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Harford farmer McDaniel in position to head national soil conservation organization

Lee McDaniel, a farmer from Darlington and longtime member of the Harford Soil Conservation District Board of Supervisors, has been confirmed as president-elect of the National Association of Conservation Districts.

"I am honored to know that I will be the first NACD President from Maryland," said McDaniel, who has been involved in the national association for several years.

NACD represents the country's 3,000 conservation districts and nearly 17,000 men and women who serve on their boards. The organization focuses on conservation issues on the national level, providing information and services to local districts and analyzing programs and policies that affect them.

McDaniel is a graduate of Cornell University with a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics and runs his family's farm, Indian Spring, where they grow corn, soybeans and alfalfa hay.

McDaniel has implemented many best management practices on his own farm, including planting cover-crops, using no-till, grassing waterways to protect against severe erosion in storms, utilizing strip cropping and constructing stream bank protection, NACD noted in a news release announcing his election.

His dedication to soil and water conservation is well known among members of the Harford County farming community.

McDaniel has served on the Harford County Soil Conservation District board since 1997 and was elected chair in 2005. He also served as president of the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts from 2005 to 2009.

In a statement, McDaniel said serving as NACD president provides a unique opportunity for Maryland's soil conservation districts to showcase their hard work and the measurable positive impacts the conservation is having on the quality of water leaving farms.

"I look forward to working with conservation districts nationwide to utilize the funding available in the new Farm Bill to help the nation's landowners and producers meet the conservation needs on their operation, meet the food, fiber and energy needs of the country, and conserve natural resources so future generations will have the opportunity to meet their needs as well," he said.

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