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Board Recruitment

Why recruit?

  • Effective conservation districts have outstanding and qualified board members.
  • A diverse district board will be better able to gain community support for local conservation efforts.
  • A board’s diversity should reflect the community.

Recruiting Considerations

  • Think of the conservation district as you would your own business. When you are hiring, you are looking for the most qualified individual.
  • Gain community support by including others on the board. They will learn more about conservation and agriculture and carry the message to others in the community.
  • Communities change. A fresh set of eyes can bring new ideas to the board and enrich your district program. It can improve delivery of conservation programs.

Elements of Effective Recruitment

Conservation Values

  • An important question:
    •  “What would you want to accomplish as a conservation district board member?”
  • People are motivated in different ways:
    • Political, economic, business, social, community service, accomplishments, heritage, other
  • Once known –recruitment is matching the personal motivation with opportunities to accomplish
  • Good district board members have a strong conservation ethic, skills and knowledge in conservation, as well as management skills and leadership abilities. Recruitment of potential board members begins with the identification of the qualities desired.
  • Board members should be selected based on the identified qualities and not on the criteria of “who’s available that we know.”
  • Potential board members need to know
    • What the district is and does
    • The District:
      • Function
      • Mission and vision statements
      • Your district’s primary goals and objectives
      • Legal authority
      • Major issues
      • Major programs and activities
      • Funding sources
      • Expectations of district board members
      • Benefits of being a district board member

District Needs

Analyzing the needs of your district

  • Inventory district programs & activities
  • Identify strengths, weaknesses, goals of district
  • Review the District’s Strategic and Annual Plans
  • Identify the current talents of board members
  • Recruit for needed talents
  • Invite local organizations to recommend candidates with needed talents, experience, knowledge


Three things all board members need:

  • To know role and responsibilities
  • To be kept informed
  • To have a meaningful contribution

No one wants to attend a meeting once a month and feel like it’s a waste of time. Everyone is involved because they feel like they are accomplishing something.


  • Full participation in committees
  • Responsible for some part of district program
  • Match assignments to personal interests
  • Instill a feeling of belonging and that they are integral to the District
  • Ask for their opinions and input on issues
  • Keep informed of programs, activities, issues
  • Recognize successful governance

The important question

  • “What would you want to accomplish as a conservation district board member?”
  • Once known –recruitment is matching the personal motivation with opportunities to accomplish.
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