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Soil and Water Conservation District Directors to Elect State District I TSSWCB Board Member

TEMPLE — Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) in State District I will elect a member to the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) on Tuesday, May 2, 2017.  The election will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the College Heights Baptist Church in Plainview, Texas.
State District I consists of 51 counties where there are 49 Soil and Water Conservation Districts in the Panhandle-Plains region of Texas.
The current TSSWCB member for State District I is Scott Buckles of Stratford, Texas. Buckles, who has been a member of the TSSWCB since May, 2011, has a farming and ranching operation in Sherman County.
Since its beginning, TSSWCB has been governed by a five member elected board.  Each board member is elected in a convention type election by delegates from SWCD Directors within the state district that the member resides.  With the enactment of S.B. 1828 by the 78th Legislature, two Governor appointees also serve on the TSSWCB to create a seven-member board.
“Elections occur annually to comply with the Soil Conservation Laws of Texas.  The elections are held in state district conventions and TSSWCB members serve two-year staggered terms.  Since this is an odd numbered year, TSSWCB member elections are being held in State Districts I, III and V,” said Rex Isom, Executive Director of the TSSWCB.
Elected State Board members must be 18 years of age or older, hold title to farmland or ranchland and be actively engaged in farming or ranching. The Governor appointees must be actively engaged in the business of farming, animal husbandry, or other business related to agriculture as well as wholly or partly own or lease land used in connection with that business.
TSSWCB administers Texas’ Soil and Water Conservation Law and delivers coordinated natural resource conservation programs through the State’s 216 SWCDs. Additionally, the TSSWCB is the lead agency for planning, implementing, and managing programs for preventing and abating agricultural and silvicultural nonpoint sources of water pollution.
The agency also administers a water supply enhancement program through the targeted control of water-depleting brush. In addition,  TSSWCB acts to ensure that the State’s network of 2,000 flood control dams are protecting lives and property by providing operation, maintenance, and structural repair grants to local government sponsors. 
“In short, the services and programs provided by the TSSWCB target rural Texas farmers and ranchers through SWCDs, but the results of these services benefit all Texans. For example, SWCDs provide technical assistance in cooperation with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to assist agricultural producers implement voluntary conservation plans that best address the capabilities of the land they operate,” said Isom.

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