From the President

From Arnold King

Arnold King

We are making final plans to have the ARCSE/SWCS summer meeting at Des Moines Iowa August 6–9. The ARCSE by-laws require the board of directors to have at least one face-to-face meeting per year. Considering the cost and time requirement issues, we recently discussed amending the by-laws to allow solely virtual board meetings. However, the discussions led us to agree that our efforts to forge a closer working relationship with the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) might be damaged if we eliminate the traditional concurrent summer meetings. We now enjoy being included in the SWCS meeting agenda, complimentary meeting registrations for board members, and a booth in the commercial exhibit area. So, we will continue to have our summer meetings until the board decides differently. We continue to double our efforts to gain more memberships from recent retirees. And we have had some success. To further those efforts, we decided to develop a strategic plan to record brainstorming results and group decisions designed to strengthen ARCSE. The strategic plan, ARCSE/NRCS memorandum of understanding, and a historical cropping history presentation will be presented during our special event program planned for Monday afternoon during the summer meeting. Jack Carlson, our secretary, is considering use of zoom technology for members to call in and participate in the special event program, if they desire to do so. The next issue of the ARCSE newsletter will contain more details concerning the summer meeting.

You will note the ARCSE Election of Officers ballot with this newsletter. Please take the time to mark or write in your choices and mail or otherwise send back to the address shown. Thanks very much to the candidates on the ballot running for President-Elect and the Regional Vice-President positions.

Willeene and I attended the traditional Texas retiree reunion at New Braunfels on April 10–11. More details and pictures are contained in Mike Bogart’s Texas report.


March/April From the President

The board is in the throes of planning our next annual board meeting at Des Moines Iowa during early August. Two years ago, we planned to meet concurrently with SWCS at Des Moines when the pandemic hit us and we had to revamp and have our first digital annual meeting. The digital meeting worked well, but in order to continue our efforts toward a closer relationship with SWCS we decided to continue with the face-to-face meetings. The traditional ARCSE luncheon has become very expensive at convention hotels, and it has become difficult to get the local members to participate. For that reason, we are discussing and tentatively planning something a little different this year. I will let you know more when we finalize our plans.

Chief Cosby met with us at the Denver meeting where he discussed upcoming conservation programs and personnel needed to deliver those programs. That led to a discussion of how ARCSE members might be able to provide mentoring and training assistance to field personnel. Chief Cosby indicated more and more of our new hires do not have a farm or ranch background and need special mentoring and training to improve their ability to work with district cooperators. The question is can ARCSE members help with that issue? We have a team of ARCSE and NRCS employees working on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to address that issue. Hopefully, both organizations will benefit from that effort to get more conservation on the land.

Texas plans to have their annual retiree association meeting at New Braunfels early this spring.  Willeene and I are on the planning committee, and we struggle to get participation from our newly retired employees. We think part of the problem nationwide may be the difficulty of informing new retirees about ARCSE. Hopefully, the MOU with NRCS might help provide a breakthrough on that issue.

And finally, I want to add that your board of directors and support personnel are in the early stages of developing a long-range plan for ARCSE and we may be calling on members for input later this year.


Flickr 101

by Julie McSwain, ARCSE President-Elect

In the summer of 2021, Jordyn Rodriguez, SWCS/ARCSE Intern, developed a Flickr site for ARCSE that can be used for uploading, organizing, and sharing digital media such as photos and videos.

Flickr is a platform for conveniently sharing photos and videos. It’s used by many photography professionals to send images to clients, as well as anyone with photo-sharing needs.

It’s free to make an account on Flickr, which encourages even the most casual users to sign up. And for those who are more serious about storing pictures, there is a Pro feature available for purchase.

In addition to uploading photos, users can peruse the platform to check out other people’s work and can “like” or comment on anything that piques their interest. Let’s learn more about some Flickr features.

1. Profile – Just like you can have a profile on Facebook, you can have a profile on Flickr. This dashboard is a place for both you and others to view and keep track of your media on Flickr.

2. Galleries – Think of galleries as you would “photo albums” on Facebook. A key difference between Facebook albums and Flickr’s galleries is that you can add other users’ media to your gallery. You can only have 50 photos or videos in a gallery, so think about what you want to share in the gallery.

3. Photostream – This is a collection of media that belongs solely to you. If your photos and videos have been set to “public,” then other users can come to your profile and see what you’ve uploaded. If your media is set to “private,” then only you and those you have permitted will be able to view your content.

4. Albums – One great feature of Flickr is the ability to organize photos through albums. This feature is also a great organization tool for the user, as it helps ensure that the media isn’t appearing in random places.

5. Faves – When you use Flickr, it’s possible you’ll come across an image you really want to save for later. When you “star” or favorite a photo on Flickr, it automatically appears in the “Faves” tab on your profile.

The best way to get familiar with Flicker is to sign-up for a free account and play around with the various features. Even if you don’t take pictures and want to see what ARCSE has available on Flickr, simply click on this link:

To learn more about what Flickr has to offer, I recommend jumping on the site and creating a free profile for yourself. Playing around with various features is always the best way to learn more about a platform.

If you have any photos to share from a recent Zoom or face-to-face meeting for ARCSE and want your photos shared on our ARCSE Flickr site, please email Julie MacSwain at 

Please reach out if you have any questions. Thank you!