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The 2021 "in the room" gang2023 Statewide Employee Training

WHAT WE ARE

MCDEO is a nonprofit (501(c)3) organization of the employees of Conservation Districts in the state of Montana. We have filed with the Montana Secretary of State’s office, current as of 2024.

WHAT WE DO

Conservation Districts do a wide variety of important work with landowners in our counties, conserving natural resources across our beautiful state. As the employees of these CDs, we are the people in the offices doing the bulk of the work–We are the face of our Conservation District and interact with the landowners, land managers, recreationists, and our partners. We sell & plant trees, process 310 permits, host youth and adult education events, producer workshops, implement restoration projects, and much more.

Begun in the mid 1990’s, the mission of the MCDEO is to provide a professional network of conservation district employees for mutual support and education.  We do this through providing peer support, training, and other resources, including this website.  The website provides a wealth of resources—administrative, financial, training and more. In 2024, we applied and were approved for nonprofit status, which will allow us to seek funding outside the typical sources to do the work that we do.

HOW WE DO IT

The EO purpose is (from our bylaws):

  • To assist in developing and furthering the interest, objectives, and purposes of Montana Conservation Districts by providing training and support to their employees;
  • to foster and promote charitable and educational purposes designed to further the principles of soil and water conservation and stewardship, water conservation and stewardship;
  • to provide a professional network for conservation district employees to better prepare them to promote natural resource conservation in Montana and their local conservation districts to the general public;
  • to assist in the implementation of district programs providing natural resource conservation to private landowners benefiting the public good

Resources for CD Employees are provided through membership dues and other activities, and through many volunteer hours from EO Officers and members.  The pages and posts on this website provide information on:

  • Recorded trainings, including monthly Roundtables
  • Financial concerns and QuickBooks
  • Social Media and Technology
  • Educating with Online Content
  • Handbooks
  • Resources specific to new employees
  • News about events and upcoming training

Whether you’re a new employee stepping into an office with 30 years of disorganized files, or a seasoned employee looking to strengthen your QuickBooks skills, we are here to say “you are not alone”.

NETWORKING AND TRAINING

There are 2 members in each area that are Area Directors.  These 2 members divide up the Districts in their area to welcome and help orientate new employees.  Find your area directors.

Our national organization is the National Conservation District Employees Association. This group works for Districts at the national level, building partnerships and more.

We encourage you to visit the message board on this website. It is a resource that we think will be very helpful as a place to ask questions and get answers, and to save those Q & As for future administrators. It’s only a valuable archive if it gets used, so please ask away!  If you have questions for other CD Employees, you can send an email out on the list serves that are managed by the MACD at administrators@macdnet.org and altadmins@macdnet.org (second one is used when there is a government shutdown, and during the COVID 19 pandemic primarily).  These emails are archived.

In addition to the Message Board, most months the EO has a Roundtable on Zoom conferencing.  Topics range from daily activities and 310 permitting, to Outdoor Classroom ideas and Cost Share Programs.  You can find the recordings of past Roundtables and other past trainings at https://employees.macdnet.org/trainings-recent-and-older/.

You can find information on upcoming trainings at https://employees.macdnet.org/conservation-district-resources/.

DUES

Dues to belong to the EO are currently $30 annually per employee, and can be paid by the CD or the employee. These dues are paid directly to the EO and are not a part of the MACD dues.  Dues help to pay for training and other events.  If you are not sure whether you or your CD has paid your dues, contact the Treasurer.

Goal of becoming nonprofit

In 2022, discussions began to start moving the organization to a formal one, with nonprofit status. As a result of that effort, our Bylaws became official in the fall of 2023. They can be found here. In February 2024, we received a notification from the IRS that we have obtained nonprofit status under 501(c)3. This change will hopefully open up avenues of funding for training and other purposes to make our organization stronger and more capable of fulfilling our stated mission.

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Employee Training

Every other spring, we host a two-day statewide training that features a variety of topics for administrators.

Upcoming Training

Past Training Resources

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Support

We have a network of people with skill sets that can help admins conquer any challenges they face

EO Leadership

Resources

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Networking

Every professional knows the importance of relationships with others in the field.

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