OACD State Meeting: Conservation College

The 2008 Annual State Meeting of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts

The Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts (OACD) held its 70th Annual State Meeting at the Reed Conference Center in Midwest City Feb. 24-26. OACD is an independent organization that promotes natural resource conservation through various activities and functions. The meeting was cosponsored by the Oklahoma Conservation Commission.

At the Monday morning opening session Honorable Gary Lumpkin, Presiding Judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals led all conservation district board members in a reaffirmation of the Oath of Office. John Reading, president of the National Association of Conservation Districts, explained a fundraising drive to refurbish the NACD national headquarters in Washington, D.C. At the Monday luncheon, state Treasurer Scott Meacham gave an overview of the state’s fiscal status. Morning and afternoon breakout sessions provided educational programs on flood control, water quality and district management topics.

Conservation Awards

Conservation Hall of Fame

The Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts and the Oklahoma Conservation Commission established the Oklahoma Conservation Hall of Fame in 1985. Each year, one or more friends of conservation and/or conservation district directors are inducted in recognition of a positive influence on Oklahoma’s conservation programs. These year OACD inducted two friends of conservation into the Hall of Fame.

OACD President Scotty Herriman named Paula Templeton of Wagoner and Rick Jeans of Tonkawa to the Oklahoma Conservation Hall of Fame during the organization’s banquet on Feb. 25 during its state convention.
Templeton, named to the Hall of Fame as a “Friend of Conservation,” served for two consecutive one-year terms years as president of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation District Employees. Herriman cited Templeton for leading the effort to inform state legislators about the work done by district employees and helping improve employee benefits.

OACD President Herriman also named Rick Jeans, a Kay County Conservation District director, to the Hall of Fame. In 2007 Jeans completed a five-year term as OCC Area II commissioner and had previously served two one-year terms as OACD president.

OACD President’s Award

The Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts has presented its “President’s Award” since 1983 to one or more individuals or an organization that has shown outstanding support of conservation efforts in Oklahoma or the nation. OACD President Scotty Herriman presented the President’s Award for 2008 to three legislators and a broadcast journalist.

Herriman honored state Sens. Randy Bass and David Myers and Rep. Dale DeWitt for championing conservation program funding at the Capitol in 2007.

Herriman also presented Rob McClendon, broadcast journalist and host of the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority’s Oklahoma Horizon program, with a President’s Award for his longtime coverage of conservation, agriculture and rural life stories.

Employee Recognition

Pat Fentress, secretary for the Sequoyah County Conservation District, received the Adeline Laird Award. The award was established in memory of Adeline Laird, finance officer at the Oklahoma Conservation Commission from October 1974 until her death in 1984. The award is presented to recognize district secretaries or programs coordinators who typify Laird’s hard work, dedication, enthusiasm and caring attitude.

Reva Maddox, secretary for the East Woods County Conservation District, received the Outstanding Conservation District Employee Award from the Oklahoma Association of Conservation District Employees.

Former Governor George Nigh Speaks at Closing Luncheon

Former Gov. George Nigh gave the “commencement address” at the luncheon that closed the meeting on Feb. 26. His personal and political recollections and anecdotes were warmly received and rewarded with several standing ovations.

OACD State Meeting News Kit for Conservation Districts