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Conservation District Director Nomination Procedures

Procedures for Nominating Conservation District Directors

  • The Conservation District Law states that each conservation district board of directors shall consist of one
    member of the county governing body, not more than four or less than two farmer members, and not less than
    two or more than four public members.
  • By law, the total number of directors shall always be 7, unless the State Conservation Commission (Commission) approves, at the request of the district board and county governing body (county commissioner board or county council) a greater (9) or lesser number(5).
  • The composition of the conservation district board (#farmers and # public directors) shall be determined by the county governing board (county commissioner board or county council) and approved by the Commission before such change shall become effective
  • The farmer and public members to be appointed shall be selected from a list containing at least one eligible nominee for each director to be appointed, and such list is to be submitted by each of the countywide organizations designated by the State Conservation Commission.

Director Nomination Process Time-Line

  • AUGUST: Information packets sent to the Chief Clerks. Conservation District staff can help Chief Clerks by communicating which nominating organizations; contact directors whose terms will expire; have a meeting with nominating organization representatives to review the director nomination process.
  • SEPTEMBER: Chief Clerks send letter to nominating organizations for nominations – Nominating organizations should submit more than one name if possible.
  • NOVEMBER 1st: Deadline for nomination organizations’ submission
  • DECEMBER: December 1st – tentative director appointments made to county governing body; December 15th – Direct appointments due to the SCC.

Procedures for a County Organization to Become Approved as a Nominating Organization

  • Any organization desiring to be designated as a nominating organization shall complete the Commission’s “Petition to be Designated a Nominating Organization” (form included in packet) and forward it to their conservation district.
  • The conservation district board shall consider the organization’s petition, make a formal recommendation, and forward the petition and a recommended action to the Commission.
  • The Executive Secretary or staff designated by the Commission will review petitions according to the Commission’s criteria.
  • All organizations approved by the Commission will be reported to the county governing body of the involved counties, and periodic reports will be prepared and maintained by the Commission.

Procedures for Removing a Nominating Organization From the List Approved by the SCC

  • The county’s chief clerk shall notify the local conservation district and the SCC that a designated organization is defunct, does not want to continue as a nominating organization, or no longer qualifies as a nominating organization.
  • The conservation district shall consider the information provided by the chief clerk and by motion at a regularly scheduled board of directors meeting recommend to the SCC that the organization shall be deleted form or remain on the approved list.
  • The Executive Secretary or staff designated by the Commission will review and approve requests submitted according to the Commission’s criteria established in 1 and 2 from above.
  • The SCC will adjust its official records accordingly.

Procedures for Nominating Conservation District Directors

  • County Governing Body: The board of county commissioners or the governing body of any county that has the responsibility or authority relating to the conservation district.
  • County Commissioner Director: A County Commissioner or member of the county council.
  • Approved County Nomination Organization: Any organization approved by the SCC for nominating district directors.
  • Public Director: Any individual who does not qualify as a farmer director.
  • Famer Director: An individual who is actively engaged in the production of an “agricultural commodity” as part of a “normal famring operation” as defined by the Pennsylvania Right to Farm Act ( 3 PA Stat Subsection 952).

Additional Definitions

Agricultural Commodity – Any of the following that are transported or intended to be transported in commerce:

  • Agricultural, aquacultural, horticultural, floricultural, viticultural or dairy products.
  • Livestock and products of livestock.
  • Ranch-raised fur bearing animals and products of the ranch-raised fur bearing animals.
  • The products of poultry or bee raising.
  • Forestry and forestry products.
  • Any Products raised or produced on farms intended for human consumption and the processed or manufactured products of such products intended for human consumption.

Normal Farming Operation – The activities, practices, equipment and procedures that farmers adopt, use or engage in the production and preparations for market of poultry, livestock and their products and in the production, harvesting and preparation for market or use of agricultural, agronomic, horticultural, silvicultural, and aquacultural crops and commodities and is:

  • Not less than 10 contiguous acres in area; or
  • Less than 10 contiguous acres in area but has an anticipated yearly gross income of at least $10,000.
  • The term includes new activities, practices, equipment and procedures consistent with technological development within the agricultural industry. Use of equipment shall include machinery designed and used for agricultural operations, including but not limited to crop dryers, feed grinders, sawmills, hammer mills, refrigeration equipment, bins and related equipment used to store or prepare crops for marketing and those items of agricultural equipment and machinery defined by the act of December 12, 1994 (P.L.944, No 134), known as the Farm Safety and Occupational Health Act. Custom work shall be considered a normal farming practice.

Full Term and Interim Appointments

  • Full-Term Appointments: Pennsylvania’s Conservation District Law, Act 217 as amended, requires that “Successors to fill full terms shall be appointed by the county governing body from a list containing at least one eligible nominee for each director to be appointed, and such list shall be composed of eligible nominations submitted in writing by a qualified officer of each of the organizations designated by the commission.”
  • Unexpired Mid-Term Appointments: Pennsylvania’s Conservation District Law allows the county governing body to choose to use an alternative process for filling unexpired, mid-term vacancies for conservation district directors. Unexpired, mid-term appointments may be made from a list of associate directors who have two or more years of active service with the district and who meet the commission’s eligibility criteria for the unexpired term.

Helpful Document Samples Provided in Director Nomination Packet

  • Nomination Process Checklist
  • Sample letter to send to each approved nominating organization to solicit nominations for Conservation District Director
  • Nominee Questionnaire for the position of Conservation District Director
  • Sample Press Release: Conservation District Director Nominations Solicited

Things to Consider

  • Designate district director four-year terms using the format “January 1, xxxx through December 31, xxxx.”
  • District director terms are staggered so there aren’t too many terms expiring in the same year.
  • Be sure “replacement appointments” fit into the established rotation of terms and type of director vacancy (Farmer/Public).
  • Keep the Field Representative who provides service to your conservation district involved in your annual district director nominations.

Conservation District Field Representatives

Northwest:Vacant (Lori Boughton)
Northcentral:Vacant (Jaci Kerstetter)
Northeast:Caitlin Skibiel
Janet Creegan
Southwest:Ryan Furrer
Southcentral (west):Vacant (Dave Gates)
Southcentral (east):Vacant (Dave Gates)
Southeast:Vacant (Linda Mackey)