Drainage Contractor

Features Guest Column
LICA’s View: Times are a’changin’

An update on the past, present and future of LICA.

June 8, 2020  By Bob Clark II, LICA National president

LICA's booth at ConExpo was well staffed by LICA's Green Team. Photo courtesy of LICA.

Hello all. I hope everyone is doing well. I can’t help but to recall Bob Dylan’s 1964 song “The Times They Are a-Changin’.” COVID-19 has captured the headlines and attention of the entire planet, and rightly so. I can’t speak to all locations, but in Indiana, things are not like normal. Our company’s services are still considered essential work and we continue to provide services on all project sites. Though making sure that we have strong safety processes in place, adapting our office to virtual work, and getting new COVID-19 related precautionary practices implemented on each job site has been challenging for a small business like ours. I am sure that most of you are facing similar, if not more challenging situations. I want everyone to know that my prayers are with you, your families, your employees, and anyone you love or know who is at an elevated risk.

With all of that said, I would like to provide you a rundown of major LICA (Land Improvement Contractor of America) related updates. Earlier this month, LICA held its winter convention in Las Vegas, NV, in conjunction with the 2020 ConExpo. The convention was very well attended and LICA’s booth at ConExpo was very well staffed by LICA’s Green Team! The Green Team are all the LICA volunteer members who help recruit new prospects and promote LICA while at ConExpo. LICA members also presented at some of the educational seminars and those seminars were very well attended.

LICA’s summer convention is scheduled, at the time of publishing, to be held in Niagara Falls, NY from July 7 to 11, 2020. There looks to be something for everyone this summer. [Editor’s update: This event is now cancelled. LICA explained, “The National Executive Committee, after careful evaluation, voted unanimously to cancel the 2020 Summer Meeting in Niagara Falls. The security and welfare of LICA members takes priority over everything.”]

We hope to have the History of Farm Drainage and the LICA Contractor book published by our summer meeting. It will be a leather-bound, 230-plus-page book that endeavors to share the story of the LICA contractors, their predecessors, and their efforts to repurpose significant parts of the United States, from swamp, forest and wetland to the fertile lands we now associate with America and its heartland. Stories of advancements in technology, the establishment of LICA chapters across the country, as well as discussions of the environment and conservation are woven into this history of farm drainage. A must have for every drainage contractor!


As I write this article, LICA is also in the process of establishing an updated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NCRS). Currently we are finalizing the language to be used in the MOU with the NRCS. LICA recently signed an MOU with the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) at the winter convention earlier this month. LICA continues to partner with like-minded associations such as, NACD, International Erosion Control Association, Agricultural Drainage Management Coalition and others to help guide policy makers regarding the next generation of best management practices at the highest levels of government.

These times of shelter-in-place and essential-only travel will be here for a while, but also gone before you know it. In the meantime, let’s all do our best to help mitigate this pandemic together! Be safe, wash your hands, and keep your distance!

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