted NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr for a series of farm visits and events across the state held June 3-4.

GACD Board Members with USDA NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr, State Conservationist Terrance Rudolph, and Southeast Regional Coordinator for Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) Bill Bailey.

GACD Board Members with USDA NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr, State Conservationist Terrance Rudolph, and Southeast Regional Coordinator for Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) Bill Bailey.

Lohr was appointed as Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in December 2018. He formerly served as Commissioner of Agriculture in Virginia and is an active farmer producing sweet corn, row crops, poultry and beef cattle.

The team visited several farms across Georgia who showcased various conservation practices. Farms included Walters Farm (Producer Russ Walters, Barnesville, GA), Vaughn Farms (Producer James Vaughn, Forsyth, GA), Sleepy Creek Farm (Producer Phil Ham, Forsyth, GA), Harmony Grove Farm (Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, Commerce, GA), Williams Dairy Farm (Producer Everett Williams, Madison, GA), Duvall Farm (Producer Zippy Duvall, Greensboro, GA) and Metro Atlanta Urban Farm (Producer Bobby Wilson, College Park, GA).  Vaughn Farms in Forsyth, GA was also showcased; GACD was able to present Producer James Vaughn with a banner honoring him as the National Association of Conservation District’s 2019 Friend of Conservation for his outstanding contributions to the conservation of our nation’s natural resources.

GACD hosted a leadership breakfast for Chief Lohr and State Conservationist Terrance Rudolph where they discussed recent activities and accomplishments of Georgia’s Conservation Districts.

On organizing the events, GACD President Woody Snell said “We just wanted to share with the chief on a firsthand basis the grassroots efforts of conservation that are being put on the ground all around the state.”

Michelle Boone named as new NRCW Director

We are excited to announce that Michelle Boone has been named the new Director of the Natural Resources Conservation Workshop (NRCW)!

Michelle Boone.JPG

Michelle serves as GACD's Program Manager and provides support to 11 Conservation Districts and 24 District Program Assistants throughout South Georgia.

Michelle has a background in education and is looking forward to having a more hands on role with NRCW!

Congratulations Michelle!

Outstanding DPA of the Quarter

Tish Edwards.jpg

Tish Edwards has been an invaluable asset to GACD as she has proven herself as a loyal DPA that works hard for her district and for her NRCS office. She has represented her district at a variety of events and works actively to promote her district's activities. With the Coosa River District, Tish has been key in maintaining district administrative needs and she has worked to recruit several new supervisors to fill vacancies. Tish has established strong relationships with her district supervisors, her NRCS office, GACD, and the GSWCC. She always works hard to make sure that she is on top of what needs to be done and that her district is in compliance with their duties. She has fully engaged with the poster contest for her district and works to submit posters to the state and national competitions. She even created a district calendar with the poster submissions and has used it as a fundraiser for Coosa River. 

Tish's District Conservationist, Sheri Teems, says "Tish has made huge accomplishments with Coosa River and they are more active than they have ever been in my 30 year career."

Congratulations to Tish for being GACD's first Outstanding DPA of the Quarter! Tish is being recognized in our Spring newsletter. She will also be presented a certificate and a monetary award.

Rural Caucus Luncheon

GACD Group 4 Vice President and Middle South GA Conservation District Supervisor Brian Ponder giving his outstanding presentation on the history and purpose of Conservation Districts.

GACD Group 4 Vice President and Middle South GA Conservation District Supervisor Brian Ponder giving his outstanding presentation on the history and purpose of Conservation Districts.

On March 20, GACD sponsored a lunch for Georgia's Rural Caucus at the State Capitol. The Rural Caucus represents Georgia's rural communities and interests and is comprised of many of our strongest allies in the legislature.

We had the opportunity to network with state elected officials and GACD Group 4 Vice President Brian Ponder gave an outstanding presentation on the history and purpose of Georgia's Conservation Districts! The feedback from Rural Caucus members and Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black was extremely positive!