In April of 2016, Supervisors attending the regional annual meeting for Area II conservation districts in Clay County raised our hands and offered to host in 2017. We are excited to bring Supervisors and leaders from all over Florida to Duval County! Leaders from 17 conservation districts are invited for a farm tour, individual district reports, and agency updates that will impact the region. Specifically, we will hear updates, highlights, and program reports from each Area II District that will allow other Districts to learn and improve our operations. Afterwards, reports from FDACS, SRWMD, SJRWMD and NRCS will update Supervisors about conservation spending and other programs in 2017 that we need to be aware of. Thank you to our list of speakers:
Allen Skinner, Soil Life Consultant Candidate, Sponsor
Russell Morgan, State Conservationist, Natural Resource Conservation Service
Clegg Hooks, Environmental Administrator, Office of Agricultural Water Policy
Suzanne Archer, Technical Program Coordinator, Agricultural Assistance Team
Hugh Thomas, Senior Project Manager, (SRWMD)
Andy Jackson, Area II President (AFCD)
Charlene Richburg, State Coordinator (AFCD)
However, we are beyond excited to feature Duval County at this meeting. All guests are invited to attend a private tour of White Harvest Farm and Farmers Market operated by the Clara White Mission that works to train homeless veterans and low-income individuals for employment through industry-specific job skills - agriculture. Afterwards, lunch is catered by Ashley Street Catering, also a Clara White Mission job program, featuring produce from White Harvest Farm.
Each year the Duval County Soil and Water Conservation District hosts a speech contest for area 6th-12th graders. The winner of the Duval County contest receives a cash prize, plus one student will get an invite to compete regionally and statewide.
This year, we are expanding to host a poster contest for K-12. The topic for both competitions is "Healthy Soils are Full of Life" and speeches are to be no more than 5-7 minutes. Independent research on the topic works to further educate students in conservation and natural resources, while public speaking provides a host of additional benefits. Artistic skills are called on for the poster contest, and all ages are encouraged to participate.
We hope that you, a friend, a relative or a student you know will consider entering in the 2017 annual Joe B. Forshee, Jr. Speech Contest and Poster Contest for Duval County.