Conservation Update  
May 8 - 22, 2013 
Executive Director's Report 


Conservation Beyond 2016 Subcommittee Formed
Larry Clemens (State Soil Conservation Board) and Jennifer Boyle-Warner, IASWCD Executive Director, announce that they have moved foward with forming a subcommittee from the Conservation Beyond 2016 Task Force. This subcommittee is being charged with delving deeper into the three options presented in the final report of the Task Force. This group is primarily made up of SWCD Supervisors, Staff and a few key partners. The group will begin meeting in June and they plan to keep everyone apprised of their progress.

Farm Bill Update: Call Senator Coats!    

The Farm Bill is currently being debated on the Senate Floor. Senator Donnelly is in support of the Bill, so it is important that phone calls are made to Senator Coats office at 202-224-5623. Please take some time to do this if you have not already. We appreciate everyone's help on this! Please ask him to vote YES on the Farm Bill, S. 954, Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013. This Farm Bill has more conservation than any prior one, including conservation compliance attached to crop insurance. Please urge the Senator to vote no on any amendments that change the conservation compliance framework. Specific amendments include numbers 953 and 926. Please email Jennifer if you have any questions.

River Friendly Farmer logo River Friendly Farmer Award Applications Available! 

Here's a link to the application, which is due to the IASWCD by June 27. For over 12 years, the RFF program - coordinated by the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts - has highlighted the work of farmers who do an outstanding job of protecting their rivers, lakes and streams through their everyday conservation management practices on the farm. Learn more about the RFF award here. Farmers are honored at a celebration during Farmer Week at the Indiana State Fair each August.


Pathway to Water Quality Volunteer Signup Starts June 5

In two weeks Pathway to Water Quality volunteer signups will open up online. PWQ is staffed almost entirely by volunteers throughout the state fair. It is an excellent opportunity to share our conservation method and educate visitors about water conservation and watershed health. Do you work in a USDA Service Center? Consider signing up with people in your area and carpooling to the State Fair for a volunteer shift! If you do not work in one of the centers, but want to join a volunteer team, contact your nearest Service Center.  


Thank You, Districts! 

Thank you to the Districts who have submitted their 2013 dues. We envision the IASWCD as a leader in soil and water conservation through the coordination, encouragement and support of local SWCD activities. This in turn builds a statewide awareness of critical conservation issues. Please review our Annual Report for more information on our actions and accomplishments in 2012. View the list of Districts who have paid their dues here.


Have a great week!
Jennifer Boyle Warner, IASWCD Executive Director

Special CCSI Updates Now in Newsletter

With the expansion of the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative and all the exciting soil health things going on around the state, we are excited to start giving regular updates on CCSI's progress and happenings in this newsletter! Information about upcoming events, recaps from past events, profiles and updates on our twelve Soil Health Hub farmers, and news about the soil and farm research taking place around the state will all be featured in this section. If you have any news you'd like to submit for our update, please email  [email protected].



In the photo above, Bobby Hettmansperger, Member of the Wabash Co SWCD Board of Directors and Treasurer of the IASWCD, no-till drills oats for cover crop demonstration plots at the Wabash Farm. The Wabash Farm is a working farm operated by the Wabash SWCD and used for training and demonstrations.  It is also one of the core CCSI Hub facilities. The June 4th the State Soil Conservation Board meeting will be held in Wabash, and will include an update of the CCSI program and a tour of the farm.


Also, this week the IASWCD provided two exciting news releases to individuals and organizations statewide. Read them here:

Keep updated with CCSI events on Facebook and Twitter 

Conservation News Digest


Conservation Reserve Program Signups

FSA is currently conducting CRP signups for both general and continuous CRP. The General Signup began May 20 and continues through June 14. Sign-up for continuous CRP began on May 13 and will continue through Sept. 30, 2013. Some acreages which have traditionally only been eligible for enrollment under the competitive General Signup are now eligible under continuous CRP initiatives. This includes options such as the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement Initiative (SAFE), the Highly Erodible Land Initiative, the Grassland Restoration Initiative, Pollinator Habitat Initiative, Wellhead Protection, and other related initiatives. Contact your local FSA office for more information.

Hoosier SWCS Summer Meeting: "Irrigation in a Conservation Cropping System"

Mark your calendar for the Hoosier Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society's Summer Workshop and join in a timely discussion about irrigation in a conservation cropping system in Indiana. This workshop is designed for professional and retired conservationists, academia, educators, farmers, and those that want to know more about irrigation. Topics will include irrigation water management, soil moisture assessment, nitrogen management, soil health and moisture holding capacity, irrigation with no-till and cover crops, scheduling, economics, area groundwater nitrogen concerns, successful Soil and Water Conservation District programs and grants, and more! Hear from farmers that are successfully irrigating in the area and specialists that understand the complexities. Interested persons can learn more and register online here. 

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Upcoming Events

May 23:
No-Till Diagnostic Workshop, West Lafayette

June 4:
State Soil Conservation Board Meeting

June 7-8:
Southern Indiana Grazing Workshop

June 11:
Farming for Beneficial Insects (Webinar)

June 21:
Irrigation in a Conservation Cropping System (Hoosier SWCS Summer Meeting)


June 27: 

Surface Mining Soils & Reclamation Field Day (producers needed -please see our calendar for info)  

CCSI and Soil Health Events

Hub Field Day
June 25, Decatur Co.
"Using Cover Crops For Weed and Pest Management"
Register online!
Upcoming Deadlines


June 1:

319 Grants Available: Notice of Intent due June 1

IDEM has announced the solicitation of grant applications forSection 319 funds for 2014. Applications for the Federal Fiscal Year 2014 Section 319 Grant Solicitation are due August 30, 2013. In addition to the new deadline, IDEM is asking all applicants to submit a Notice of Intent by June 1, 2013.


July 15:

National Urban and Community Forestry Challenge
This cost-share grant program supports national urban and community forestry projects on non-federal public land that have a national or widespread impact and application.  



Other News

Clean Water Success in Indiana

EPA's Clean Water Act Section 319 Program provides funding for restoration of nonpoint source-impaired water bodies. Metcalf Ditch in DeKalb County was featured as a 319 success story recently. Runoff from row cropping, livestock grazing and animal feeding, as well as leaking and failing septic systems led to excess sedimentation and high nutrient levels in the water, impairing the water for aquatic life. In 2002, the ditch was added to the state's list of impaired waters. Project partners developed and implemented a watershed management plan throughout the next ten years. Water quality improved, and as a result, Indiana removed this segment from the state's 2012 list of impaired waters. Major partners in these watershed efforts included the DeKalb County SWCDSt. Joseph River Watershed Initiative Partnership, the City of Fort Wayne, and the Indiana DNR. Because the St. Joseph River serves as the drinking water source for Fort Wayne, the second-largest city in Indiana, interest in the watershed is high.

Study Highlights Ag Impact in Indiana

Agricultural industries contributed $37.9 billion to Indiana's economy in 2011, according to a new report  from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.

"Agriculture's Bounty: The Economic Contribution of Agriculture," produced by the Indiana Business Research Center, also said that the state's agricultural output supports nearly 190,000 Hoosier jobs. Of those jobs, 103,000 are directly involved in crop production and processing. Agricultural activities alone, such as the production of crops or livestock and the manufacturing of processed goods, accounted for $25.4 billion in economic output. 

Nominations Sought for Women in Agriculture Awards

The Purdue Extension Women in Agriculture Team is accepting nominations for the 2013 Women in Agriculture Awards. The two awards - the Leadership Award and Achievement Award - are presented annually to women who demonstrate leadership and innovation and make positive contributions to Indiana agriculture, through their work in agricultural enterprises, agribusiness, farms or commodity organizations. 

More information on the award may be found online. The nominations are due May 31.

Social Media Tip: Looking for content for your Facebook Account?
Does your Facebook or Twitter account need some extra attention? Try using hashtags (for example, #agriculture or #conservation) to search through popular sites like Pinterest or Instagram for engaging photos to share on your Facebook page! Don't forget, it's polite to attribute the photo to the original poster.

If you have any social media questions, email Liz for help!