Friday, June 23, 2017

Conservation Symposium in Lincoln, NE

Our son Jon from Washington, D.C. is spending a few days with us after having been involved in meetings in Lincoln the past week. He has written this blog page  this evening.

National Conservation Partnership Symposium Energizes Attendees
On June 22, 2017, natural resource conservation partnerships, representing national, State, and local conservation agencies met in Lincoln, Nebraska on the Nebraska Innovation Campus. During the single day event, leadership from these organizations had an opportunity to share their successes in delivering conservation to this nation’s farmers, ranchers, and private forest managers. Attendees were challenged to build on the rich legacy of Hugh Hammond Bennett, the soil conservation movement, and the conservation partnership and strengthen our conservation team to future the future challenges and opportunities.
Through a series of individual talks, panel discussions, and presentations, and through networking, attendees shared their own experiences and solutions for what worked in one location might help solve problems in another location.
A very special part of the event was the premier of the new NRCS movie, “Hugh Hammond Bennett – The Story of America’s Private Lands Conservation Movement.” Through a number of original film clips and interviews of modern national leaders in the conservation movement, the new 20-minute PBS-style documentary highlighted the challenges of feeding the ever-expanding world population while the productive farm land continues to diminish.
The symposium participants were honored by the attendance of Carolyn Bennett Weckstrom, granddaughter of Dr. Bennett and Bryan Weckstrom, great grandson of Dr. Bennett
Almost as if Bennett were alive and in attendance, participants were challenged to remember the words, voiced in 1943 --- “If we are bold in our thinking, courageous in accepting new ideas, and willing to work with instead of against our land, we shall find in conservation farming an avenue to the greatest food production the world has ever known …” Hugh Hammond Bennett
The culmination of this event was the inspirational address by the Hon. Dr. Thomas Osborne. “Coach” Osborne inspired the audience with words of trust and integrity, hallmarks to his success as a Nebraska football coach and a Congressman from Nebraska.
The symposium was co-sponsored by the US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD), the National Association of State Conservation Agencies (NASCA), the National Association of RC&D Councils (NARC&DC), and the National Conservation District Employees Association (NCDEA).
             By Jon D. Vrana, NRCS, Washington, DC, 2017.

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