NEWBERRY — The S.C. Conservation District Employee Association holds a conference every year and Danielle Rowe, district coordinator for the Newberry Soil and Water Conservation District, has volunteered to host the conference this year.
The S.C. Conservation District Employee Association works to strengthen Conservation District programs in South Carolina and includes full-time and part-time employees of the state’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
“Every county has a Conservation District, and each county employs a different amount (of employees). Our county has enough funding for one, but bigger counties like Richland and Lexington can have three or four District employees, and one might be the education coordinator, one might be the program manager and one might help Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) a little bit more,” Rowe said. “I do not think it has ever been hosted here, so it is a big deal. Last year it was hosted in Dillon.”
Employees are invited to attend the conference, which works to strengthen their own Districts.
“We are a very close-knit group, and it is good to get together. We do team building stuff, and the biggest advantage to getting together, since our jobs are so diverse, they have their own programs, and it’s good be to able to share and toss ideas back and forth,” Rowe said.
Rowe added that the conference will allow the different districts to get ideas for new programs and projects to bring home to their counties, or, in this case, for Rowe to bring to Newberry County.
The conference begins Thursday and will continue Friday. Rowe said it will bring 40 to 50 people to Newberry from across the state. The two days will include a tour, business meeting, banquet and keynote speakers.
“Our tour will consist of a farm and agriculture business. We will start at Satterwhite Dairy Farm because that is always cool. They have a new rotary parlor, so that will be interesting to show off. Then we will go to Carter and Holmes Orchids,” Rowe said.
The speakers will present Friday morning at Central United Methodist Church and will include Joey Frazier and Cindy Thompson with S.C. Wildlife Magazine as well as a speaker with NRCS who will discuss historic artifacts.
Conservation District employees will be staying in downtown Newberry, something Rowe has advertised to the employees.
“I advertised it so they know they are staying downtown where all the shops are, and antique stores. They know about the parks and nature trails and stuff like that around the area, and the museum and all that good stuff. I am encouraging them to eat locally as well,” she said. “So many of these employees have never been to Newberry. They are really excited about coming because they know it is a quaint little historic town, so the novelty will really help.”
Rowe has also invited local leadership from the county and the City of Newberry to attend as well.
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.