December 1, 2009


The 61st Annual Meeting of the Missouri Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts was called to order by President Steve Radcliff at 10:00 a.m. at the Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach, MO.

Roll call: Roll call and establishment of a quorum, 51 of 98 possible paid districts were present, (50 needed for a quorum). Introduction of Area Directors and those on the podium. Cindy DeOrnellis is taking minutes in the absence of Peggy Lemons. Ronny Margason will be the Parliamentarian.

Steve Radcliff thanked all those who helped with the conference, especially in the absence of Peggy Lemons. Peggy Lemons could not attend due to a broken leg.

Minutes: Motion was made by Livingston County and seconded by Pettis County to approve the minutes as presented by email and on screen. George Engelbach contested the motion as hard copies of the minutes had not been distributed and he questioned if an electronic copy provided by email was an approved method of distribution. He suggested that the vote to approve be postponed until such time as all districts received a hard copy to review. Motion passed unanimously. The 2008 minutes will be held for approval at next yearís annual meeting.

Treasurerís Report: Treasurerís report was presented and moved to approve and file for audit by Lafayette County and seconded by Audrain County. Motion passed unanimously.

NRCS Report: J.R. Flores stressed the importance of teamwork among our partners. The NRCS, like many other agencies, is facing some budgetary issues. Despite those issues, Mr. Flores stated that his goal was to provide high quality service to Missouriís farmers and ranchers. This spring, NRCS will celebrate its 75th anniversary.

EQIP is NRCS's largest cost-share program, with over 4,500 applications approved this past year. Sixty percent of the funding goes to livestock producers, with the remainder addressing erosion, wildlife and other concerns. WHIP applications were funded at less than forty percent. Over 1,800 CSP applications, covering 700,000 acres, have been pre-approved. NRCS also administers other programs such as WRP, ECP and ARRA. Missouri cooperators received $116 million in assistance in 2009.

Mr. Flores and his agency are committed to helping SWCDís implement their programs. The soil and water program provides $20 million in regular cost-share, with and additional $2.5 million in AgNPS projects. These cost-share practices result in 2.5 millions tons of soil saved per year. The benefits of these programs are realized by the producers, as well as a providing a positive impact on the local economies.

In the future, NRCS will continue to work with its partners to provide high quality programming and services to our landowners. This yearís efforts will include $16.4 million in EQIP funding and $265,000 for WHIP contracts.

Commission: Bryan Hopkins focused on the development of the soil and water program taskforce. The taskforce will collect data which will help determine the programís priorities and improve efficiency. Stakeholders invited to participate will include NRCS, MDC, MDA, University Extension, MASWCD, MSWCDEA, trade associations, LICA and Farm Bureau. A moderator will be hired to help the taskforce. Anyone is welcome to provide input.


Resolution #1: Asking MASWCD to request the Soil & Water Commission allow 10% flexibility of each Districts annual cost share allocation. Wright County moved to accept. Jefferson County seconded the motion. No further discussion, motion passed unanimously.

Resolution #2: presented by MASWCD for approval from the floor. Jefferson County seconded the motion and it passed unanimously to bring the resolution from the floor.

MASWCD believes the policy of not building ponds in timber should be eliminated because: 

There is severe erosion in our timber,

Ponds do provide some flood control,

Ponds provide for wildlife and recreation,

Ponds prevent damage to road culverts and water gaps,

Even though some of these ponds would be built for absentee landowners, they too pay taxes and vote in the city for the soils and parks tax,

Ponds are a storage for topsoil, 

The cost of soil saved in a pond would certainly look better if a more realistic life of the practice was used.  Pond life could easily be extended to 20 years and thus cut the cost per ton of soil saved in half.

Henry Heinze and George Engelbach explained the resolution regarding the amount of erosion occurring in timber areas and the importance of controlling flooding at the top of the watershed, thereby helping control streambank erosion. Kenny Lovelace recommended extending the "effective life" of a water impoundment to 20 years, thus decreasing the cost per ton of soil saved. The maintenance period would not change.

No discussion in opposition.

Audrain County moved to approve. Harrison County seconded the motion. Harrison County then called a question: would the resolution result in a change in NRCS regulations? Steve Radcliff offered that it would not, to the best of his knowledge, would address changing Commission policy of addressing erosion in timber areas. Two-thirds of the districts voted to close debate. The motion to approve the resolution was voted upon, with 5 opposed, motion passed.

There were no other resolutions from the floor. Ronnie, Beverly and Kathryn Braden will address the resolutions.

Bylaws Amendments

The Parliamentarian explained the function of the bylaws. They should be user friendly by the organization. Ms. Margason read through the suggested changes noting that the majority of them were of a "housekeeping" nature. These changes are considered amendments as a revision must encompass more than a 50% change.

George Engelbach questioned who would perform the audit mentioned on Page 7 in Article 9. He requested clarification. Engelbach also questioned the wording on the term of the president in Article 7 Section 2a. He moved the typographical error be corrected. Clark County moved to close debate, motion seconded, followed by a unanimous vote. Clark County seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

George Engelbach questioned the nomination process and noted that no background information was required or provided on nominees from the floor. He also asked who records minutes/happenings at the various area meetings. There is also no provision for a secretary in the by-laws, thereby resulting in a lack of minutes for todayís meeting. There is no wording prepared to initiate a change in the bylaws, but the verbage is available in Roberts Rules of Order.

George Engelbach moved that the office of secretary be established. Moniteau County seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. Ronny will send out a position description within thirty days of the meeting, to allow for comment and clarification. It was requested that the wording include provisions to address the nominating process for area directors and to provide "minutes" of the area meetings.

Wright County (Dan Devine) questioned the requirement (pg. 3) that membership dues be paid 30 days prior to annual meeting, in order for a district to be eligible to vote. He also questioned how it was determined if a quorum was present at area meetings (pg. 4). Christian County referred to Page 3 where it states active voting members must have dues paid in full.

Beverly moved to adopt the amended bylaws. The vote to approve was unanimous.

Policy Approval

Jefferson County moved to approve the policy changes. Vernon County seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

Other Business

Steve Radcliff thanked all who helped make the conference a success.

George Engelbach noted that the association lost a supporter with the passing of Don Fischer and proposed his contributions be recognized in some way.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:20 am.