South Dakota Association of RC&D Councils
Recognizes NRCS Support and Three Local Youth Groups
South Dakota State Association of RC&D Councils (SDARC&DC) organized a mini-conference for its spring meeting at the Sportsmen’s Club in Murdo on May 3 and 4, 2010. South Central RC&D hosted the conference with all seven councils represented. Sustainability and capacity building were the focal topics of the conference. Invited guests were Janet Oertly and Kim Brannen, respectively, NRCS State Conservationist and Assistant State Conservationist. Janet and Kim reported on NRCS programs and discussed RC&D program issues and concerns with South Dakota RC&D Council members. Invited speakers were Warren Johnson, Executive Director of the Iowa League of RC&Ds, presented information on RC&D Council’s strategies for a financial stability; Stephanie Judson from South Dakota Community Foundation explained investments, endowments, and other financial planning strategies; Dennis Hook of SD Nonprofit Association presented information for planning for the future of 501c3s in South Dakota. Irene Graves, Extension Educator from Sanborn County, set up a booth promoting the “Goats to Go” project (a state wide project sponsored by South Central RC&D Council). Samples of locally made goat meat and goat cheese were shared at the meeting, A representative from Senator John Thune’s office was present and read a statement of support from Senator John Thune. The Honorable Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (House Representative) representative was unable to attend so SDARC&DC President Ellen Reddick read a letter of support that Herseth-Sandlin’s office had faxed. Following the meeting a tour of the Jones County Turner Community Center was given. Kenny Cook, Poet Laureate entertained the group after dinner. Joe Leichtnam presented the 2009 plaque awards for Cindy Hulm (Tatanka RC&D) as outstanding Program Support Assistant, Outstanding Sponsors for the Parmelee Youth Program (South Central RC&D), and Outstanding Youth for youth works (Badlands RC&D). Joe Leichtnam presented the Jones County Turner Youth Foundation with the National RC&D award they accepted in Washington, D.C. at the RC&D Leadership meeting in March 2010. Two special awards were given to the NRCS state level officials Janet Oertly and Kim Brannen for their contributions and support to the RC&D program. The State Association web site is at www.sdrcd.org and it shows all RC&D Councils’ activities in South Dakota.