Mark Masters elected GACD president
The Georgia Association of Conservation Districts elected Mark Masters for a one-year term as president at its virtual meeting held on Jan. 15. He was also named 2021 District Supervisor of the Year for his contributions to his local Soil and Water Conservation District.
As president, Mark will lead GACD as it works with federal and state partners at the USDA and with all 40 Georgia soil and water conservation districts in the promotion of natural resources conservation. Masters has replaced Woody Snell, who served as GACD president for four years.
Masters has served as a district supervisor on the Lower Chattahoochee River Soil and Water Conservation District representing Terrell County since 2013. He has been instrumental in securing grants, coordinating outreach with local producers, and establishing and maintaining partnerships for his local conservation district.
Mark was chosen as an inaugural participant of the National Conservation Foundation's “Next Generation Leadership Institute.” He was one of seven people selected nationwide and one of two from the Southeast. He currently serves as director of the Georgia Water Planning and Policy Center (GWPPC) at Albany State University and is a leading expert in agricultural water use and policy in the Southeast U.S.
Throughout his career, Masters has led numerous research and outreach projects related to water resources in Georgia and has positioned the GWPPC as a trusted technical resource for the state in its water planning efforts. Masters is active on a number of local, state and national advisory boards including the American Farm Bureau Water Advisory Committee, Governor’s Soil and Water Advisory Committee, and the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership. He resides in Dawson with his wife, Amy, and daughters Lilly, Sally and Molly.
Tabatha Wooten of Jeff Davis County was elected as GACD vice president. Wooten previously served as GACD’s Group 4 alternate vice president, where she represented seven conservation districts covering 42 counties throughout Southeast Georgia. She has served as a district supervisor for the Altamaha Conservation District, representing Jeff Davis County since 2007. Wooten also operates T.O.P. Farms with her husband, Vann, where they have broiler houses, 150 head of cattle, and row crop and timber operations. She is a member of many state and local organizations including the Georgia Young Farmers Association, Jeff Davis County Young Farmers Association, Jeff Davis County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee, and the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association. She resides in Denton with Vann, son Derick, daughter Lauren and grandchildren Jackson and Blair.
The following individuals were re-elected without opposition to serve one-year terms on the GACD Board: Roger Bowman, vice president, Catoosa County; Vikki Consiglio, treasurer, Henry County; Jake Ford, Secretary, Berrien County; and Danny Hogan, NACD Representative, Laurens County. Snell, of Cobb County, will serve as past president.
The Georgia Association of Conservation Districts represents all 40 of Georgia’s conservation districts, which have 350 district supervisors representing every county in the state. GACD serves as the voice of conservation in Georgia and promotes conservation through educational and community outreach. More information can be found at www.gacd.us or on Facebook @GACDConserve.