The mission of the PrairieLand Resource Conservation and Development Council is to create a network for all citizens by providing awareness, education, leadership development and other initiatives to enhance the economy, the environment, the natural resources and the quality of life with a vision for the future.
PrairieLand RC&D received USDA authorization in January 2002. In January of 2003 the PrairieLand RC&D Council established a permanent office site in Madison. The PrairieLand RC&D Council serves the six east-central Nebraska counties of
Boone, Nance, Madison, Platte, Stanton and Colfax. PrairieLand RC&D encompasses 2,062,080 acres and has 92.723 inhabitants. The thirty-four communities and villages have a median population of only 500 residents, but Norfolk and Columbus have about 20,000 inhabitants each.
The major economic strength of the area revolves around agricultural production and the industries that support agriculture. While farm population comprises about 44 percent of
the total population in the PrairieLand area, average farm size continues to grow while the number of people living on farms continues to decline. PrairieLand also has a rapidly growing Hispanic population finding employment at many of the agricultural industries.
All but a few acres of the 300,000 acre Shell Creek Watershed are included in the 6 county RC&D area. A variety of improvements are needed to improve the water quality and reduce erosion and flooding. The RC&D area also shares two major highway corridors that could potentially provide an economic boost and expanded tourism through the area.
Priorities of PrairieLand RC&D
- Enhance PrairieLand economies.
- Improve conservation of our natural resources.
- Embrace and assist our culturally diverse communities.
- Improve community infrastructures & expand citizen services.
- Encourage leadership development.
Summary of 2008 Activities
- 12 Council Meetings
- 12 Completed Projects
- 44 Dues Paid Memberships
- 769 Volunteers Contributed 6863 Hours valued at $128,818.51
- Successful Annual Banquet in September with 20 in attendance.
- Sustained one part time position for Shell Creek Project Coordinator funded
- Sustained Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and NRCS funded full
time position to work solely with the Shell Creek Watershed Improvement Project
- Sustained Council-funded part-time Program Support Assistant position
- Created one part time position for Nebraska Continuous No-till Project
Coordinator funded by NET