March Updates from Your NRD

March Updates from Your NRD


One of the many ways that the North Platte Natural Resources District partners with producers is through our Conservation Cost-Share program. The program provides cost-share opportunities to improve conservation practices on their land. The practices help protect their soil, water resources, grasslands, and many others. The program is open to any landowner in Banner, Garden, Morrill, Scotts Bluff, and southern Sioux counties.

We recently moved the date for sign-up to March 3rd, and it will end March 14th. The rationale behind the change is to provide landowners a jump-start on these conservation practices. In the past, many producers have applied for cost-share, but because of the later sign-up period, the practices would be put on the back burner once the producer was out in the field. If the landowner does not get the practice completed, they would have to file for an extension. We are hoping that the earlier date would help alleviate some of these issues. 

The National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides the technical services for the practices, and all applications must be turned into their offices. They have three offices in our district: Oshkosh, Bridgeport, and Scottsbluff. Applications will also be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to one application per landowner. For more information, you can visit our website at

As a matter of course and in conjunction with newly appointed members on the Board, we have had to elect new officers as part of our reorganization. Our new officers are Gerald Dillman, Chairman; Gary Darnall, Vice Chairman; David Ostdiek, Treasurer; and Pete Lapaseotes, Secretary. We also reorganized our three subcommittees to incorporate our three new board members. The new appointments can be found one our websites. I would also like to take the opportunity to remind the constituents of the North Platte NRD to contact their representatives on the Board if they have any comments or concerns.

Throughout the month of February, NRD staff organized producer roundtables in each of our five counties. These meetings are valuable in a number of ways. First, I wanted to introduce myself to producers and landowners in our district and explain my vision of the NRD, and where I see our future headed. Second, I wanted to update these producers on the water challenges in the District and challenges from a public policy perspective at the Legislature in Lincoln. Lastly, I wanted to get producer input on how we can partner together. We want to know how can we could work together to protect our valuable natural resources, and at the same time, maintain economic vitality. Each one of these meetings was a tremendous success. We received very positive feedback from attendees at the meetings, and we plan on investigating many of the great ideas that was suggested to see if there is a chance for implementation. We will continue to host these meetings a couple of times a year.

I would like to mention a couple of items briefly. Last month, we hosted our annual Panhandle No-till Partnership Winter Conference. We had a great line up of speakers on a wide range of no-till topics. This year, we incorporated a panel that consisted of six panhandle no-till producers. They talked about how no-till has improved the quality of their land, the challenges they faced, and the benefits of no-till. All of the speakers presentations have been put on the Partnership's website. For more information on no-till, go to

Our next Board meeting will be on the Thursday, March 13th at 7:00 pm at the NRD Conference room. All are welcome to attend.