Conference Information

Thank you for visiting the 2016 NACAA Meeting page.

Check out updates through our Conference Newsletter which will be updated daily: 

AM/PIC Pre-Conference Newsletter

AM/PIC Sunday Newsletter

 NACAA Postcard

Super Seminar Tuesday

The Agricultural Economics and Community Development committee is pleased offer a professional improvement opportunity for NACAA members.  This year’s AM/PIC will include a Super Seminar Tuesday morning, examining farm legal issues important to Extension professionals.

 This year’s super seminar will take place on Tuesday, July 26th from 8:30 am to 11:30 am.  Keynote speaker John Dillard will continue discussing legal issues currently facing agriculture.  He will be followed by Harrison Pittman from the Ag Law Center in Little Rock and followed by Laurence Crane who will discuss crop insurance issues.  Margins are getting tighter for farmers across America and balance sheets are deteriorating, make plans to attend seminar to look at legal aspects.

 We are able to offer this seminar through the generous sponsorship of the National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS). 



Unmanned Aircraft in Agriculture

 The Agronomy Committee is working on an unmanned aircraft workshop to be held at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27th.  This workshop will provide an opportunity to engage in the rapidly emerging technology of unmanned aircraft that integrates remote sensing, aviation and robotics.  The workshop will include information on: types of unmanned aircraft, attributes of the most common unmanned aircraft, overview of rules/regulations, diversity of sensor arrays, and insights into data processing in support of precision agriculture.   An interactive dialog focused on unmanned aircraft opportunities in precision agriculture are also scheduled, and a variety of unmanned aircraft that will be available for workshop participants to explore from a “first hand” perspective.   The workshop will also include hands-on flight lessons, providing participants with an opportunity to fly unmanned aircraft.  Participation in the workshop will be limited, to provide participants with a first-hand learning experience.


Horticulture & Turfgrass Pre Tour  

(Sponsored by Bonnie Plants)

July 22nd and 23rd, 2016 in Arkansas                       

As arranged by our local host and tour guides, Randy Forst and Janet Carson of University of Arkansas, we will start off on Friday July 22 in Little Rock Arkansas leaving from the hotel before 12:00 pm.  The group will be traveling on one bus.  Please eat lunch before joining the tour.

We will drive north to Moss Mountain, home of P. Allen Smith, to tour the gardens and farm.  From there we will attend Wye Mountain Flowers and Berries for a tour before moving on to Heifer Ranch for a tour and dinner.  We will arrive back in Little Rock around 8:00 pm.

Saturday morning, we will load the buses and depart at 7:30 am from the hotel, driving to the Clarksville Research Farm for a thorough tour followed by lunch.  Once we depart from there we will move onto North Pulaski Farms and then to Bemis Tree Farm.  We will return Saturday evening at a reasonable time for dinner on your own.

Registration will begin April 1.  The cost for the tour is $62.00 per NACAA member.  The group lodge in the same hotel with reservations handled through the registration process.  Anyone arriving Thursday will need to book and pay for their own room for Thursday night.

 Friday night hotel covered if sharing a room with another member.  Anyone requesting a single room would pay $85 (1/2 room cost).  If traveling with family, members would pay for family rooms and food.  Half of one room would be covered for the member.  For example: if one room was required for a member and their non-member spouse the additional cost for the spouse would be $120 ($85 for ½ room + $35 for food).

 The itinerary for the tour will be sent once your registration is complete.


The Arkansas Natural Resources Pre-Tour

In a place of mountains, valleys, dense woodlands, fertile plains, clear lakes, flowing streams and abundant wildlife, Arkansas has earned the designation of “The Natural State.”  During the 2016 Natural Resources  Pre-Tour, participants will have the opportunity to learn about the native wildlife and plant species, what issues land and water resource managers face trying to manage these resources, and see operations that blend commercial enterprises with environmental protection. 

 The two day tour will take place on Friday, July 22nd and Saturday, July 23rd.  On Friday morning, urban forestry in Little Rock will be the focus.  On Friday afternoon, participants will visit Lake Maumelle, the source of central Arkansas's main water supply.  The lake, covering 8,900 acres covering an area of 14 square miles and a 70-mile shoreline, is integral in serving the water needs of Little Rock and surrounding communities.   The Central Arkansas Water (CAW) Board of Commissioners adopted a comprehensive Lake Maumelle Watershed Management Plan in February 2007.  CAW’s watershed management efforts are key components of assuring the effective and long-term protection of the Little Rock and surround communities drinking water, while maintaining affordability.  Protection of water quality while ensuring water quantity will be discussed, and a tour of the lake and key management areas are planned.  Much of the lake’s watershed is in timber, and a representative from the one the largest timber management companies will share what their company is doing to continue to use the forest resources while protecting water quality at Lake Maumelle.  Finally, we will take a tour of Wye Mountain Berry Farm where they grow blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and cut flowers on 10 acres near the Ouachita Mountains. 

On day two of the tour, we will head east to Stuttgart, the Rice and Duck Capital of the World.  On this trip, rest assured that you will uncover why this area is known for rice and ducks.  We will visit Freeze’s Fish Farm, the largest bait producer in the world.  With over 1000 acres under water, it is no small task to manage this farm.  To have fish, rice, and ducks, ample water is imperative.  The Bayou Meto Water Management District and the Army Corps of Engineers have developed a plan to protect and conserve the groundwater resources of the Bayou Meto Basin.  The three components of the plan are Aquifer Protection and Agricultural Water Supply, Flood Protection and Waterfowl Management.  We will tour their operation and learn how they developed the plan, built the infrastructure, and are carrying out the goals of the project.  To learn more about ducks, we will visit Five Oaks, a full service duck hunting lodge.  Five Oaks provides several different types of resource habitats for migratory and wintering waterfowl: moist soil, with herbaceous plants such as crabgrass, toothcup, and smartweed; flooded cropland; green tree reservoirs; and carbohydrate-rich food plots of corn, millet, buckwheat, and milo.  Finally, we will visit Terry Dabbs at an Arkansas Discovery Farm.  This farm is a row crop operation of about 1,500 acres implementing rice, soybean, and corn rotations. It is located in the Bayou Meto Watershed and has been in a Critical Groundwater Area for more than a decade. Consequently, most fields are leveled and a tailwater recovery system has been utilized for several years.   Water use and water quality will be monitored on four fields under different cropping rotations and management. We will see how what innovative practices he has implemented and how he is working with research to further best management practices in his region. 

Participants should make plans to arrive at the conference hotel on Thursday because the tour will start on Friday morning.  The Natural Resource Committee has a tentative cost of $150 per person although not finalized.  However, additional details will be emailed to membership and will be online.  If you have any questions or if you want to be put on an email list of potentially interested participants, please email Libbie Johnson at



Check out the Marriott accommodations here.  Immerse yourself in the unrivaled luxury of the Little Rock Marriott and experience the hotel's extraordinary combination of style and substance. 

Marriott Little Rock View

Also stay connected, you can follow us on twitter logo @NACAA2016 and like us on facebook iconat NACAA Arkansas 2016.

Please come back and visit often. Looking forward to seeing you in Arkansas in 2016!

Animal Science Committee

Pre-AM/PIC Seminar & Tour



This program is designed to provide the opportunity for NACAA members to study and analyze livestock systems in the AM/PIC host state of Arkansas. Topics to be featured on the tour will include beef cattle production, dairy cattle production, forage utilization, livestock waste management, small ruminant production and poultry production. Tour sites also tentatively include Tyson Foods, USDA-ARS Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center, I-40 Livestock Auction, Jac’s Ranch, Willow Springs Cattle Company, White River Creamery, Marley Farm – Arkansas Discovery Farm, Fayetteville Wastewater and University of Arkansas.  Participants will also have a chance for one on one exchange of ideas with local producers, industry personnel, and peers from around the country. For additional information, contact any of the Animal Science Committee Regional Vice-chairs.



NACAA members in good standing with responsibilities in livestock and/or alternative markets are eligible to participate in this Pre-AM/PIC tour. The event will take place Thursday-Saturday, July 21-23, 2016. We will depart from the Little Rock area on Friday morning July 22th traveling to northwest Arkansas, and arriving back in Little Rock Saturday evening. Arrangements for leaving vehicles in a secure area will be made for those driving to Little Rock.



Complete the “General Application Form” found on page 1 or on the NACAA web site ( Within this online application you will be asked to answer the following questions:

  1. Why you wish to attend the tour.
  2. How you intend to use the tour information in your educational programs.
  3. Describe your major animal science program emphasis.



The plan is to offer the tour to Extension Educators at a minimal cost. The goal is to offer the tour with the only cost to the participant being transportation to Little Rock. Donor support is pending. In the past, a minimal participation fee has been charged (usually between $50 and $125 per person) to offset unsponsored expenses. Please contact the Animal Science Committee Chair to confirm the participant fee (contact information listed below).

Each successful applicant is responsible for their transportation to Little Rock and should arrive on

Thursday, July 21st by 5pm CT. Two nights of double occupancy lodging (Thursday & Friday) will be included in the tour as well as tour transportation and meals. Submit entries by May 15, 2016 online or to Brian Beer, Animal Science Committee Chair, 107 S. French Street, Lancaster, SC 29720 or email to