The Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts (OACD) sponsored "Conservation Day at the State Capital" on March 23, 2016. The Oklahoma Conservation Commission (OCC) cosponsored the event. Several of the state's local conservation districts displayed exhibits at the events along with partner agencies and other organizations.
An awards ceremony was held in the Governor's Blue Room. OACD President Steve House welcomed everyone to the event and then began the presentations.
The Hughes County Conservation District (HCCD) received the "Oklahoma Outstanding Conservation District" award which was sponsored by Community Volunteer, Vicky Mackey of Holdenville. HCCD was recognized for the many programs and services that the district offers. HCCD is one of only a handful of district in Oklahoma which maintains a webpage and Facebook page to keep citizens informed of local events and news. The District hosts two natural resource days at permanent outdoor classroom located at Thomas Elementary in Holdenville and Moss School. HCCD sponsors several youth events including poster, essay, speech and land judging contests, Blue Thumb - volunteer stream monitoring and offers scholarships to a graduating senior from each of the schools in the county. HCCD provides rental equipment and custom services to area land owners to assist them with implementing conservation practices on their land. The District also participates in the State funded Cost-Share Program to help citizens offset costs of implementing certain approved practices. HCCD also oversees the operations and maintenance of 37 upstream flood control structures which provide flood protection on 188,599 acres in Hughes County.
Other awards included "Outstanding Landowner/Cooperator" which was presented to Samuel Grant Victor, Jr. of the Ottawa County Conservation District. This award was sponsored by the Nature Conservancy of Oklahoma.
"Outstanding Conservation District Director" was presented to Jimmy Emmons of the Dewey County Conservation District and was sponsored by the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation.
The 78th Annual State Meeting of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts (OACD) began on Sunday, February 29, and ended on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at the Reed Center in Midwest City. Sunday events included youth contest and awards programs, inspiration hour and game night for those attending the early programs.
Steve House, President of OACD introduced several key speakers during the Monday general session including Terry Detrick, CEO of American Farmers & Ranchers of Oklahoma. Mr. Detrick talked about the importance of being a District Board member and bringing the conservation message to the people of Oklahoma. Mr. Bill Buckner, CEO of the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation discussed the latest soil health initiatives.
The attendees then dispersed into several breakout sessions including: “Now that it’s raining again – what do I do? Back to the Basics with Watershed O&M”. Tammy Sawatzky, Oklahoma Conservation Commission’s (OCC) Conservation Programs Division Director discussed basic procedures needed for flood events and yearly monitoring on the 2,107 aging flood control structures in Oklahoma and possible training sessions across the state. “The Monarch Initiative, Understanding how Private Lands Conservation can have a Positive Impact”. Gary O’Neill, Oklahoma State Conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) talked about the partnership program with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation which will work to restore, manage and conserve wildlife habitat for the monarch butterflies on agricultural and tribal lands. “District Distinction – What makes your Conservation District Unique?” Pauline Hodges, Educator, Conservationist & Historian along with Debi Carnott, Director of the Central North Canadian River Conservation District talked about how each conservation district offers different programs according to their natural resource needs for their area which are as varied as the landscapes across Oklahoma.
The Monday luncheon featured Director and Employee Service Awards and NRCS Partnership Awards. Dale Jenkins, Vice-Chairman for the Hughes County Conservation District was awarded the Outstanding Conservation District Director by NRCS for his work to help the Muscogee (Creek) Nation establish the tribes own Conservation District. Gary O’Neill said Dale was the “spark that started it all” and how his vision had exceeded that of the founders, and that he had made his own mark on the history of conservation in this state.
The afternoon business sessions focused on a wide variety of topics including how to manage stress and then quickly focused on the expected budget cuts and projected effects on the districts. Commission and NRCS staff stressed that this was not the first time districts have faced difficult situations and that districts can survive by working together.
Hughes County Conservation District directors attending the event included: Dale Jenkins, Steve Enos and Leon Barrett. HCCD Staff attending included: Andrea Jones, District Secretary. Amanda Stanford, District Conservationist of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Holdenville Field Office also attended the meeting.
The meeting included presentation of awards during the Legislative Banquet that honored directors and personnel for service. Muscogee (Creek) Nation Natural Resource Conservation Commission was honored by OACD with a Conservation Hall of Fame award as a Friend of Conservation. Ed Mouss, Chairman and Robin Jenkins, Secretary/Treasurer accepted the award. Mr. House then gave an advance screening on the upcoming awards to be presented at Conservation Day at the State Capital on March 23, 2016 in the State Capitol Rotunda. Hughes County Conservation District will be named “The 2016 Outstanding Conservation District for Oklahoma” at the event.
OACD is an independent organization which promotes natural resource conservation through various activities and functions as well as cooperation with legislative bodies at the state and national levels.
Hughes County Conservation District accepts the donation of a 2007 Foton FT824 Tractor from HCCD's first platinum sponsor Vicky Mackey. From left to right: Vicky Mackey, Dale Jenkins-Vice Chair, Sam McClure-Chairman, Harvey Price-Board Member, Steve Enos-Secretary/Treasurer, Clay Meeks-Board Member, Marcus Harjo-Part-time Engineering Aide and Andrea Jones-District Secretary.
The Hughes County Conservation District received a generous donation from local landowner Vicky Mackey. Mrs. Mackey donated a 2007 Foton FT824 4WD 82 h.p. tractor for the district to use in its equipment program. The tractor donation makes Mrs. Mackey the District's first ever platinum sponsor.
Mrs. Mackey and her husband Richard have been long standing cooperators with the District. Mr. Mackey passed away earlier this year and Mrs. Mackey has since cut back on operations. Her donation will help the District better serve the citizens of Hughes County with custom services and with operations and maintenance on the 37 flood control structures across the county.
HCCD Board Members and staff wish to express their gratitude to Vicky Mackey for this much needed donation. Thank You.
Hughes County Conservation District now hosts its own Facebook page and Twitter account. Come visit us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hughes-County-Conservation-District/629920750385167
and on twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/HughesCoConsvDi
During the hot Oklahoma summers, it’s not only the grass that grows. Many landowners are plagued by noxious weeds which infest yards and pastures. These weeds take up valuable land which can be better utilized for livestock because they shade out beneficial forage. The Hughes County Conservation District offers several pieces of equipment for rent to help eradicate these unwelcome plants and other unwanted pests such as pocket gophers.
The District offers the following equipment for rent: yard sprayers at $15/day, pasture sprayers $40/day, a gopher machine $50/day, a hand held gopher probe $2/day, a 2 Row sprigger $20/day and $4/acre, a 4 Row Bermuda Sprigger $40/day and $4/acre, a scraper at $40/day or $200/week with a $25 Delivery/Pickup charge, a root trailer at $25/day, a 3 point seeder $30/day and a 6 foot box blade $20/day.
For further information, contact the Hughes County Conservation District, 419 E. Highway, Holdenville, OK or by phone at 405-379-2570 or by e-mail at email@example.com. For a complete rental equipment and custom services price list, you can visit our website at http://hughesccd.webs.com.
If you are interested in signing up for up to date news, notices and information from HCCD, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) or Farm Service Agency (FSA). You can call the district or log onto our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hughes-County-Conservation-District/629920750385167 or on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/HughesCoConsvDist
The Hughes County Conservation District (HCCD) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable sex, marital status, family status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisals, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs). Persons with disabilities who require alterantive means of communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact HCCD at our office located at 419 E. Highway, Holdenville, OK 74848-4057, phone (405) 379-2570 (voice), fax (405) 379-5926, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To file a complaint of discrimination against HCCD, write the Executive Director, Oklahoma Conservation Commission (OCC), 2800 N. Lincoln Blvd., Suite 160, Oklahoma City, OK 73105, phone (405) 521-2384 (voice), fax (405) 521-6686, or go to www.conservation.ok.gov. HCCD and OCC are equal opportunity employers.