The First National Soil Conservation District Field Day and Plow Matches were held here on September 6, 1952. Over 125,000 spectators saw demonstrations of new methods and new techniques for soil conservation during the event. The presidential candidates for the 1952 election spoke here on the importance of agriculture. Both Adlai Stevenson and Dwight D. Eisenhower acknowledged that the future of the country depended on the preservation of soil and water resources. The event was held because of actions begun in the 1930s. The U.S. Congress had enacted the Soil Conservation Act in 1935, in response to the dust storms and floods that ravaged the country because of drought and poor land management practices. The legislation led to the creation of a partnership between governmental agencies, states, and individuals to address a broad range of resource concerns. They ranged from erosion control, contour plowing, flood prevention, water quality, wetlands, and wildlife, to recreation and community development. Today there are over three thousand conservation districts covering 98% of the privately owned land in the 50 states and Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam. Within Minnesota there are 91 Soil and Water Conservation Districts that generally follow the borders of the county in which they are located.