MINUTES

USDA Service Center

Jefferson City, Missouri

May 23, 2005

 

 


Present

Steve Oetting, President

 

Kathryn Braden, Taney County

Donald Jordan, Area I

Tom Lambert, Area II†††††††††††

Dwaine Gelnar, NRCS

Brad McCord, MDC

Henry Heinze, Area III Alternate

Beverly Dometrorch, Area IV††††††††††

Fred Feldmann, Area VI

Sarah Fast, DNR Soil & Water Program

Bill Wilson, DNR Program Staff

Harry Robbins, Area VIII††††††††††††††††††

 

David Dix, Treasurer

 

Peggy Lemons, Exec. Director

 

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President Steve Oetting welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. following the joint meeting with the MO District Employees Association.

 

The minutes from the March 9, 2004 meeting were approved as mailed.The motion was made by Donald, seconded by Tom.Motion carried.

 

David distributed a treasurer report.97 districts have paid state dues in full and 1 has paid partial state dues.There are still 17 districts that have not paid their state dues.There were also financial reports for the MOCREP funds and the CRP-BOB funds.Brad McCord stated that MDC is interested in extending the time of the agreement for MOCREP.He also stated that the NW region has indicated they have approximately $48,000 in obligations for the CRP-BOB program.A motion was made by Beverly, seconded by Tom, to approve the Treasurer Report as presented.Motion carried.

 

MDC REPORT:Brad McCord reported the deer numbers continue to be a priority to the department.They did see significantly higher doe harvest than in the past and lower buck harvest.The 29 pilot areas with antler restrictions will be the same as last year.He stated that in the future there may be possible changes to the buck permits.There will be no mandatory check-in stations this year during deer season.Hunters can either check in on the Internet or by telephone.Brad distributed a Landowner Assistance Program survey to the Board.He stated there were approximately 11,000 of these mailed out, with another mailing to those who did not respond.There may be a third mailing to those who have not responded also.He stated that urban geese (nuisance wildlife) are an issue.He also stated that the department is working with several soil and water districts to purchase native grass drills.The department will pay 2/3 of the cost not to exceed $10,000 to the district with the remainder of the cost paid by the district or other support organizations.

 

NRCS REPORT:Dwaine Gelnar reported for Roger Hansen who was attending a meeting in Texas.He stated that NRCS is in the middle of a lot of programs and at the next meeting there should be some more information available on the sign-up numbers for these programs.Within a couple of months there will be approximately $18 million signed, obligated and ready to go in the EQIP program.He stated that all of the CAFO applications were funded.Overall 70-75% of all applications were offered a contract.There were EQIP listening sessions around the state with about 10-15 people at each session.The primary reason was for feedback on where the program needs to target resources.There was not a lot of change except maybe for forestry.The WHIP program is winding down, abut $Ĺ million was available.Requests for $3-4 million were received.Additional funds have been requested, and MC is working to help fund some of these requests.In the GRP program about 25% of those who wanted in were accepted.The sign-up for the CSP program is still going on.There were 6 watersheds in Missouri targeted this year.The sign-up closes this next Friday.There has been quite a bit of activity in those 6 watersheds for this sign-up.There is a move nationally to make everything consistent across the states.There will be a national ranking template for EQIP coming out.Missouri is one of the 12 pilots for this summer sign-up.Dwaine also stated that NRCS is changing the policy on prescribed burning in Missouri.This is due to employee safety concerns.NRCS personnel will not be assisting on site with actual burns.Employees will still be trained for prescribed burning, but will assist with the actual burn.There may be some TSPís help with the on-site work and the University Extension may also help with the burn workshops.NRCS will continue to write burn plans.With the new CRP rules there will most likely be an increase in burning.There is some concern nationally about the liability of burning, but this is a state decision.Dwaine reported that they do not expect a lot of change for the 06 budget but the following year may be a different story.Tom Lambert asked about an issue with terraces failing where they were designed and built to specs but those that were overbuilt by 5% did not fail.He also questioned about cost-share for state cost-share and EQIP, etc., on terraces built over the minimum specs.Dwaine urged everyone to let their Area Engineer or the State Engineer know of instances where the minimum specs do not seem sufficient.

 

COMMISSION REPORT: Sarah Fast reported there are a couple of new Commissioners.They are Kathryn Braden of Taney County and Richard Fordyce of Harrison County.They are replacing Phil Luebbering and Larry Furbeck.The sales tax renewal will be on the ballot in 2006.She expressed appreciation for the Associationís work on this legislative effort.The Commissionís new strategic plan is continuing to progress.The Commission will look at the draft plan tomorrow at their meeting.Intentions are to send the draft plan out to the districts as well.They hope to have a final plan by the Training Conference this year.Rose Marie Hopkins has taken a job with Economic Development.The audits are ongoing, they hope to do 35 this year.The Watershed bill was approved changing the requirement of living in the watershed.†† The budget was approved with the expansion for District Assistance for benefits.

 

DISTRICT EMPLOYEE ASSOCIATION REPORT:Ben Reed was not able to stay for the meeting, however Steve Oetting discussed the issue of a % increase in District Assistance as discussed in the joint meeting.The decision was that it would be better to have MASWCD request this from the Commission.Steve will not be at the Commission meeting tomorrow, this will be discussed with the Commission next month.

 

Eli Mast was not at the meeting and no information on an NACD quota update was available.

 

Steve, Fred and Peggy reviewed the NACD Legislative Meeting they attended in Washington, D.C. in April. Steve stated they stopped at every office for legislators from Missouri and received a good reception from the rural legislators.The group expressed the need for continued technical assistance funds for NRCS and asked for an even distribution of cuts, not to allow agriculture to take bigger cuts than necessary.

 

Fred reviewed the NACD North Central Regional Board Meeting he attended in Chicago in April.He stated they restructured the regional strategic plan.He felt it was a good meeting, was very productive.There will be a follow-up meeting at the Regional Meeting in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

 

Peggy gave an update on the plans for the 2005 Canon Envirothon.All volunteer slots have been filled at the current time.There are a total of 215 different volunteers signed up.A motion was made by Tom, seconded by Donald, to approve payment of Peggyís expenses connected with the 2005 Canon Envirothon.Motion carried.

 

Steve Oetting discussed the state, regional and national by-laws with the Board.He stated there was a need to have the state by-laws conform to the regional and state.There were several places where minor changes are needed including the length of term of the officers, duties of the past president, and the appointment of the Resolutions Committee.A motion was made by Donald, seconded by Beverly, for Steve to nominate a Resolutions chairman and for the resolutions chair to appoint a committee by the September meeting.Motion carried.At the September meeting a draft of the changes will be available for the Board to approve.

 

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.He read the letter that was sent out to the nominating committees last year.This letter, with a couple of revisions, will be sent out to the committee this year.

 

The upcoming Area Meetings were discussed.Bill Wilson reported the locations and facilities for these meetings have been finalized.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.They are in the process of developing the agenda.There will be a report on the Commissionís strategic plan, audits, and possibly information on what efforts districts can be involved in for the tax renewal.

 

AREA REPORTS:Donald reported his district had been audited and there were only minor issues found.Beverly reported the Morgan-Moniteau issue seemed to be better.She also gave a report on her first meeting with the committee for Evaluating Economic Benefits of Soil & Water Conservation in Missouri.

 

Correspondence:There were several correspondence items to review:Invitation to the Illinois state meeting, invitation to a biomass conference in Georgia, request for support of the 2005 National Boy Scout Jamboree by the Virginia state association, invitation to the awards banquet for the Mid-America Grassland Evaluation Contest, request for support for the 2005 Women in Ag meeting in Joplin, and a response to a letter received concerning issues with a watershed easement.A motion was made by Henry, seconded by Fred, to approve $50 for the Women in Ag Meeting.Motion carried.

 

Other Business:Steve reported on upcoming meetings.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 indicated that normally MASWCD pays for 3 people to attend this meeting and asked if there were other board members who wished to attend.Beverly indicated she would like to attend.A motion was made by Donald, seconded by Tom, to send Steve, Fred and Beverly.Motion carried.

 

Kathryn Braden reported on the last meeting of the Urban Committee.She stated their next meeting will be June 2.Henry stated there was a good article on streambank stabilization in the MO Ruralist that listed a website for the University of Illinois.

 

The next regular meeting will be held on September 27, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. at the Cole County USDA Service Center.There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m.Motion for adjournment made by Tom, seconded by Donald.Motion carried.

 

Respectfully submitted,††††††† †††††

   Peggy Lemons, Exec. Director

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Steve Oetting, President