Aug 24

After the conclusion of his address to attendees of the Oklahoma Conservation Summit this past week, Bill Buckner, president and chief executive officer of the Noble Research Institute, spoke with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays about the Institute’s new formal cooperative relationship that has been established with the other stakeholders of Oklahoma’s conservation community as described in a Memorandum of Understanding that the state’s conservation partners signed just recently. 

“Any time you want to collaborate with somebody, it’s always better if everybody understands exactly where they all fit in a nationwide effort or statewide effort, such as this one,” Buckner said in reference to the memorandum. “The MOU is a document that’s in place to really define who we are, what our objective are, what our primary purposes are and create those ditches, if you will, that allow us to move in one singular fashion.”

Buckner suggests the signing of this document will allow the conservation partners to construct a road map for the future, taking into account all that each entity brings to the table in order to further advance their agenda.

"As urban areas continue to grow, land and water resources are depleting," said Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb at an earlier event when the establishment of the Oklahoma Conservation Task Force was announced. "It's important we all do our part as a united team to conserve, protect and restore Oklahoma's natural resources. This is the first step in beginning a long-term collaborative relationship."

The task force is comprised of eight organizations, each dedicated to natural resource stewardship: Noble Research Institute, Oklahoma Conservation Commission, Oklahoma State University Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, and Oklahoma Tribal Conservation Advisory Council.

Among the many goals this task force hopes to accomplish in order to improve the overall health and stewardship of the state’s environment, soil health ranks as one of the items at the top of the list.

“We believe if you take care of the soil, it’ll take care of everything else,” Buckner remarked, explaining how the objective plays into the overall scheme of battling drought conditions, erosion and other environmental issues. “Having healthy, nurturing soils is the first place to start.”

View the Memorandum of Understanding, signed by the member organizations of the Oklahoma Conservation Task Force.

You can also revisit the story by the Noble Research Institute about the announcement of the Task Force, published earlier this year in April, by clicking here.

The Oklahoma Conservation Task Force: Pictured are (L to R): Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese; Trey Lam, executive director, Oklahoma Conservation Commission; J.D. Strong, director, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation; Billy Cook, Ph.D., senior vice president and Agricultural Division director, Noble Research Institute; Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb; Tom Coon, Ph.D., vice president of agricultural programs, Oklahoma State University; Gary O'Neill, state conservationist, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; Jimmy Emmons, president, Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts; and Jack Hicks, president, Oklahoma Tribal Conservation Advisory Council.

Source: Oklahoma Farm Report

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