June 7 - June 20, 2012
N a v i g a t i o n
This Issue

Executive Director's Report

Invasive Demos at PWQ

Volunteer Sign-Up at PWQ

Thank You, Districts!

Farm Bill Update
Healthy Rivers Initiative Celebration
Congratulations Gene Schmidt
Every Issue
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calendarE v e n t s  C a l e n d a r


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June 29: Soil Health Field Day, Tipton County


calendarU p c o m i n g  D e a d l i n e s

June 27:  River Friendly Farmer Award Nominations

July 3:  District Showcase Award Applications

Sept. 28: Conservation Farmer of the Year Award

Sept. 28: Friend of Conservation Award

Sept. 28: Supervisor of the Year Award


Please email us to receive an application for any of these awards at [email protected].

quickQ u i c k  L i n k s
I A S W C D   L e a d e r s h i p


President: Ray McCormick 

Vice President: Jeff Meinders

Secretary: Paul Cummings 

Treasurer: Jamie Scott 


Region Directors

Board Roster /  Region Map 

North-NW: Larry Strole, Newton Co. 

South-NW: Mike Starkey, Hendricks Co.

North-NE: Tom Crowe, Allen Co. 

South-NE: Bobby Hettmansperger, Wabash Co. 

North-SW: Les Zimmerman, Vermillion Co.

South-SW: Jim Droege, Posey Co. 

North-SE: Mike Schwab, Franklin Co. 

South-SE:  Brad Ponsler, Jennings Co. 



Executive Director: Jennifer Boyle Warner, 317.692.7519


Conservation Development Specialist: Janice Bullman, 317.692.7514


Project Assistant: Liz Rice, 317.692.7325


Communications Manager: DeeDee Sigler, 317.692.7374

Congratulations to Gene Schmidt
Gene Schmidt, NACD President and Jim_Droegea LaPorte County SWCD member and farmer, will be honored this evening by Indiana Prairie Farmer Magazine as one of five Master Farmer award winners. The presentation takes place during a Purdue farm tour in northern Indiana. Congratulations, Gene!

A Report from the Executive Director


Invasive Demonstrations will be additions at Pathway to Water Quality

In addition to the Soil Health demonstrations you read about in the June 6 Conservation Update, we'll also offer demonstrations on: Invasive Plants: Why are they important to your landscape? at Pathway to Water Quality this year. Thanks to Bob Eddleman and Harold Thompson, fairgoers will learn how i
nvasive plants threaten 
natural ecosystems; degrading water quality, clogging waterways, and destroying wetlands and wildlife habitat, especially for native pollinators. Fairgoers will learn how to identify and control invasives and where to go for help. Presenters: Bob Eddleman, Project Director, Hoosier Heartland RC&D Council, Inc.; or Harold Thompson, NRCS Earth Team Volunteer. The demonstrations will be:


  • Bob Eddleman: Sat., Aug. 4: 11 a.m., 2 p.m.
  • Harold Thompson: Sat., Aug. 11: 11 a.m., 2 p.m.
  • Harold Thompson: Sun. Aug. 12: 1 p.m., 3 p.m.
  • Bob Eddleman: Wed. Aug. 15: 12 a.m., 2 p.m.
  • Harold Thompson: Sat. Aug. 18: 11 a.m., 2 p.m.
  • Harold Thompson: Sun. Aug. 19: 1 p.m., 3 p.m.

Volunteer Sign-up for Pathway to Water Quality

Youth and adults enjoy the education area at Pathway to water quality at the 2011 Indiana State Fair.

Don't miss the opportunity this year to promote conservation at the Pathway to Water Quality Exhibit
at the Indiana State Fair, August 3-19, 2012. Online volunteer sign-up is now available for our Indiana Conservation Partnership exhibit at iaswcd.org/pwq.


We're half way to filling the 235 volunteer slots that cover the home, ag and forestry, soils, grazing and pasture and education areas. New this year: We are asking for two staff per shift for the education area for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays of the fair and for Farmers Day, Wednesday, August 15. Volunteers who sign up for a weekend shift will receive two state fair admission tickets. Learn more here.


There also is a new video tour of Pathway on YouTube or on IDEM's website.


Thank You, Districts!

Thanks to the 64 Districts who have paid their 2012 dues. View this list of SWCDs on our website.

Have a good day,
Farm Bill Update
From the National Association of Conservation Districts 


Today, the U.S. Senate will continue its work on the 73 amendments to the 2012 Farm Bill. Senators will vote around 11:30 a.m.  The first vote will be on the motion to proceed on Inhofe's resolution of disapproval (of a rule promulgated by EPA relating to emission standards for certain steam generating units) to be followed by votes on the remaining amendments to the Farm Bill and on passage of the Farm Bill.  As the Senate moves toward passage of the Farm Bill, they have about approximately 47 amendments to vote on (of which only about nine may be voice votes). They anticipate final passage of the Farm Bill either tonight or tomorrow.


This morning, NACD President Gene Schmidt participated in a teleconference with Chairwoman Stabenow of the Senate Agriculture Committee featuring conservation, healthy food, and other stakeholders to highlight the Farm Bill's major reforms. 


The order of selected speakers included:

  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman, Senate Agriculture Committee
  • Michel Nischan, Chef; CEO, President and Founder, Wholesome Wave Network
  • Robert Guenther, Co-Chair, Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance; Senior Vice President for Public Policy, United Fresh Produce Association
  • Gene Schmidt, President, National Association of Conservation Districts
  • Becky Humphries, Director, Great Lakes/Atlantic Region, Ducks Unlimited

Schmidt did an excellent job, and was right on target in his messages and perfect on timing. He served as a great representative for NACD. It also was great that he was included in media conference as a voice for conservation for the 2012 Farm Bill. 


The Chairwoman remarked that as agriculture represents a bright spot in today's economy, this reform bill does away with direct payments and moves to a market-based, risk-based system and closes many loopholes that save taxpayers $15 billion. 


It includes a healthy foods and local foods focus that uses innovative research and pest control and expands local foods opportunities for urban areas and all regions of the country that reflect the diversity of agriculture.  As we often note, local food systems contribute to conservation efforts on the ground. 


Finally, the Chairwoman pointed to the flexibility built into Title II when 23 programs are consolidated into 13 and placed into four major categories to make conservation programs less complicated and duplicative.  She explained the importance of locally-led, volunteer conservation efforts, and NACD echoed support for these changes in the 2012 Farm Bill.

Healthy Rivers Initiative Celebration


Gov. Mitch Daniels and Indiana DNR officials celebrated the two-year anniversary of the Healthy Rivers Initiative last week, along with project partners and the public in a ceremony at Fairbanks Park on the banks of the Wabash River.


"I don't know of another thing that government does that brings people together like this Healthy Rivers project," Daniels said before a gathering of more than 150 people at Fairbanks Park. "This is one nobody can disagree with. When people hear about it, they instantly support it."


Daniels first announced HRI in June 2010 as the largest land conservation initiative in state history. The project set a goal of conserving nearly 70,000 acres in the floodplains of two river corridors - the Wabash River/tributary Sugar Creek in western Indiana and the Muscatatuck River in south-central Indiana.


After two years, HRI is almost halfway to its objective. To date, 29,492 acres have been placed under permanent protection from development.


The protected acreage includes a combined 16,064 acres of land already managed by DNR in two state parks (Shades and Turkey Run), two fish & wildlife areas (Wabashiki and Fairbanks Landing) that serve as anchor points for HRI, plus acreage of several smaller DNR-managed properties.


Other HRI accomplishments include: 

  • DNR purchase of 6,057 acres in the Wabash River project area and another 2,504 acres in the Muscatatuck area. 
  • Enrollment of a combined 5,719 acres into the federal Wetlands Reserve Program.
  •  A 308-acre conservation easement at Elanco-Clinton Lab that is a demonstration site for bridging conservation, farming and public access, and includes tree plantings and wetlands restoration.

Besides Daniels, other HRI project partners who were Charlie Wooley, deputy regional director of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Jane Hardisty with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; and Mary McConnell, director of the Indiana chapter of The Nature Conservancy.


Two groups - the Wabash River Heritage Corridor Commission and the Wabash River Development and Beautification, Inc., board - recognized Daniels for his conservation leadership efforts by presenting the governor with awards.

J o i n   O u r   M a i l i n g   L i s t !

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