Charity Mitcham, District Administrative Coordinator for St. Clair County, passes the ACDEA Presidential torch onto fellow coordinator, Mandi Milford of Tallapoosa County. Mitcham, a 2.5 term president, fulfilled her term requirements for the Alabama Conservation District Employees Association (ACDEA) this June, leaving a five-year legacy to uphold.

Since 1992, the Association’s goal has been to empower and assist local Conservation Districts and their employees in accomplishing their own goals, as well as expand their existing and new programs. The ACDEA establishes and supports continuing education of District employees while also bridging the gap with state leadership. The ACDEA also assists Districts in maintaining proper procedures and regulations within their own counties.

In the last five years as President, Charity Mitcham has carried on that legacy through extensive annual trainings, quarterly meetings, and support of the Association’s internal committees.

While serving her last five years as ACDEA President, Mitcham has collected eight years with the St. Clair County Conservation District. Through the course of these eight years, she has served as a helping hand all across the state and is instrumental in producing, expanding, and creating new educational programs and resources for St. Clair County.

The Ag in Action Trailer is one example. A partnership with Etowah and Marshall Counties, Mitcham assists in maintaining, transporting, and educating the public with the trailer. This unique educational resource consist of a virtual tractor simulator, interactive games, and a milking cow model. Thousands of students have been exposed to the trailer each school year for the past five years, making lasting impressions. In addition, Mitcham continues the District’s other programs. The Annual Water Festival, Classroom in the Forest and Forest in the Classroom, and regular classroom visits are all on the yearly agenda for the Conservation District. Without Mitcham’s coordination and presence within the schools, these programs would not occur. Through these programs, countless students are taught, and many adults reminded, about the importance of agriculture and conservation right in their own hometown.

Education is a major part of the Conservation District’s overall mission, but it’s not the only part of it. Conservation Districts were established during the 1930s Dust Bowl era when soil conservation became a major concern for not just farmers, but also the nation. Topsoil was rapidly eroding away leaving the soil barren, thus through a federal mandate, Conservation Districts were developed to help tackle and assists farmers on the local level.

Fortunately, Alabama has Conservation Districts in each of its 67 counties. Like St. Clair County and Coordinator Charity Mitcham, Districts work in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS). Together, they help implement conservation practices that will improve the land and allow farmers to become good stewards of the land. Practices like conservation tillage, cover crops, rotational grazing, and more are just some programs that improve the quality of soil.

Mitcham also reaches out to conventional homeowners and citizens, promoting small, but impactful steps they can take to conserve their natural resources within their own home. Through District Administrative Coordinator Charity Mitcham and the St. Clair County Conservation District Board of Supervisors, everyone can do their part toward conservation stewardship.

If you would like more information about the District or have a natural resource concern, contact Charity Mitcham by email stclair@alconservationdistrict.com  or  call 205-338-7215.

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