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2023 Events at a Glance
2023 Conservation Awards entries must be postmarked no later than Feb. 1, 2023 More Info
NACD 77th Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA
Soil Health Workshop, Wichita Falls, TX
ATSWCD Committee of 100 hosts Legislative Day in Austin, TX Conservation District Day at the TX Capitol
Tentative Schedule, Hotel Info and Registration Form
Leadership Development Workshop for Directors, Temple, TX
Registration form, hotel block and other info
OF THE 82ND ANNUAL MEETING
OF TEXAS SWCD DIRECTORS
held October 22-24, in Galveston, TX
ATSWCD PRESIDENT'S AWARD
receives the 2022 President's Award for excellence in conservation, ATSWCD's highest annual honor
Bill Gray, 2022 ATSWCD President's Award Winner
ATSWCD Immediate Past President Discusses the Impact of Drought on Texas Ranchers
Fayette county, July 26, 2022
Drought conditions hit Fayette County early this season | KVUE
ATSWCD Immediate Past President Rick Schilling was interviewed by KVUE about the severe drought and its impact on ranchers: watch his video interview above.
In the written article below, Schilling also notes the lessons he learned from the 2011 drought and talks about the conservation changes he made on his ranch to help prepare him for a better outcome during this drought.
Early Drought Conditions Worry Fayette County Leaders
Fayette County has the second-most declared disasters in Texas and faces extreme weather every year, from droughts to hurricanes.
Author: Mike Marut (KVUE)
Published: 11:18 PM CDT July 26, 2022
Updated: 11:18 PM CDT July 26, 2022
FAYETTE COUNTY, Texas — Drought conditions came early to Fayette County this year. "It's something we've had before, but what's historic this year is how quickly the heat has come and how long it has lasted," Fayette County Emergency Management Chief Craig Moreau said. According to Moreau, Fayette County has the second-most declared disasters in Texas. "We get it all: we get the tornadoes, we get the fires, we get the droughts, but we also get the hurricanes and the effects from a hurricane," Moreau said. "We had hundreds of homes under water during Hurricane Harvey." With the heat and dry conditions arriving early, ranchers like Rick Schilling see the impact now and later in the year. "2011 is the closest comparable, but in 2011 … we had some rains in the spring and it didn't get dry until, you know, later. We had an opportunity to make some hay in the spring, but this year, there's just been, you know, basically almost zero hay production," Schilling said. "As a rancher, what you have to do is, you have to make your hay during the summer, well, you know, during the growing season because you feed the hay during the winter when there's no green grass." Without green grass growing in his pastures now, Schilling jokes that his pastures are full of "standing hay." However, he learned his lessons in 2011 after the drought forced him to sell half his herd, some 120 cattle. At the time, he started making changes to his ranch so he and his cattle could better survive another drought. "When I bought this ranch, they were basically three pastures. I cut it up into 13 different pastures. That way I could rotate the cattle and not have them on one pasture too long," Schilling said. "I've done grass planning and brush control too as two other important factors." Even with his conservation efforts as a supporter of the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, the drought still brings concerns. Muldoon Fire Chief Stephen Kelly worries fires have a greater chance of getting out of control quickly. "If any fire gets started, it's going to be more devastating and more difficult to control than in normal times. We haven't seen heat or drought like this in a very long time," Kelly said. "It taxes all of your resources because you've called mutual aid in, and so now you're pulling resources from their districts and their departments and things like that." Firefighters in Fayette County were called to a quickly extinguished brush fire just outside La Grange on Tuesday. Kelly and Moreau added that even if fires are put out quickly, neighbors need to be extra aware and careful. "The best thing that we want to get out there to everybody is don't burn. Don't do anything that might cause a spark: if you pull a trailer, you know, your chains and things like that," Kelly said. "I'd say don't barbecue, but if you're going to do that, make sure there's no issues there. Just think about it." "It's way better if we can stop them from happening in the first place. Don't drive over dry grass. Don't drive over high grass. If you're going to mow, raise the blade a little bit, so it's not producing sparks. Absolutely no using any fireworks right now or any outdoor flame because one spark and can lead to a multi acre fire, could cost somebody their home and could cost somebody their life," Moreau said. KVUE on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube Mike Marut on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
TEXAS SWCDs CELEBRATE
SOIL AND WATER STEWARDSHIP WEEK
"Healthy Soils, Healthy Life" was the focus of this year's Soil and Water Stewardship Week celebration, held April 24 - May 1, 2022. Soil and Water Stewardship Week highlights the conservation and preservation of natural resources and the importance of voluntary land stewardship in promoting a clean, healthy environment and continued strong economic growth for present and future generations.
SWCDs across Texas participated in the annual statewide campaign, providing conservation education and sponsoring events to encourage the wise and productive use of our state's vast natural resources.
Coastal Plains SWCD promotes Soil and Water Stewardship Week with Ag Container Recycle Day.
Area farmers took advantage of Coastal Plains SWCD's Ag Container Recycle Day, bringing in their plastic ag containers to be recycled by US Ag Recycling/Ag Container Recycling Council. Coastal Plains SWCD also offered Triple Rinse Jet Nozzles at the event, which was held at Fairchild Farmers Co-op Gin in Richmond, TX. This first ag container recycling day was a success, with farmers and USAG requesting it to be held annually.
Farmers brought in their plastic ag containers during Coastal Plains SWCD's Ag Container Recycling Day, held to recognize Texas Soil and Water Stewardship Week.
Pictured below: Texas Ag Commissioner Sid Miller signs Coastal Plains SWCD's Soil and Water Stewardship Week Proclamation. CPSWCD also obtained a proclamation signed by Governor Greg Abbott.
Congratulations to the 2022 State and Area Award Winners!
OUTSTANDING CONSERVATION DISTRICT
Middle Clear Fork SWCD #206
Victoria SWCD #346
Red River County SWCD #423
Collin County SWCD #535
FFA LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
2021 Soil Stewardship Public Speaking Contest
Winners of the Texas FFA State Soil Stewardship Public Speaking Contest were announced at the 93rd Annual FFA Convention held July 5-9, 2021 in Fort Worth, Texas. ATSWCD sponsors the Stewardship Public Speaking Contest, providing scholarships to three top winners.
ATSWCD President Rick Schilling Congratulates the 2021 State Winners!
State Champion Breanna Jimenez - East Central FFA
Hailey Tucker, Second Place - Katy FFA
Avery Maas, Third Place - Magnolia FFA