MINUTES

USDA Service Center

Jefferson City, Missouri

March 9, 2005

 

Present

 

Steve Oetting, President

Eli Mast, Past President

Steve Radcliff, Area II Alternate

Don Hicks, Area IV Alternate

Donald Jordan, Area I

Tom Lambert, Area II

Steve Hopper, Livingston County

Kathryn Braden, Taney County

Henry Heinze, Area III Alternate

Beverly Dometrorch, Area IV

Fred Feldmann, Area VI

Roger Hanson, NRCS State Conservationist

Brad McCord, MDC

Ben Reed, District Employees Association

Ernie Calvert, Area VII

Sarah Fast, DNR Soil & Water Program

Harry Robbins, Area VIII

Bill Wilson, DNR Program Staff

David Dix, Treasurer

 

Peggy Lemons, Exec. Director

 

President Steve Oetting welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. Introductions were made around the table. Additions were made to the agenda that was originally distributed.

The minutes from the December 1, 2004 meeting were approved as mailed. The motion was made by Beverly, seconded by Tom. Motion carried.

David distributed a treasurer report. One report is for 2004 calendar year. The other report is a calendar year report for 2005 to date. He also distributed a list of Districts who had paid their MASWCD dues for 2005. 90 have paid in full and 1 has paid partial state dues. There were also financial reports for the MOCREP funds and the CRP-BOB funds. David reported the expenses for the 2004 Training Conference were paid in December of 2004 which makes it look like the expense for the Training Conference was larger than normal since the 2003 Training Conference expenses were also paid in January 2004. A motion was made by Donald, seconded by Beverly, to approve the Treasurer Report as presented. Motion carried. David asked if the mileage rate was still the same and if there were plans for it to be increased. Bill Wilson stated they had not heard anything about the mileage rate being increased. MASWCD uses the same mileage rate as the state mileage rate.

NRCS REPORT: Roger Hanson distributed copies of the draft NRI data for Missouri from 2002. He commented that the sheet and rill erosion has been reduced from 10.9 tons per acre per year to 5.3 tons per acre per year from 1982 to 2002. This information is available for use in the efforts for the renewal of the Parks & Soils Sales Tax. Roger stated that there were approximately $18 million in EQIP funds for Missouri and approximately 62% of the contracts for EQIP were funded. He distributed a chart showing the resource concerns by percentage, and animal waste practices by species. He stated there will be 4 listening sessions for EQIP around the state this week and next week. These locations are Springfield, Smithville, Columbia and Dexter. He stated he hopes to get a few more dollars maybe in July, if so there are sufficient applications and there will not be a new sign up for these additional funds if received. There are 202 watersheds this year for the Conservation Security Program, final rules need to be approved by OMB.A lot of the conservation nutrient management plans are contracted out, however, several NRCS staff have also been trained to do them as well.

COMMISSION REPORT: Sarah Fast stated there will be a conference call for the Commission on March 16, there will not be a Commission meeting in March. The Commission is proceeding with the strategic planning work with Steve Jeanetta. There are 22 SALT AgNPS applications for this last call, there is only enough funding for 8 to 10 of these applications. She stated she expects these to be on the May Commission agenda. Ms. Fast stated the Governor did include the expansion for District Employee benefits in his recommended budget. It is one of a very few expansions approved for DNR. The new director for DNR is Doyle Childers from Reed Springs. He is a former legislator.

DISTRICT EMPLOYEE ASSOCIATION REPORT: Ben Reed stated there are new Area Reps for Area 1: Stephanie Ross and D. J. Engel. The Benefit Committee needs more involvement from supervisors he feels to be more accountable and representative of the District Boards. He stated extra funding for Districts always seems to have misunderstandings. He suggested maybe a fact sheet could be useful on what is allowed with this extra funding to keep Districts from having problems. He discussed with the MASWCD Board the idea of developing a plan for District employee leave sharing. He stated the District Employees Association would be willing to help MASWCD if they were interested in developing a plan of this nature. Ben stated that he felt the joint meeting between the MASWCD Board and the Employees Board was beneficial and he suggested they plan one for this year again. He stated there are 150 associate members this year and he appreciated this very much.

A report showing the NACD quota paid for NACDís fiscal year 2005 which started October 1, 2004 was reviewed. This is the second year since NACD changed their fiscal year to coincide with the federal fiscal year. Eli asked about the amount listed as payment for MASWCD on NACD quota. He felt there was an error in this amount, Peggy will check on this with NACD. Steve Oetting discussed with the Board how to improve the quota payment by Districts. He feels maybe a personal visit with the Districts who have not paid would be helpful. Beverly asked about a list of talking points to use in these visits. There was also mention about Districts who have not paid their state dues. The Area Directors will make the first contact to these Districts to determine the reason for non-payment.

MDC REPORT: Brad McCord reported MDC has held 60 public meetings over the last 18 months. One of the big topics is deer. There was a record harvest last year. It was the first year for the antler point restrictions which was piloted in 29 counties. He stated in those counties there was a significantly higher doe harvest and a significantly lower buck harvest. Brad stated there will be 10 new Private Lands Conservationists put on and most will be housed in the USDA/SWCD offices. He stated MDC is trying to keep up to date wiuth the new people and changes in the state government. He distributed copies of the Quail Academy handout and the Quail Habitat Appraisal Guide. MDC is preparing for some major quail kick-off events. He stated the turkey season was extended to the end of October this past year.

The Board reviewed the Training Conference held last November/December. Steve Oetting commented that an idea maybe to consider is an Internet Cafť. This was done at the NACD National Meeting for the first time this year and it went over very well. Bill Wilson stated the contract for the Training Conference had been rebid and they had received 2 bids with Tan-Tar-A submitting the best bid. Their bid is for 1 year with the option for 2 renewals. He stated the room rate should be similar to last yearís. The evaluations from the Training Conference were very positive. It appears most like the 1-hour workshop timeframe better than the 1 Ĺ hour. The entertainment for the luncheon and the banquet both received positive evaluations. The Board suggested a follow-up workshop on the cancelled check policy at the next Training Conference. Another suggestion was on cost-share management techniques such as percentage reductions or deposits to give landowners incentives to get the work done. The Training Conference for 2005 will be November 28-30.

Those who attended the NACD National Meeting gave a short review for the Board. The new Board for NACD is President Bill Wilson, 1st Vice President Tim Reich, 2nd Vice President Olin Simms, and Treasurer John Redding. The resolutions passed at the business meetings are on the NACD web page. Steve Oetting reported that NACD is making good progress in their financial recovery.

Eli discussed the policy procedure that was approved at the Annual Meeting during the Training Conference. He discussed how the new procedure will work and to see if any of the Directors had any questions about it. It was suggested to include a time at the Annual Meeting for open discussion for issues Districts wanted to discuss that didnít fall into the new resolution process.

Steve Oetting reminded Areas 1-3-5-7 that they will need to have a nominating committee to develop a slate of nominees for Area Director and 2 alternates for the Area Meetings in August. A copy of the nominating committee procedure will be sent to these Area Directors. Steve Oetting strongly encouraged each area to have 2 alternates.

Steve Oetting discussed what committees he planned to put in place and made some committee appointments. He appointed Kathryn Braden to represent MASWCD on the Urban Committee. She, Don Hicks and Steve Radcliff reported on the issues the Urban Committee has worked on this past year. A motion was made by Donald, seconded by Beverly to approve the Urban Committee report. Motion carried. Steve stated since all Areas were not represented today he will appoint a Resolutions Chair and committee at a later date. He initially planned to use the Area Directors as the committee, but has not completely decided for sure.

Steve discussed the issue of having a Sales Tax Renewal committee or was support of the Citizens Committee for the Sales Tax Renewal sufficient. It was a consensus of the Board that the Citizens Committee support was sufficient unless something new developed. Steve also stated that one of the duties of the Area Directors is to review the constitution and by-laws. Copies of the state, regional and national by-laws were distributed. This will be held for the next meeting. Harry Robbins was appointed as chair of the Audit Committee, he will name the rest of his committee.

Steve reported he had been asked to have a representative from MASWCD sit on the Economics of Soil Conservation group working with the University on the economic benefits both direct and indirect of the conservation program in Missouri. These meetings will be mostly in Jefferson City or Columbia. Beverly agreed to be the representative to this group.

The upcoming Area Meetings were discussed. Bill Wilson stated they have started working on the locations and facilities for these meetings. The dates will be the weeks of August 15 and August 22. The first week the meetings will be in Warrenton, Sikeston, Rolla, and Springfield. The second week they will be in Macon, Chillicothe, Savannah, and Sedalia. The same time frame as last year will be used. Some topics for discussion included facts and background and use of the sales tax dollars.

Steve Oetting reported he has been receiving a weekly report from Peggy as Executive Director. He distributed the reports from the last 2 weeks for the Board to review. Several of the Board members expressed desire to receive this report as well.

Areas 3 and 4 currently do not have a 2nd alternate. Steve discussed the issue and how to address it. It was decided that Area 3 will be having an election this summer and there was no need to worry about it now. For Area 4, Beverly will work with Steve and Peggy to decide how to address this.

The compensation of the Executive Director was discussed. There was no increase last 2 years. The year prior to that instead of a salary increase, funds were initiated for retirement. A motion was made by Eli to return to the procedure voted on 5 years ago to automatically increase the salary by the percent increase NRCS employees received. There was no second to this motion. A motion was made by Donald, seconded by Harry to increase the salary 5%. Motion carried. Then a motion was made by Donald, seconded by Harry to make this effective January 1, 2005. Motion carried.

Other Business: Steve reported on upcoming meetings. The NACD Spring Legislative Conference will be April 3-5 in Washington, D.C. Steve, Fred and Peggy will attend. There will be a North Central Regional Board Meeting April 11-12 since the one scheduled for January in Chicago was cancelled due to weather. Fred will attend, Steve plans to if possible. The summer NACD Board Meeting will be July 29-31 in Florida. Steve, Fred and Peggy will plan to attend. The North Central Regional Meeting, July 10-13 will be in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Steve and Fred will be attending this. Peggy will be in Springfield at that time in preparation for the 2005 Canon Envirothon, July 18-24.

Steve reported that the North Central Regional board held a conference call about the letters in Congress concerning the funding for the Farm Bill. The proposed budget did not fully fund the Farm Bill programs and states were urged to contact their Senators and Congressmen/women and have them sign on to letters of support for fully funding these programs. Both Missouri Senators signed on to the Senate letter. Congresswoman Emerson initiated the letter in the House and 2 other Missouri Congressman (Graves and Skelton) signed on to the letter.

Peggy reviewed the plans for the Education Seminar meeting later today and tomorrow morning at the Capitol.

The next regular meeting will be held on May 23, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. at the Cole County USDA Service Center. There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 11:20 p.m. Motion for adjournment made by Ernie, seconded by Fred. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Peggy Lemons      

Peggy Lemons, Exec. Director   Steve Oetting, President