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Promoting resiliency in rural communities and responding to natural disasters

2017 Ag Chairs Summit
January 7, 2017
Governor Room

It has been a stressful year for many rural communities, the flood in Baton Rouge and fire in Alberta are just two of the extreme events that tremendously impacted rural communities. Rural communities face special challenges related to emergency preparedness and response, including resource limitations, remoteness, separation, low population density and communication issues. This session will focus on successful rural responses to floods, fires, droughts and other natural disasters. 


Oneil Carlier

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

Oneil Carlier is a member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. He represents the electoral district of Whitecourt- Ste Anne. Prior to his service with the Legislative Assembly, he worked for 13 years as a regional representative of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. He devoted 20 years to Agriculture Canada as a geotechnical technician. [node:read-more:link]

William Rachal

Chief of Staff
Lousiana Governors Office of Homeland Security

William Rachal is responsible for assisting with all homeland security and emergency and disaster preparedness and response  for the state of Louisiana. The agency coordinates the state’s activities to prepare for – prevent where possible – respond to, recover from and mitigate against emergencies or disaster events. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Rachal served as the senior business development manager at South Louisiana Community College. [node:read-more:link]

Adam Welchel

Director of Conservation Programs
The Nature Conservancy

Adam Whelchel’s 25-year year career in leadership positions has catalyzed partnerships with strategic direction while with government agencies, private firms, academic institutions and nonprofit groups in the United States, China, Southeast Asia, Caribbean and Africa. Dr. Whelchel is a dynamic communicator called upon to assist diverse groups from around the world with team building, strategic planning and community resilience. [node:read-more:link]