The National Association of Conservation Districts’ (NACD) 75th Annual Meeting is less than three weeks away! Have you registered? If not, register today for only $50! This price will gain you access to both the business meetings from February 1-5 and the convention programming February 8-10. PLEASE NOTE: each registrant must have their own unique email address.
We hope you will join us virtually from February 1-10, 2021, as we celebrate NACD’s legacy through our meeting theme “NACD’s 75th Anniversary: A Diamond Out of the Dust”.
We’re excited to announce that Landin Stadnyk, the youngest elected official in the U.S., will provide a keynote address during Tuesday’s General Session, scheduled for Feb. 9 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern.
A 17-year-old from Georgetown, Ky., Stadnyk is very involved in politics and community service and serves as president of the Great Crossing Student Y. He ran his first campaign for local office in 2018 at the age of 15, and now serves as supervisor for the Scott County Soil and Water Conservation District.
This year’s virtual meeting also boasts an exciting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in Conservation Panel, featuring several industry leaders who will discuss the wide range of operations and clients that conservation districts and organizations work with on a daily basis while framing the conversation around the importance of representation and diversity.
Scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 9 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Eastern, and moderated by Dale Threatt-Taylor, executive director of the Nature Conservancy’s South Carolina Chapter, you won’t want to miss out on an informative and thought-provoking discussion. Learn about the panelists below!
Victor L. Harris is the publisher and editor of Minority Landowner Magazine, which celebrates its 15th year in 2021, and chronicles the challenges and successes of minority farmers, ranchers and forest landowners across the country with the mission to help minority, limited resource, and small farmers, ranchers and forest landowners improve productivity, increase profitability, and maintain ownership of their land.
Harris completed the forestry program at Tuskegee Institute and earned his bachelors of science in forestry at North Carolina State University. He began his career as an area forester with the Virginia Department of Forestry, becoming the first Black forester in the history of the agency. He later joined the North Carolina Division of Forest Resources rising to the position of assistant state forester.
Janie Simms Hipp J.D., a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, serves as the CEO of the Native American Agriculture Fund and was the founding director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative at the University of Arkansas. Prior to launching the initiative, she served as national program leader for Farm Financial Management, Trade Adjustment Assistance, Risk Management Education, and the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development programs at the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute for Food and Agriculture.
Hipp thereafter selected as the senior advisor for tribal relations to Secretary Tom Vilsack and director of the Office of Tribal Relations. Prior to her work in Washington, D.C., at the national level, she has enjoyed a lengthy domestic and international career spanning more than 35 years in the agriculture sector as an agriculture and food lawyer and policy expert. Her work focuses on the complex intersection of Indian law and agriculture and food law.
Michael O’Gorman is the founder/chief agricultural officer of the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC). O’Gorman began farming in 1970, becoming an early pioneer of the organic farming movement. He was hired to run the first organic farm in Salinas, Calif., in 1990. Over the next two decades, O’Gorman produced $250 million of certified organic vegetables for three companies throughout California, Arizona and Mexico.
In 2009, O’Gorman started Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC), launching a national movement to connect military veterans with viable careers and places to heal on America’s farms. He was successful in getting support for farmer veterans in the 2014 Farm Bill, including the establishment of the office of Military Veteran Agricultural Liaison, funding in the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development program and Office of Outreach for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (2501) for groups that helped train veteran farmers and veteran preference in numerous USDA programs. He was also instrumental in the creation of the Microloan at the Farm Service Agency (FSA).
And last but certainly not least, our panel moderator, Dale Threatt-Taylor, currently serves as the executive director of the Nature Conservancy’s South Carolina Chapter (TNC SC). She received a bachelors of science in conservation from North Carolina State University and a masters of environmental management from Duke University in 2011. In 2012, she was selected as one of 30 agriculturalists in North Carolina identified to participate in the Agricultural Leadership Development Program at North Carolina State University.
Threatt-Taylor’s career began as a soil conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and later joined the Wake Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). In 2008, she was selected as district director of Wake SWCD and Wake County Soil and Water Conservation Department. Her new role as executive director for TNC SC has provided the opportunity to build new relationships between soil conservationists and environmentalists across the nation. She also serves on TNC’s North American Agriculture Committee.