October 8, 2018

To:  Chairmen of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts
 The quota statement from your Association for the 2019 fiscal year (September 1, 2018 – August 31, 2019) is enclosed.



FY19 District Quota Info  |  Annual Conservation Awards Program  |  ATSWCD/NRCS District 555 Edu and Outreach Grant 

NEW! ATSWCD/NRCS District Directors Travel Expense Scholarship  |  Soil and Water Stewardship Week

FFA Leadership Development Program

APRIL 28 -- MAY 5, 2019


Awards programs, Envirothon, events, education, subscribe to newsletter: 


ATSWCD and NRCS State Conservationist Salvador Salinas are proud to announce funding for the 555 Program will continue in FY19 for all 216 conservation districts in Texas.  Each district can apply for up to $555.00 in matching funds under the agreement.  The payments will be made on a 75%-25% cost share rate.  Districts can be reimbursed for eligible education and outreach activities.  Once the activity has been completed, the district can submit the attached form to apply for reimbursement.  



(When opening the Excel reimbursement forms above, if pop-up box asks, answer Open or Save/Allow)

"TSSWCB is the state agency that administers Texas' soil and water conservation law and coordinates  conservation and nonpoint source water pollution abatement programs throughout the State."

"The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) is the nonprofit organization that represents America's 3,000 conservation districts . . .  The association was founded on the philosophy that conservation decisions should be made voluntarily at the local level with technical and funding assistance from federal, state, and local governments, as well as the private sector."


Soil Stewardship Public Speaking Contest


JANUARY 31, 2019

NEW IN 2019!



The contest is a partnership between the Texas FFA, the Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association of Texas, the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

Event Chairman: Clyde Gottschalk 

email: cgottschalk@tsswcb.texas.gov

Mark your calendars: NACD's Stewardship Week  
begins on Sunday, Apr. 28. NACD’s 64th Stewardship Week will celebrate the theme “Life in the Soil: Dig Deeper".
Stewardship Week gives conservation districts the opportunity to extend the reach of their education programs and educate future leaders on the significance of natural resource conservation. If your district is making plans for Stewardship Week, visit NACD’s new Stewardship Week webpage, https://www.nacdnet.org/news-and-events/stewardship-week/ stocked with resources and materials to help you host a successful event. There you’ll find a toolkit to help organize an exciting week of activities as well as templates for public service announcements, news releases, a proclamation and more.
Don’t forget to submit a summary of your activities for Stewardship Week to the Association.  The Association will recognize the district with the outstanding 2019 Stewardship Week activity at the 2019 State Meeting.

. . . Tamara Daniel, ATSWCD Executive Director

​Monday Minutes, 3/25/19

For inquiries or further information, contact Tamara Daniel, ATSWCD Executive Director:

Phone:  254-778-8741

Email:  tamaradaniel@thegateway.net

    From ATSWCD Monday Minutes, January 14, 2019:    

    . . . The Stewardship Committee and the Association will be recognizing the best Stewardship Week Activity at the 2019 State Meeting during the Association Business Session.  

    Any district participating in Stewardship Week should submit a 250-300 description of the activity along with one photo.  Be sure to include the number of people reached through the activity or the community impact. 

Entries are due by May 10, 2019 and can be emailed to  atswcd@gmail.com.  

​What is soil? This question is not as simple as one might think. If you ask a small child, you might hear that it is simply the dirt under your shoes. Ask a scientist and you might be enlightened with a brief lesson on the physical and chemical properties of soil. But if you ask a farmer, rancher, or a forest landowner you should get a different answer; Soil is life.

The existence and livelihood of all Texas agricultural producers starts in the soil. Indeed, it is their life. It is also reasonable to assume that soil is the foundation for all life. Soil is the building block for the grassland and forest ecosystems that allows for livestock operations, timber production, and wildlife habitat. Our food and fiber crops are grown in the soil, backyard and urban gardens are planted in the soil, and our homes and communities are built on top of the soil.

But something that is unfortunately overlooked by many people is soil biology. Healthy soils are alive with complex communities of bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa, nematodes, plants, and animals. Sir Albert Howard summarized it best in his 1945 book, The Soil and Health:

“The soil is, as a matter of fact, full of live organisms. It is essential to conceive of it as something pulsating with life, not as a dead or inert mass. There could be no greater misconception than to regard the earth as dead: a handful of soil is teeming with life.”

Amazingly, there are more microorganisms in a teaspoon of healthy soil than there are people on Earth. As conservation stewards, we all should manage our lands for the life deep within our soil, not only for those above it. We need to remember the five principles of soil health:

1. Minimize Disturbance – Ranchers utilize rotational grazing, farmers use high residue rotational crops and/or minimal or no-till systems where economically feasible, and foresters use Best Management Practices to protect the soil surface, balance wildlife populations with the carrying capacity of the land.
2. Armor the Surface – Keep the soil covered with vegetation, preferably native vegetation, and control invasive species. This cools the soil, slows water runoff and promotes water infiltration. Armor on the soil is essential during periods of drought or flooding.
3. Year-Round Roots – Having green plants year-round provides benefits from the plant roots, increases carbon in the soil, builds and recycles nutrients, attracts beneficial insects, provides physical protection from natural disturbances, and an opportunity to introduce grazers that bring so much biology to the system.
4. Diversity – Mother Nature loves plant diversity. Cool and warm season grasses with a good mix of broadleaf plants and trees are desirable to create, use, and recycle the nutrients and habitats that plants and animals need to grow. Control unwanted invasive species as they can disrupt soil microbiology, ecosystem health, and water resources.
5. Integrate Livestock – Including livestock provides beneficial biological inputs such as, urine, feces, saliva, hair, milk, and movement, that are important for healthy soils.

Many people might quickly dismiss the five principles of soil health for a variety of reasons. But in fact, these concepts are nothing new. Your local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) has been assisting producers and promoting conservation practices that regenerates the soil and ecosystem health for almost 80 years. Remember that dirt is what was flying through the air during the days of the Dust Bowl, so don’t treat your soil like dirt! Contact your local SWCD to help you develop a conservation plan for your operation, improve your soil’s health, and learn ways to responsibly manage your natural resources.​

For inquiries or further information, contact Tamara Daniel, ATSWCD Executive Director:

Phone:  254-778-8741

Email:  atswcd@gmail.com

The Soil and Water Stewardship Week message is a joint effort of ATSWCD and TSSWCB, 

in partnership with these sponsoring ag and conservation agencies.

Dates and Deadlines.  Travel, Financial, Program & Other Forms


(When opening the Excel reimbursement forms above, if pop-up box asks, answer Open or Save/Allow)

    The Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts is proud to announce a new partnership with USDA-NRCS that will help Texas State Soil and Water Conservation District Directors attend national meetings.

  • Directors will need to submit an application prior to the meeting they wish to attend. 
  • Full details, application, participation guidelines and final reimbursement request forms below.

NACD and Soil and Water Stewardship Week


Helpful links to NACD for SWSW materials:



 AN OVERVIEW OF SWSW:   http://www.nacdnet.org/general-resources/stewardship-program/ 



NACD materials, workbooks, posters, placemats, litanies and more are free of charge.  Create an account and your selection will be emailed in pdf form for you to print.

Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts

The Association of

Conserving and Protecting the Soil and Water Resources of Texas