Conservation Update
March 27 - April 9, 2014 
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Top News

NACD Soil Health Forum and Tour in Indianapolis, July 21-22

Attention all SWCD Supervisors and staff! NACD will be hosting (along with IASWCD) a summer soil health forum and tour on July 21 and 22 here in Indianapolis. Please see information below on more details.

  

When you go to register for the event, and if you choose the online option, there will be an option to choose "IN SWCD Staff and Supervisors." Choosing this option will reduce your registration fee by $75.00. This reduced rate is sponsored by the Clean Water Indiana program (ISDA and State Soil Conservation Board). This is available to only the first 133 IN attendees that sign up, so sign up early! If you choose the paper option, please mark on the registration that you are an IN SWCD supervisor or staff person and reduce your total registration rate by $75.00.

  

This is an exciting opportunity for us here in Indiana to demonstrate all the good work soil and water conservation districts and our conservation partners have been doing to promote soil health. We hope you can join us for this event! See the article below for more information and registration link.  

  

NACD Summer Meeting Registration is Now Open!

NACD is pleased to invite you to the summer Soil Health Forum and Conservation Tour, July 21-22, in Indianapolis, Indiana (with NACD Board Meetings July 19-20). As part of the meeting, NCDEA will also be offering a soil health technical training session for district and NRCS employees on July 23.  


The tour, forum and training will be held in conjunction with NACD partners NRCS, EPA and the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (IASWCD). Participants will select from several farm tours highlighting on-the-ground conservation practices in part supported by USDA Farm Bill and EPA 319 programs. Dow Agrosciences will host the NACD Board of Directors meeting on July 19.

On Monday, we'll hear from a variety of speakers, including a panel of farmers, on the topic of soil health. On Tuesday, attendees will participate in one of several of soil-health focused tours, including:  

  • Rulon Enterprises: Economic opportunities of Soil Health Systems
  • Starkey Farms/Little Ireland Farms: Measuring the Benefits of Soil Health for Water Quality/Farming for Soil Health and Upstream from Indy's Drinking Water Source
  • Legan Farms: Irrigation and Manure Integration for Soil Health and Water Quality
On Tuesday afternoon, we'll head to the Indiana State Fairgrounds to visit the "Pathway to Water Quality" watershed demonstration site and the Indiana Soybean Alliance "Glass Barn," a vivid experience of what life is like for Indiana farmers, including how technology serves as a bridge between farmers and the land.

The NACD Soil Health Forum and Conservation Tour is an excellent opportunity to learn more about NACD, NRCS, and state soil health outreach efforts! For the latest information on the agenda, tours, hotel, local attractions and to register, visit: nacdnet.org/events/summer2014. 


We look forward to seeing you in Indianapolis!


State Conservationist Shares Important Farm Bill Information and Dates for Hoosier Farmers

From the Indiana Natural Resources Conservation Service
We have a new Farm Bill and Jane Hardisty, State Conservationist with USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) wants farmers to know important information about the Conservation Title and what to expect here in Indiana over the next few months. Nationally, the new bill provides $3.4 billion for conservation programs this fiscal year - $18.7 billion in conservation over the next five years.

According to Hardisty the new bill marks the first time in history that conservation is at the centerpiece. She explains that farmers will find many positive changes in the bill, including consolidation of several programs under the categories of financial assistance, easements, and partnerships. "Consolidation of programs gives NRCS an opportunity to streamline our administrative processes and reduce burden on the public and our field staff," she said. 

 

Read the full article here, and please share with producers and landowners in your area.

State Recognizes Clinton County Water Quality Improvement 
From the Indiana Department of Environmental Management
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is celebrating the cleanup of Jenkins Ditch after collaboration between local, state, and federal officials and concerned citizens improved water quality over a thirteen year period. In 2004, stream biological data collected in Jenkins Ditch, which is part of the South Fork Wildcat Creek watershed, determined that it was an 'impaired water of the state' because it did not support a healthy fish community. After local groups teamed up with IDEM to clean up the watershed, the ditch was removed from that impaired list in 2012.
 

Today, Jenkins Ditch is filled with an abundance of Indiana flora and fauna, and can be enjoyed by the residents of Clinton, Howard, Tipton, and Tippecanoe counties. 

 

Clinton County Soil and Water Conservation District Administrator Leah Harden said the improvements seen in Jenkins Ditch would not have been possible without partnerships from community stakeholders.

 

"It is important to recognize the involvement of many partners over many years resulting in the restoration of Jenkins Ditch," Harden said. "Local involvement and action has resulted in a positive impact on water quality. Developing the plan, providing extensive education and outreach, implementing the project and consistent monitoring in the watershed are important factors to success. If people understand what is happening in their community they are more likely to support it."

 

Read the full news release here. More information on the Jenkins Ditch project can be found here.

IASWCD Seeks Assistant Director

The Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, a 501(c)(3), seeks an Assistant Director to conduct day-to-day operations in communications, outreach, program assistance, and office management. This position will be housed in the IASWCD office at 225 S. East St., Suite 740, Indianapolis, Indiana.  Review the job description here and please visit our website at www.iaswcd.org for more information about the Association. Resumes should be submitted by April 21; anticipated start date is early June.


River Friendly Farmer Application Now
River Friendly Farmer logoAvailable
Does a River Friendly Farmer live in your District? Nominate them for this annual award! Find the award application here. Annually, each county Soil and Water Conservation District may nominate up to two farmers who do an outstanding job of protecting their rivers, lakes and streams through their every day conservation management practices on the farm. Watershed organizations also may nominate farmers for the award by submitting an application to a county SWCD. All applications are due by June 13, 2014. 
CCSI News

Share your Soil Health Events!
Don't forget to let CCSI, your local Hub, or your District Support Specialist know about upcoming soil health events in your area. Big or small, we want to know about it! Events will be posted on our statewide calendar, which helps with coordination and marketing.

Soil Sampling Protocols for Hubs

Information and forms regarding CCSI's soil sampling protocols are now online. They can be viewed at http://ccsin.iaswcd.org/?page_id=813.

Keep updated with CCSI events on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up to join our mailing list!
Conservation News

Stewardship Week is April 27 - May 4 

The 59th Stewardship Week, coordinated by the National Association of Conservation Districts, will take place from April 27 - May 4, 2014. Visit the event's webpage to download a news release template, PowerPoint slides to use with your local TV, Cable or movie theatres, and a proclamation template to declare Soil and Water Stewardship week with your local officials.

 

IDEM Receives U.S. EPA Approval on 2014-2018 State Nonpoint Source Management Plan

IDEM's Watershed Planning and Restoration Section, in the Office of Water Quality, has completed its 2014-2018 State Nonpoint Source Management Plan. This plan will guide Indiana's usage of Clean Water Act Section 319 grant funds for nonpoint source pollution prevention and abatement. The Plan was approved by U.S. EPA on March 14, 2014 and can be obtained from IDEM's website at http://www.in.gov/idem/nps/3036.htm.

 

Contact Us

 

 Upcoming Events

Look! These and many, many more events are listed on our statewide events calendar.

Planning an Event? Get it on our calendar using this form!

April 12:
- Forestry - Wildlife Field Day, Henry Co.
- Female Farmers of Indiana workshop


April 15
- Webinar: On-Farm Food Safety and Conservation
- National Farm to Cafeteria Conference

April 16
Hardwood Lumber: Producing, Using and Selling

April 22
Webinar: The National Agricultural Library: Electronic Services and Resources for NRCS Employees

April 23
Learn about Homestead Dairy, LLC Anaerobic Digester

April 25
Spring Film Series of the Eastside Creation Care Network, "DIRT: The Movie"

April 30
Webinar: Preparing a Seeding Plan for Conservation Practices


CCSI Events
 

July 8  

Field Day at Don Villwock's farm in Knox County 

 

Other News
 
April Grazing Bites
This month's edition of "Grazing Bites" can be found here.

Conservation Volunteers Honored During National Volunteer Week

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service is celebrating National Volunteer Week April 6th-13th by thanking and honoring its Earth Team volunteers for their service to conservation.

Earth Team is the agency's volunteer workforce, and nationally, in fiscal year 2013, more than 22,000 people donated 330,084 hours of service to NRCS worth approximately $7.3 million. "Volunteers work closely with our staff, and they play an important role in our state's conservation work," said Jane Hardisty, State Conservationist. Indiana was sixth in the nation for the number of volunteer hours reported, with more 1,920 volunteers contributing 17,725 hours. These volunteers played a vital role in assisting Indiana NRCS and our partners with our critical conservation work. To learn more about the program visit Indiana's Earth Team Volunteer webpage at: www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/in/people/volunteers/. 


Delaware County 2014 Tree Photo Competitio
n
Submit photos of trees in Delaware County to Candace Kindt of the Urban Forestry Board at cckindt@gmail.com by April 18! Winners will be announced at the Earth Day celebration.
 
New Resources Available at NACD Urban and Community Conservation Web Pages

The NACD Urban and Community Resource Policy Group is pleased to announce they have updated their section of the NACD website to reflect current services and resources.  In addition to the topic areas that contain district showcases, resources, funding sources and more, these pages now provide information on the RPG's more recent activities.

  • NACD Urban and Community Conservation Network on Facebook
  • NACD monthly Urban and Community Conservation Webinars 
  • Backyard Conservation: Lawns and the Environment outreach tools for districts and how to access them. 
GrantStation & Current Funding Opportunities

IDEM begins Nonpoint Source Pollution Grant Application Solicitation

The solicitation for applications for FFY 2015 Section 319 grant funds began April 1, 2014. Notice of Intent (NOI) emails are required for the FFY 2015 grant solicitation and are due June 2, 2014 (see the Solicitation Announcement [PDF] for additional information). Applications for the FFY 2015 Section 319 Grant Funds are due September 2, 2014.  Your electronic submittal must be received by IDEM by the close of business on September 2, 2014, and your mailed copy must be postmarked no later than September 2, 2014. Additional information and forms may be found on the Nonpoint Source Pollution Grant Application Solicitation website at http://www.in.gov/idem/nps/3363.htm#319. Please note that the Application Form and instructions are currently being updated and will be available soon on the website.

 
Grantstation
View the latest GrantStation on the IASWCD website. Several other current grants are also posted there.
 
Job Board
 
IASWCD Seeks Assistant Director
Read the full job description here. Applications due April 21.

Montgomery Co. SWCD Seeks Conservation Director

Applicants should have a degree in agriculture, natural resources or related discipline or equivalent experience. Must have basic knowledge of office accounting, soil and plant sciences, technical skills, conservation practices, and a working knowledge of computers. Please apply by April 23. For job duties and further inquiries, please notify Connie Cleek at connie.cleek@in.nacdnet.net

 

Association of Illinois SWCDs Seeks Water Quality Coordinator / Specialist
Applications are due May 15. For more information, email Kelly.Thompson@aiswcd.org.