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The Columbia County Conservation District Board (CCDB) is accepting nominations for positions on their board through Feb. 3.

Nominees must be a registered voter and own land in the district that they will be running for. An election for the positions will be held on March 2. Columbia County residents will be able to submit paper ballots at polling locations that will be announced at a later date.

On the CCDB website, the organization’s broad objectives include focusing attention on land, water and related resource problems, developing programs to solve those problems and coordinating the conservation efforts of individuals, agencies, organizations and institutions with conservation interests so that they may effectively work together. The CCDB is part of the state’s Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Commission (NRC), working at the county level. The board is made up of five members, two that are appointed by the NRC and three that are elected.

“We are trying to teach people how to protect our earth and how to make our natural resources we have last longer,” said CCDB District Clerk Jenny Tucker.

Tucker said that the CCDB in south Arkansas typically works with farmers and landowners by helping to find funding for their conservation-related projects. The CCDB also develops the Plat Books in the county which are created every five years.

The CCDB also provides educational programs at local school districts, speaking with students about plants and pollinators. They also run a land and forestry judging contest in the Spring for junior high and high school Future Farmers of America and 4H students.

“We do some scholarships for the seniors for the high point land and high point forestry to help them go on and study conservation biology, natural resources, land management and things of that nature,” said Tucker.

The CCDB is currently accepting applications for the Dave Ferguson Scholarship Contest, offering a $500 scholarship for a local high school student. The contest is open to all sophomores, juniors and seniors with a minimum 2.5 grade point average (GPA) who are Columbia County residents and will follow a conservation-related course of study. Submissions are due Feb. 19 and entry forms are available at columbiacountycd.com.

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