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)!

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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

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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!

GACD Group Reorganization

Given that the primary partner of GACD and Districts is NRCS, this proposal was offered to reorganize GACD from five groups to four groups, and to align the structure to generally coincide with the current NRCS Areas 1-4. The proposal was approved by the membership body during General Session of the 2019 Annual Meeting.

Changes will officially take place during Fall GACD Group Meetings. All Group VPs and Alternates, including Group 5 VP and Alternate, please assume your regular duties until the change officially takes place.

There will be FOUR Group Meetings this fall where elections for Group VP and Alternate VP will occur.

The reduction in groups caused some Districts to move to a new GACD group. These changes are outlined in the chart below.

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2019 Natural Resources Conservation Workshop (NRCW)

2018 GA Conservation District Scholarship winner Rhys Medcalfe.

2018 GA Conservation District Scholarship winner Rhys Medcalfe.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2019 Natural Resources Conservation Workshop to be held June 9-13, 2019 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, GA.

Available to Georgia’s Rising 10th, 11th, and 12th graders. (Students who have previously attended the workshop are not eligible)

Workshop focuses on the value, protection, and conservation of Georgia’s wildlife, forestry, soil, and water resources, including conservation in Georgia’s mining industry. More than $17,000 in college scholarships will be awarded during the workshop. Features field trips, classroom instruction, and recreational activities.

GACD is managing registration for this year's workshop so you may notice it will be slightly different.  Interested students must first complete the online registration located on our website at www.abac.edu/nrcw . GACD's District Program Assistants who represent Georgia's 40 Conservation Districts will reach out and work one on one with the students to get their paperwork properly filled out and submitted back to GACD Management for final review (no paperwork should be sent directly to ABAC). The DPAs will secure the signatures from parents, Conservation District Supervisors, and NRCS representatives.  The GACD management will upload the information to the NRCW headquarters at ABAC where it will be combined with the payments in order to complete the registration process and email confirmations.  (Payments will come directly to the workshop at ABAC.)  We believe this new system will allow for the students to have more contact and assistance at the local level and still involve all of our partners. 

Flyers and brochures to advertise the workshop are available online at our website or through your local District Program Assistant.

Last year, GACD and Georgia Conservation Districts awarded a $6,500 scholarship to Rhys Medcalfe of Richmond County. Thank you to the following Districts who donated towards the 2018 Scholarship: Alapaha, Altamaha, Blue Ridge Mountain, Broad River, Catoosa County, Central Georgia, Coastal, Cobb County, Columbia County, Coosa River, Flint River, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Hall County, Henry County, Lamar County, Limestone Valley, Lincoln County, Lower Chattahoochee River, McDuffie County, Middle South Georgia, Oconee River, Ocmulgee River, Ogeechee River, Ohoopee River, Piedmont, Pine Mountain, Rockdale County, Satilla River, Stephens County, Towaliga, Upper Chattahoochee River, Walton County, Warren County, and West Georgia.

Early Bird Registration Deadline May 1, 2019.
*Tuition: $175 prior to May 1st, $200 after May 1st

Tuition is usually provided to the students by local Conservation Districts, local businesses, and individuals.

Register online at www.abac.edu/nrcw .

GACD's Alternative Plan Review

GACD has been working the past 12 months to put in place an Alternative Plan Review Program. This Alternative Plan Review Program will allow Conservation Districts (Districts) to offer an alternative technical procedure for completing the District’s responsibility to review erosion and sediment control plans. GACD will begin this program April 1, 2019.

PROCESS

• GACD and Districts execute a Memorandum of Understanding documenting the

procedure for GACD to assist the District in its responsibility to review erosion and

sediment control plans.

• GACD has obtained a group of third party independent qualified erosion control plan

review consultants (Consultants), which may vary from time to time, to provide this plan

review services.

• Consultants selected by GACD must be prequalified with the GSWCC as a Design

Professional and Level II Certified Plan Reviewer. Currently, GACD has approved eight

design professionals as Consultants for the Alternative Plan Review Program. GACD will

consider requests for additional Consultants at each GACD board meeting.

• Consultants are required to review plans within 10 business days.

*If you are interested in becoming a Consultant, please email Executive Director Katie Sponberger at katie@gacd.us .

PRICING

• Consultants will perform these services a fixed fee of $600 ($400 if disturbed area is less

than 5 acres). Consultant’s Plan Review Fee will be a fixed lump sum price and shall

include the initial plan review and two additional reviews.

BENEFITS

The Alternative Plan Review Program will allow ALL Districts across Georgia, in both

urban and rural areas, a means to complete the District’s responsibility to review erosion and

sediment control plans in an effective and timely manner.

MORE INFORMATION

www.gacd.us/altplanreview

COMMENTS?

If you have any comments or suggestions, please email Katie Sponberger (katie@GACD.us) prior to March 15, 2019. GACD will finalize these documents and initiate the Alternative Plan Review Program on April 1, 2019.