Getting to talk to chief Dave White on a conference call is an achievement. Hoosiers will get a chance to hear him in person next week in Indianapolis at the Marriott Hotel. White, chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, will address the 69th annual conference of the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
Unlike some recent chiefs after the position become political, White has considerable NRCS experience. His career spans 33 years, starting as a conservation aid in Missouri. He has also served the NRCS in various positions in South Carolina, Montana and Washington, D.C. Today, as chief, he leads 12,000 employees nationwide. The budget for the agency he oversees is $4 billion.
Also in his background is time spent in support of the agriculture committee work in Congress on behalf of U.S. Senator Richard Lugar from Indiana. He also spent time working with energy and alternative fuel issues over the past few years, before assuming his position as Chief.
Although it's not been announced what he will tell the 500 supervisors and guests of IASWCD when he addresses them next week, it's likely he will review the state of conservation achievements. Recently, he touted progress in the Great Lakes region that serves Lake Michigan, reviewing a report for the media that documented success in cutting sediment and nutrient reductions in waterways that feed into the Great Lakes.
The report he discussed was one of several that a review process is issuing as committees study conservation progress over the past thirty years. An earlier report noted that while nutrient levels weren't better in the Mississippi River Delta than 30 years ago, they weren't worse either.White will speak to the SWCD meeting at 11 a.m. local time on Tuesday, January 10.