USDA Service Center
Jefferson City, Missouri
April 18, 2000
Eli Mast, President
Roger Hansen, State Conservationist
Steve Hopper, Past President
Donald Jordan, Area I
Tom Lambert, Area II
Henry Heinze, Area III
Kerry Gose, Area IV
Bill Hollenbeck, Area V
Lloyd Gunter, Area VI
Bob Miller, MDC
Bill Wilson, DNR Soil & Water Program
Ben Reed, Employees Association
David Dix, Treasurer
Peggy Lemons, Exec. Secretary
The meeting was called to order by President Eli Mast at 5:00 p.m.
The minutes from the February 28, 2000 were read. The minutes were approved with one change on page 4, next to last paragraph to readů.. 39 positions with 2 watershed planners in Kansas City and 2 in St. Louis. The motion for approval was made by Donald, seconded by Tom. Motion carried.
David distributed a treasurer report. He indicated 3 more districts have paid their state dues since the last meeting. This makes 95 to date. He gave out a list by area of the number of districts who have paid their dues. A motion was made by Kerry, seconded by Lloyd, to approve the treasurer report. Motion carried. A breakdown of expenses from the NRCS Leadership Grant was reviewed. There was a suggestion to put some of the reimbursed funds into a CD or separate fund to draw interest. The number of grants awarded for travel to the NACD Regional Meeting in Michigan was reviewed. A motion was made by Bill, seconded by Kerry, to approve sending David Dix to the regional meeting. Motion carried.
Those who attended the NACD Spring Legislative Conference gave a report on the meeting. Kerry stated he felt the speakers were much better than in the past. Lloyd agreed. A tour is scheduled for Congressman Skelton on Saturday, April 29 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. One of the things he wanted to look at is buffer strips. At the NACD board meeting at this conference, the board voted to increase NACD quota $25 per year for the next 2 years. Eli discussed with the Board ideas on how to encourage districts to pay state dues and NACD dues. NACD is the only voice nationally for private lands conservation. A one page fact sheet needs to be developed for districts on what NACD does for them.
Bill Wilson discussed Area Meeting plans with the Board. He had talked with Ray Ledgerwood of NACD for ideas on improving the Area Meetings. His suggestions were to use the Area Meetings as caucus meetings for the Training Conference, or have them only for election years. Some districts have indicated they would like a little less training and more participation from the Board. It was decided to have the Area Meetings the last 2 weeks of July with similar format as last year except for Area 5 where this will be an evening meeting. There will be some open discussion time with suggested topics for discussion including NACD and the employee benefits.
A legislative update was given on the bills being followed in the state legislature. A hearing was held earlier in the day on SB558 where the bill was amended. A copy of the amendment was distributed. The amendment states that the procedure for approval of selling ag-related items will be set in place if complaints are received from at least 3 business entities. A motion was made by Henry, seconded by Kerry and Steve Hopper to support SB558 as amended. Motion carried with 2 in opposition, Lloyd and Donald.
An update was given on the DNR budget, HB1106. The Senate Appropriations Committee has included $1.034 million for benefits and the House Appropriations Committee has included $848.460 for benefits. This will go to a conference committee. An update was given on the remaining bills in the legislature and their current status.
The recent Education Seminar was discussed. Eli indicated he was open to suggestions from the Board and districts on how the MASWCD leadership can better represent them on legislative issues.
Peggy gave a report on the Missouri Envirothon. Regional competitions will be held next week with the state competition on May 4. They expect 20 teams at the state competition with almost 60 teams competition state-wide in regional competitions. A motion was made by Steve Hopper, seconded by Bill, to approve $750 contribution to the Envirothon. Motion carried.
A request was sent to the districts asking how many used the Soil Stewardship proclamation photo and information. Only one district responded that they used the photo, several use soil stewardship information and news releases but they use what they get from NACD. The board decided not to do a Soil Stewardship Proclamation signing this year and use the funds in other ways.
The upcoming NACD North Central Regional Meeting was discussed, a copy of the draft agenda was distributed. Those approved to attend had already been decided.
A copy of the MASWCD web page was distributed. A motion was made by Donald, seconded by Bill, to approve paying for the expenses to date on creating the web page and MASWCD take over entering information from now on. Motion carried.
The MASWCD Policy Book is now outdated and needs to be updated. After discussion it was a consensus of the board to put the Policy Book on the web page and keep it updated this way.
MDC Report: Bob Miller distributed a roster of the private lands specialists, who they are and where they are located. He also gave out copies of a slide presentation about the private lands services program and a copy of the agreement they have with Quail Unlimited. He reviewed an overview of the amount of funds MDC has returned to counties in lieu of taxes on property they own.
NRCS Report: Roger Hansen stated there is a new state home page for NRCS that includes more information than the old page,www.mo.nrcs.usda.gov. He stated that effective April 6 there will be an increased bonus for signing up for CRP, an additional 40% installation incentive, a $2-$5 maintenance incentive increase, and the soil rental rates also changed. Some soil rental rates went up and some went down. It is a County Comittee decision on determination of eligibility. The Conservation Security Program will help those who have been doing conservation and not eligible for other programs.
COMMISSION Report: Bill Wilson reported the next Commission meeting is tomorrow. Leland Burch has been re-appointed by the Governor. The June 21st meeting for the Commission will be in Polk County and will include a tour of the area. He stated they are picking up the pace on the audits, the staff is actively involved in training on the new fund accounting system and cost-share system to be put in use July 1, 2000. The poster winners have now been posted on the DNR website. They are in the process of interviewing for a coordinator who will be based in the St. Joseph area.
Employee Association Report: Ben Reed asked for patience with the district employees as they learn the new accounting systems. He reported on the certification program of the District Employees Association. He stated this does not give job approval, but certifies knowledge and will help in justification for pay increases. There have been 37 certifications given so far, and certification is available in 4 technical fields. One employee has been certified in all 4 fields. $200 scholarships were awarded last year. These are open to any district employee, spouse, child or grandchild. He indicated they are monitoring the progress of the benefits issue in the legislature. He offered assistance from the District Employees Association in the planning, etc. of the 2002 NACD Regional Meeting.
Area Reports: Henry stated Stanley is continuing to pursue the issue of approved use of local funds.
Correspondence: Eli reviewed correspondence received on the Mark Twain Regional Council, a 319 educational grant project at Clarence Canon, Watershed Conference on July 18 request for donations, and a letter from Charlie Kruse of Farm Bureau concerning support for conservation technical assistance funds for NRCS.
Other Business: Eli discussed with the Board the issue of needing some input on looking into revisiting the cost-share formula/distribution and permanent grazing land issues. It was decided to discuss this with the supervisors at Area Meetings to see if they feel there is sufficient concern to organize committees to work on these issues.
The next meeting will be July 6, 2000, at 5:00 p.m. at the Cole County USDA Service Center. There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m. Motion for adjournment made by Lloyd, seconded by Henry. Motion carried.