USDA Service Center
Jefferson city, Missouri
July 8, 2008
President Fred Feldmann welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order at 1:05 p.m. with a quorum established by roll call.
A motion was made by Steve Radcliff, seconded by Bruce Biermann, to move the Closed Session to the end of the meeting and approve the agenda as amended for the meeting. Motion carried unanimously.
The minutes from the May 12, 2008 meeting and the June 19, 2008 Conference Call were approved as mailed. The motion was made by Bruce Biermann, seconded by Harry Robbins. Motion carried unanimously.
A treasurer report prepared by David Dix was presented in his absence. David is experiencing some medical issues. There was also a list by area of the districts that have paid state dues. There were also financial reports for the MOCREP funds and the CRP-BOB funds. A motion was made by Beverly Dometrorch, seconded by Kenny Lovelace, to approve the Treasurer Report as presented. Motion carried unanimously.
He stated the intent of this was to try to put together a summary of equipment available through the soil and water districts. Their goal is to have a web site where an individual can click on a particular county and then it will tell what equipment is available in that county and the contact information. They are asking for contractor information to try to build a database of contractors and what practices or work they do. Bruce Biermann asked if there was specialized equipment owned by MDC that might be available to private landowners. Brad McCord stated that he thought not, but that was the purpose of the survey so individuals could see where these types of equipment were located.
NRCS REPORT: Roger Hansen stated that since the last meeting the new Farm Bill has been passed by Congress, vetoed by the President, and the veto overridden by Congress. He stated the new Farm Bill is even better for conservation. Increased authority for EQIP could give Missouri an additional $5-8 million if fully funded. Roger stated he now has a balanced budget. There are 395 current NRCS employees and Roger stated he plans to stay around 390. There will be some retirements this year that will bring the number to 390. Temporary employees may be hired if needed. There has been a lot of rain and flooding, fortunately the Missouri River has not been a severe issue, the levees have held. The Mississippi River north of St. Louis and some smaller rivers have experienced severe flooding. Emergency funds are normally funded on a storm basis, but there have been 5 severe storms. They are in the process of trying to convince the Office of Administration to allocate emergency funds based on 2 storms, 1 covering the northern part of the state and another storm date that covered most of the southern part of the state. He stated it would be difficult to determine which storm actually damaged what.
COMMISSION REPORT: No report was presented. The July Commission meeting was rescheduled from July 9 to July 29.
DISTRICT EMPLOYEE ASSOCIATION REPORT: Shelly Sumpter stated they are waiting to see what their role will be in helping with the Training Conference. They have also been busy screening calls from Districts concerning DNR memos. She stated they would like to set up a joint meeting with MASWCD and the District Employee Association Board.
Workshop topics for the Training Conference were discussed. A list had been prepared from suggestions received from Districts and added to during the discussion. The contract with Tan-Tar-A has been signed. The Board discussed whether to use a theme for the conference or not. Several theme ideas were mentioned. Then the Board discussed speaker or entertainment at the banquet on Tuesday evening. There was a consensus to have entertainment instead of a speaker. The registration fee was then discussed. This had previously been voted on at $50. The costs that need to be covered by the registration fee include: audio/visual costs, speaker fees, entertainment fees, coffee and break refreshments, registration materials, bags and lanyards. Due to the expected cost of these items a motion was made by Steve Radcliff to set the registration fee at $150 with a reduced fee for employees of districts and partner agencies and organizations of $50 due to limited travel funds. Harry Robbins seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously. DNR stated they plan to continue reimbursement of the hotel room and meals for the Supervisors, and will also reimburse the registration fee for the Supervisors. Steve Radcliff provided an example of a registration bag he received at a recent RC&D Conference. The cost of these bags is $1.97 each which includes a 1-color logo and a $45 set-up fee. He also had a lanyard also from the same meeting which came from a military recruiting office. After discussion a motion was made by Bruce Biermann to purchase the bags like Steve showed and to get lanyards through the military recruiters. George Engelbach seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously. Steve also mentioned to the Board they could all gather items to put in the registration bags.
The NACD Legislative Meeting will be held in Washington, DC later this month. Fred Feldmann, Steve Radcliff and George Engelbach will be attending. Appointments are being set with the Congressmen/women and Senators from Missouri for them. NACD sent a request for information asking each state how the rains and flooding had impacted them and if the impact necessitated emergency action on CRP. The Board discussed this and Steve Radcliff made a motion that Missouri agreed that releasing CRP ground for haying and grazing and continue to receive full CRP payments was okay, but not early termination of CRP contracts penalty free. Steve Oetting seconded the motion. Motion carried (8-1) with Sharon Gifford voting no.
A list of 2008 Area Meeting locations, dates and times was reviewed. All Area Directors present agreed with the locations, dates and times listed. Elections will be held in even-numbered areas this year.
Bruce Biermann reported that his area was finally getting crops planted. At the end of the fiscal year they were able to get a lot of practices completed.
George Engelbach reported some sections in his area were experiencing flooding. He said he is looking forward to the Area Meetings.
Sharon Gifford said her area is still trying to hay. They have had a lot of flash flooding which has caused fence damage and bank cutting.
Kenny Lovelace said they had people still trying to plant. His county was able to claim about 62% of their cost-share allocation which he thought was pretty consistent with the rest of his area. He also stated he had sent out a letter to the counties in his area encouraging nominations for the awards available.
Beverly stated she had received questions about pre-existing conditions with the health insurance for the counties who have not been in the Mercy Health group. She stated the Districts in her have indicated they feel the changes have been mandatory, that they did not have a choice. Several District employees in her area have indicated they are considering leaving the District because of the conditions right now.
Steve Oetting stated that the last couple of years a lot of time has been in getting the administrative cost of the program to where it should be. He reminded everyone we need to keep in mind the percentage of funds spent on the land. We need to learn to be more efficient.
Harry Robbins stated his area had not been affected too much by flooding, their hay is much better than last year. He also stated he has heard some of the same comments Beverly had reported.
Don Hicks stated that the Urban Committee had not met this year yet. He stated that they need to look at their mission. They are trying to get a meeting or conference call set up. He feels that the urban work is all info-ed related which is frustrating to the Districts.
Steve Radcliff his area had experienced a lot of flooding. Some areas had received 5-9 inches of rain in a short amount of time. He had received comments from Districts in his area concerning the changes stating that the changes are rough, and they felt like there was dictatorship, what was the Commission for?
Fred Feldmann reported that his area had people that still had not planted beans yet.
Correspondence: A letter was reviewed asking for comments and suggestions regarding services provided by NRCS managers in Missouri. A motion was made by Steve Radcliff to prepare a letter in response to this request. Bruce Biermann seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
The information for the Women in Agriculture meeting scheduled in September was reviewed. A motion was made by Steve Radcliff to pay the registration for the female Board members who wish to attend. Steve Oetting seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Iowa had sent out a survey about the North Central Regional Meeting. They are looking at when to hold the meeting, how many days and what sort of topics for workshops. The survey was completed as a group and will be returned.
Other Business: Shelly Sumpter stated she had received comments about the lack of info-ed funds and questions as to why DNR Program Office still participates in Earth Day when Districts dont get funding to do such things. She also stated she is gathering information on District Assistance grant totals.
Steve Radcliff discussed the status of the resolutions from last years meeting. They have not been addressed by the Commission yet. George Engelbach made a motion that the resolution process be updated. Harry Robbins seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously. The 2007 resolutions will be reviewed at the next meeting. The letter asking for resolutions for the 2008 meeting will be sent out.
A motion was made by Bruce Biermann at 4:40 p.m. to go into Closed Session to discuss confidential matters. Kenny Lovelace seconded the motion. Vote on the motion was: Fred Feldmann yes, Steve Oetting yes, Bruce Biermann yes, Steve Radcliff yes, Kenny Lovelace yes, Beverly Dometrorch yes, George Engelbach yes, Sharon Gifford yes, Harry Robbins yes. Motion carried unanimously.
A motion was made by Bruce Biermann at 5:55 p.m. to come out of Closed Session. George Engelbach seconded the motion. Vote on the motion was: Fred Feldmann yes, Steve Oetting yes, Bruce Biermann yes, Steve Radcliff yes, Kenny Lovelace yes, Beverly Dometrorch yes, George Engelbach yes, Sharon Gifford yes, Harry Robbins yes. Motion carried unanimously.
The next regular meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 9, at the USDA Service Center in Jefferson City starting at 1:00 p.m. There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 6:05 p.m. Motion for adjournment made by Bruce Biermann, seconded by Steve Radcliff. Motion carried unanimously.
Peggy Lemons, Executive Director
Fred Feldmann, President