Conservation Update  
July 10 - 17, 2013 
Executive Director's Report

Reserve Your Shift at PWQ This Week! 
Volunteer sign-up for Pathway to Water Quality is still open. Sign up soon to reserve your shift. This is a great opportunity for SWCD supervisors and staff to share the message of conservation with the general public and enjoy a variety of benefits in return for their help! Job descriptions for each of the areas can be found here. Sign-up by July 22 so we can guarantee you get your ticket/s by fair time. For those of you making changes to your schedule, it is up to you to find a replacement if you have to drop a shift/s. Thank you for your assistance! 

Congratulations, 2013 River Friendly Farmers!

Join us on Wednesday, August 14 at 1 p.m. in the 4-H Exhibit Hall Auditorium (2nd floor) for the 2013 River Friendly Farmer Awards Ceremony! We will honor 46 recipients for their outstanding conservation management practices on the farm. These farmers have promoted soil health and water quality for past, present and future generations of Hoosiers. You will be impressed!


Supervisor Summit: August 27 

Join other SWCD chairs and vice chairs at a workshop geared specifically towards the leadership roles of these important positions. Interactive sessions will explore and build upon concepts of Supervisor responsibilities and challenges, the importance of employing and properly rewarding excellent staff, multi-district success stories, and growing quality relationships and partnerships. Discussions will be led by fellow SWCD Supervisors and other Partnership leaders. Register online or download a flyer


Open House for Jim Lake's Retirement: July 30

District Support Specialist Jim Lake will be retiring this summer. The Allen County SWCD is hosting an open house to celebrate his years of service on July 30, from 1 - 4 p.m. in their office located at 3718 New Vision Drive in Fort Wayne.    

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
CCSI News 

CCSI Partners with Wabash and Dubois County SWCDs

As Indiana Conservation Partners, the State's 92 Soil and Water Conservation Districts are each part of the team that helps to deliver information, training, and technical assistance to growers and landowners. Because of unique opportunities, the Wabash and Dubois County SWCDs were each asked to take a more involved role in the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative Regional Hub Program.


Dubois County SWCD, because of its partnership with Vincennes University to develop the Land Stewardship Initiative at the school's Jasper Campus, is an integral part of CCSI. Through the Land Stewardship Initiative, VUJC cropland is managed by the SWCD to promote, demonstrate, and evaluate soil health practices. Learn more here.

Wabash County SWCD also brings a unique soil health investigation, demonstration, and learning opportunities through its management of the Wabash County Farm (former Poor Farm). As a true working farm, the 152-acre site includes working cropland, woodlands, streams, ponds and wetlands - all of which are readily accessible and easily utilized for conservation training. The SWCD's partnership with Wabash County government insures the appropriateness of the site for long-term demonstrations and research. Learn more here.


Soil Health Expo in Southwest Indiana

The Southwest Indiana Soil Health Expo on Aug. 14 is a prime opportunity to learn for any farmer, regardless of his or her current management systems. Learn more and register here:



Keep updated with CCSI events on Facebook and Twitter  

Conservation News Digest 

Women Caring for the Land Discussion to Take Place July 26

Women who own or manage farmland in Howard and/or Hendricks counties are invited to participate in a free conservation discussion on July 26 in either Howard or Hendricks counties. The workshop, called Women Caring for the Land, offers women landowners the chance to talk about their land stewardship goals and share information. Sign up for the Howard County event or for the Hendricks County event. This event utilizes a women-only peer-to-peer, informal discussion format. Women conservationists will help facilitate the discussion and share resources, such as USDA cost-share programs and other tools. 

New Survey Gives Insight into Cover Crop Use
During the 2012 drought, corn and soybean yields improved following cover crops, according to a recently released report with detailed results from a farmer survey on cover crops. The survey was carried out in partnership between the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) and the USDA North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. More than 750 farmers were surveyed during the winter of 2012-13. "It is especially noteworthy how significant the yield benefits for cover crops were in an extremely dry year," Rob Myers, a University of Missouri agronomist and regional director of extension programs for North Central Region SARE, said. Read the full report here.

Indiana's Top Conservation Challenge

Improving the resiliency of farmland is the top conservation challenge in Indiana, says Jane Hardisty, State Conservationist with the NRCS. Resiliency, she says, is the ability of farms to remain profitable through dry and wet periods, and to bounce back after drought, flooding or other natural catastrophe. The key to improving farmland resiliency is soil health. Read the full news release. 


Several New Publications Available from Purdue Extension's Forestry & Natural Resources Department 

The following publications are now available for purchase and download on Purdue Extension's site. The Nature of Teaching: Coloration Exploration; Tree Risk Management; The Nature of Teaching: Discovering the Watershed; Invasive Plant Series, Japanese Chaff Flower; Appreciating Reptiles and Amphibians in Nature; Forest Management for Reptiles and Amphibians: A Technical Guide for the Midwest; and Trees and Storms 

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Upcoming Events

August 14:
River Friendly Farmer Awards Ceremony

August 14:
Pathway to Water Quality 20th Anniversary Celebration

August 27:
SWCD Supervisor Summit


September 24 - 25:

Indiana District Employees' Association Annual Conference


January 6-8:

Annual Conference  

of Indiana SWCDs 

CCSI and Soil Health Events

Upcoming Deadlines


IASWCD Annual Awards are all due September 9:


Conservation Farmer of the Year

Supervisor of the Year

Friend of Conservation



September 20:

Submit Resolutions for annual IASWCD Business Meeting (read more info, or download resolution form)


October 1:

Indiana Forestry Education Foundation Small Grants

These grants support forestry educational programs, educational scholarships in forest management, and the promotion of responsible stewardship of Indiana timberlands. Maximum $500 per request for projects. Email [email protected] to request an application.


October 15: 

 Wild Ones Invites Applications for Native Plant Education Projects: Grants of up to $500 will be awarded to schools, nonprofits, and other nonprofit places of learning working on projects that use native plants to develop an appreciation for nature among students. 



Other News

NACD-NAPPC Farmer Rancher Pollinator Conservation Award

The North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) and NACD are seeking nominees for the 2013 Farmer-Rancher Pollinator Conservation Award. This award recognizes an individual or family in the farm and ranch community in the U.S. who has contributed significantly to pollinator species protection and conservation on working and wild lands. Download the application here. 


Hoosier Soil Scientist Wins International Award   

A retired Indiana scientist has won international acclaim for his decades of work studying soils. Dick Arnold of West Lafayette has been named a winner of this year's Lomonosov Gold Medal. The Russian Academy of Sciences hands out the award to two scientists each year: one Russian and one international honoree. The 83-year-old Arnold and 97-year-old Gleb Dobrovolsky will receive the gold medals. Arnold has spent 30 years teaching about soil formation, erosion and conservation. The two were close friends and colleagues. Arnold's international connections started after 1980 when he became director of the Soil Science Division of the USDA's National Resources Conservation Service, a position he held until 1996.


Tippecanoe Co. SWCD Position

The SWCD seeks a conservation technical position responsible for providing technical and educational assistance to land owners/users in developing, planning, and applying natural resource conservation measures. Read more and apply.