From the Office of Representative Jim Barton
Orange Beach, Ala. – State Representative Jim Barton, R-Mobile, has been named the 2012 Legislative Leader of the Year by the Alabama Association of Conservation Districts (AACD) at its Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) Area Six meeting at the Hampton Inn.
Rep. Barton received the award for providing leadership and advocacy on the importance of water conservation and land management practices.
Rep. Barton, as Chairman of the Finance and Taxation, General Fund (F&TGF) Committee, managed the most difficult financial period in Alabama history since the Great Depression and was influential in continuing funding to the Soil and Water Quality Program for FY2013.
Rep. Barton believes that agriculture is still a top industry for the State of Alabama and that investing in agriculture related programs will benefit Alabamians and the economy.
“Growing food for our State and selling goods is an extremely difficult process for farmers and they are so important to our economy and our survival,” said Barton, “I believe we must participate in the conservation of working farms to protect land for future generations and to retain agriculture related jobs in Alabama as well.”
AACD President Dr. Carol Knight thanked Rep. Barton for his work in dealing with Alabama’s financial crisis the past few years and thanked him for stepping up to assist in solving the problem.
“We all know how rough the past few years have been and I am not sure if our program would be able to continue without Rep. Barton’s support,” said Knight, “We are grateful for Rep. Barton’s stance on conservation and agriculture production.”
The Alabama Association of Conservation Districts (AACD) was organized in August, 1943 and is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization of the 67 Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) in Alabama. SWCD’s are independent subdivisions of state government, just as counties and school districts.
The AACD’s mission is to provide aid and guidance in programs for water quality, the prevention and control of soil erosion and conservation of soil and water resources. The Association serves as a vehicle for unified action by SWCD’s, exchange of information, and discussion.
In 2012, the SWCD’s have successfully administered and provided almost $83,000,000 into the Alabama economy, which includes Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) program funding, technical assistance and landowner private match for the benefit of citizens across the State of Alabama.
Conservation districts are local governments at work and their specific responsibility is management of soil and water resources. The idea behind their formation is to keep decision-making on soil and water conservation matters at the local level.
To learn more about AACD and its programs please visit us at www.swcc.state.al.us.