Jan. 8, 2013 

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Indiana Association of
Soil and Water
Conservation Districts
Washington County SWCD receives the Indiana NRCS Earth Team Award

Indianapolis -- The Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (IASWCD) held their annual Conservation Awards Banquet tonight as part of the organization's 70th Annual Conference of Indiana Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs). The theme for the conference is The Power of Conservation: Today's Action's,Tomorrow's Rewards. 


Award photos from tonight's banquet are available to be downloaded. 


Among the six major awards presented, the Indiana NRCS Earth Team is given by the Indiana USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to a team of deserving Soil and Water Conservation District supervisors, conservation partnership staff and Earth Team volunteers at the local level. 

The 2012 Indiana Earth Team Volunteer Award goes to the Washington County Soil and Water Conservation District and NRCS Staff. Indiana's Acting NRCS State Conservationist Roger Kult presented the award to Jim Brown, Washington County District Supervisor; Dot Brown, Washington County Earth Team Volunteer; Whitney Sauerheber, Mill Creek Blue River Watershed Coordinator; and Ruth Hackman, NRCS District Conservationist for Washington County.


Soil health was a high priority in Indiana in 2012. This year, it is a national priority for NRCS. The need for knowledge about soil health is a huge goal to attain in a field office dealing with a heavy Farm Bill program workload.


soil health demonstration
Washington County SWCD and local Earth Team volunteers are showing people how to improve the health of their soil, and what happens to the soil when they use good conservation practices. 
In response, the Washington County Soil and Water Conservation District developed a Soil Health Group to offer opportunities to a wide sector of individuals in the region. These opportunities spanned from small children to urban homeowners to the agricultural producer. 


Last year Earth Team volunteers donated over 348 hours and reached over 314 individuals with the message about the importance of soil health and its impact on their community, backyard, company, and bottom line, while helping NRCS attain their goals and objectives of addressing this priority item. 


The Washington County Soil and Water Conservation District has shown great leadership in supporting the soil health movement and helping NRCS accomplish its conservation goals. Soil health is a high priority for NRCS.   


The Earth Team was established in 1981 when Congress passed legislation allowing the Natural Resources Conservation Service to use volunteers in all of its programs. During Fiscal Year 2012, approximately 1,526 Indiana Earth Team volunteers donated almost 24,000 hours of their time. This work added more than $522,960 (or nearly nine staff years) that supported conservation in over half of the field offices around Indiana. 


The three-day Annual Conference of Indiana SWCDs concludes tomorrow at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown with the IASWCD's annual Legislative Breakfast and Annual Business Meeting.

The complete agenda is available in the conference brochure. Registration and other information on the conference is available online, or onsite at the registration desk located on the second floor of the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, 350 W. Maryland, Indianapolis, 46225 (not the JW Marriott).  


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IASWCD Staff:  

For additional information contact:

DeeDee Sigler, IASWCD communications manager,

Indiana Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts 


President: Ray McCormick
, Knox Co.

Vice President: Jeff Meinders Ripley Co.

Secretary: Paul Cummings, Owen Co.
Treasurer: Jamie Scott, Kosciusko Co. 

Region Directors: 


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.