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Rural Life Conference set for Feb. 22


Edward Swaim will deliver the S.A. Haley Memorial Lecture, and Calvin E. Booker Sr. will be the luncheon speaker at the 57th annual Rural Life Conference, Feb. 22 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.

Sponsored by the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences, the conference theme is "Climate Change and Its Effects on Water Resources in Arkansas."

Swaim is manager, Water Resources Division of the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, and Booker is vice president of public affairs, Southern Group of Waste Management, Inc., and president of the UAPB/AM&N National Alumni Association.

Swaim serves as chief of the Water Resources Management Division of the ARNC, formerly the Soil and Water Conservation Commission. The commission is the state agency responsible for soil conservation, water rights (ground and surface), dam safety, flood control, water resource planning, interstate water compacts and non-point source pollution prevention. The commission also provides financial assistance for the development of water, wastewater and solid waste projects in the state.

Prior to his present assignment, Swain served as general counsel and associate general counsel for the commission and as an assistant Attorney General. Swaim is from England, Ark., and has a bachelor's degree from Hendrix College and a law degree for the University of Arkansas School of Law. He also has served in the Army Reserve Judge Advocate General's Corps for 10 years.

Booker is responsible for the development of governmental affairs, community relations and communications programs in 12 southern states and Puerto Rico at Southern Group of Waste Management, which he joined in July 1999. A Hamburg native, Booker earned a bachelor's degree in education from UAPB and a master's degree in secondary education from Prairie View A&M.

Booker's presidency of the UAPB/AM&N Alumni Association is the culmination of more than 30 years of service in support of UAPB. His involvement began as a student athlete on the Golden Lions football team 1975-1979. He then served as a coach, assistant to the dean of education and worked in the Alumni Office and in student recruitment. He has served on various university boards and committees. He believes in "giving back" and in the late 1980s became the youngest person to be elected to the Pine Bluff City Council. Since moving to Atlanta, he has served as president and vice president for the UAPB Atlanta Alumni Chapter.

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Pine Bluff Convention Center with the opening session at 8:45 a.m. Preregistration is requested even though the conference is free. To preregister or for more information, contact Almetris Cobbs at 870-575-8141.

Date: 2/18/2013


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