News Release 440

Soil and Water Districts Commission elects Richard Fordyce as chairman and Dan Devlin as vice chairman

Volume 37-440 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, NOV. 18, 2009 -- The Missouri Soil and Water Districts Commission has unanimously elected Richard Fordyce of Bethany to serve as chairman and Dan Devlin of Edina as vice chairman.

The Soil and Water Districts Commission establishes policy and general programs for the saving of Missouri's soil and water through local soil and water conservation districts, with the largest program being the cost-share program. The cost-share program provides financial incentives to install erosion-control and water quality practices to owners of privately held agricultural land.

The commission elected Fordyce and Devlin to their new positions at its Oct. 21 meeting in Jefferson City.

"With guidance from the commission and help from local districts, landowners in the state of Missouri have proven themselves good stewards of our state's soil and water resources," said Fordyce. "I pledge to support local districts and landowners in continuing important conservation work for future generations."

Fordyce farms 2,000 acres of row crops and an additional 1,000 of grass and hay. He raises corn, soybeans, wheat and cattle. He currently serves on the United Soybean Board as one of three directors from Missouri. He is a member of the Harrison County Farm Bureau, the South Harrison School Board and has been a member of various other agricultural organizations in the past.

"As a farmer and an active participant in the agricultural community in Missouri, Richard Fordyce is well-positioned to lead the Soil and Water Districts Commission," said Mark Templeton, the director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. "Under his leadership the commission should continue to provide the taxpayers of Missouri with one of the best cost-share programs in the nation."

The commission is made up of six farmers and four ex-officio members. The six farmer members are appointed by the governor of Missouri. Ex-officio members are the directors of the department of natural resources, department of agriculture, department of conservation and the dean of the college of agriculture of the University of Missouri. The commission meets approximately seven times a year, mainly in Jefferson City.

The commission also includes: Kathryn Braden, Bradleyville; Thomas Bradley, Caruthersville; and Gary Vandiver, Richmond.

With funding from the parks, soils and water sales tax and guidance from the Soil and Water Districts Commission, the Department of Natural Resources has provided incentives to agricultural landowners to voluntarily install erosion-control and water quality practices. It is estimated that more than 169 million tons of soil have been saved since the beginning of the sales tax in 1984.

For more information, contact the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Soil and Water Conservation Program at 573-751-1172 or the department toll free at 800-361-4827.