The Conservation Drainage Network is a national partnership with the goal of improving drainage practices to meet future demands of crop production while reducing adverse environmental impacts of drainage. The group was formed out of the Agricultural Drainage Management Systems (ADMS) Task Force which operated between 2002 and 2019 (Fouss and Sullivan 2009)
A primary responsibility of the Conservation Drainage Network is organizing annual meetings in conjunction with NCERA-217, the North Central Extension and Research Activity “Drainage Design and Management Practices to Improve Water Quality”, and also undertakes other goals as participants are willing to lead. The Conservation Drainage Network is led by an Organizing Committee that includes the following members and advisors, elected in 2019 for two-year terms, representing the diverse network of stakeholders involved in the Conservation Drainage Network.
Conservation Drainage Network Organizing Committee 2019-2021
Organizing Committee Chair: Ehsan Ghane
Organizing Committee Vice-Chair: Keegan Kult
|Name||Institution||Committee Member Representation|
|Ehsan Ghane||Michigan State University||NCERA-217 Past Chair|
|Keegan Kult||Ag Drainage Management Coalition||Industry representative|
|Kelly Nelson||University of Missouri||NCERA-217 Chair|
|Jeppe Kjaersgaard||Minnesota Dept of Agriculture||State or local agency representative|
|Chris Hay||Iowa Soybean Association||Non-profit organization representative|
|Jane Frankenberger / Ben Reinhart||Purdue University||Transforming Drainage Project (affiliated project)|
|Alan Gillespie||P.E. National Water Management Engineer, USDA-NRCS||NRCS representative|
|Kevin King||USDA-ARS, Ohio||ARS representative|
|Jeff Frey||USGS, Indiana||USGS representative|
The Organizing Committee guides the Conservation Drainage Network, including planning the annual meeting, organizing any other events or projects, and communicating with the network. The Organizing Committee consists of the 6 or 7 members listed below, 4 of whom are selected through specific stakeholders and projects (NCERA-217, affiliated projects, the drainage industry) and others who are selected by the current Committee based on nominations from network members. A Chair, who is normally the past Chair of NCERA-217, ensures that the Committee meets and plans the meeting.
- NCERA-217 Chair
- NCERA-217 Past Chair
- Industry representative, selected by ADMC
- Affiliated project(s)
- Non-profit organization representative
- Other agency representative (state or local)
- At large member
Representatives from NRCS and ARS serve with the Organizing Committee as Advisors or Liaisons. The Organizing Committee may choose to appoint Advisors or Liaisons from other organizations as well.
Organizing Committee member responsibilities:
- Be responsible for moving the Conservation Drainage Network and its goals forward. Strategize about new people to engage, issues to address, and activities to undertake.
- Be a public face for the organization so people seeking information can find someone to contact.
- Plan the annual meeting, including suggesting speakers to invite or issues that should be discussed to move agricultural drainage management forward.
- Propose changes to the structure or the organization when needed, which will be brought to the larger group if broader input is appropriate.
Organizing Committee organization and terms:
- Terms are generally 2 years, with multiple terms allowed. NCERA-217 Chair and Past-Chair are 1-year positions.
- New Organizing Committee members will be selected by the current Organizing Committee based on nominations from network members. A goal is broad representation and ensuring that Organizing Committee members are engaged and actively contributing to the Task Force. The first Organizing Committee members were selected in 2019 by vote of participants at the Agricultural Drainage Management Systems Task Force – NCERA-217 annual meeting in Moorhead, Minnesota.
- NRCS, ARS, and other advisory representatives will be listed on the website and participate in all Organizing Committee activities.
- The Organizing Committee will meet in person immediately after each annual meeting, and by web meeting or conference call at other times. Meeting frequency will be irregular, becoming more frequent as required to plan the annual meeting.
- The Past Chair of NCERA-217 will be the Organizing Committee Chair and is responsible for convening Organizing Committee meetings. The Vice Chair will be selected by Committee members, and is responsible for written communication as well as supporting Organizing Committee functioning together with the Chair.