As fall is fast approaching many soil and water districts are planning their annual meetings. This means they are looking for qualified candidates to run for their board of supervisors.
Each district has five board members, and they are elected for three-year terms. The election takes place at the SWCD’s annual meeting.
Residents and landowners of that county can also vote absentee at their local SWCD office before the annual meeting.
Who should be interested in being a supervisor — everyone who has an interest in the conservation of natural resources?
There are many facets to soil and water districts. When the districts were formed, agriculture and soil protection were the main interests. This remains important in many counties, but as time goes on many more components came into play such as water quality and storm water management.
There is a financial side to each district that needs bankers, financial advisers or successful business people.
Due to the budget restrains by all agencies, sound financial advice is needed to help all districts succeed.
Education plays a very important role in every district. This is where teachers come into play. Whether retired or still working, they can be a wealth of information to districts.
Young adults with an interest in the natural resources around them need to get involved to help district make decisions that will impact their future and encourage more conservation. Teaching students how and why it is so important to protect our natural resources could help save time and money down the road.
As I go into classrooms to do educational programs, the first question I ask is, “Do you know what the soil and water conservation district does?”
One day, this little girl held her hand up and said, “My dad is the president of the soil and water district.”
I asked her what her name was and sure enough her dad was the chairperson of the SWCD. She was not real sure what we did, but she knew we helped protect our natural resources.
There is also the promotional side of the districts. That is where everyone who has as interest in natural resources or conservation come into play.
So, if you are interested in grazing or forestry management, crop production, water or soil quality, you should be interested in being a soil and water conservation district supervisor.
No matter what county or state you are in, your local soil and water conservation district promotes conservation.
The saying, “With the right to own goes the duty to conserve,” pertains to everyone.
The districts cannot do this alone, we need your help.
The SWCD board meets once a month to go over financial and office business. These meeting usually last from one to two hours. There is also an annual meeting in Columbus and summer supervisors school once a year in different parts of the state.
The SWCD board members are very special people that have a pride in their county’s natural resources. They donate their time and knowledge to help make their county a better place. We should be proud of these individuals and give them all the support we can.
It takes a dedicated group of board members to help SWCD districts succeed.
You are elected to this position by a group of your peers who have entrusted you with the responsibility of how their tax dollars are spent. So if you accept this position, the time and effort you put forth can impact the natural resources of your county today and in the future.
The stewardship of our natural resources is within the reach of every generation that chooses to pursue it.
Carroll SWCD’s annual meeting will be Oct. 26 at the Villa’s Social Room. Call our office for details at 330-627-9852.
Check with your local SWCD office to attend your annual meeting.