Conservation Update
May 8 - 21, 2014 
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Top News

Porter County SWCD Supervisor Tom Hannon Passes Away

Sadly the Porter County Soil & Water Conservation District must report that supervisor Tom Hannon passed away suddenly on Saturday, May 10th at his home. Tom was a dedicated supervisor and the kindest of souls. In addition to serving as the District's Fiscal Officer, Tom readily helped in any way needed. Recently Tom visited second grade classrooms as part of the District's Sow, Grow and Know program and patiently helped hundreds of young children plant corn and soybeans. He also answered many, many questions about farming with a sense of humor and a smile. Condolences can be sent to his wife, Bonnie, and four children at 349 E. 500 S. Kouts, IN  46347.

Supervisors Strongly Encouraged to Attend NACD Summer Soil Health Forum and Tour, July 20-22
A special discount is available for SWCD Supervisors and staff to attend the NACD Summer Meeting here in Indianapolis! The IASWCD would like to encourage all supervisors to attend this special event. 
Discount information: When you register for the event, choose the "IN SWCD Staff and Supervisors" option to save $75! This is only available to the first 133 people that sign up. Online and paper registration options are available at
Participants have the option of visiting several sites in and around Indianapolis, some of which are listed below. Find the full agenda here.
  • 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
IASWCD Annual Award Applications Available!
Four annual awards are newly open for nominations.All award applications can be downloaded from our new website at and specific applications are linked below. Please share the announcement widely!
As a reminder, River Friendly Farmer awards are also due on June 13.
Pathway to Water Quality Volunteer Signup Begins June 9

Pathway to Water Quality is in its 21st year of soil and water conservation education. We'll showcase the best management practices used at home, on the farm, and the areas in between that help us keep our soil healthy and production, and our water cleaner. The Indiana Conservation Partnership proudly sponsors the exhibit with the help of the host, the Indiana State FairgroundsOnline volunteer sign-up will begin on Monday, June 9. You will receive information from each of your respective agencies/organizations about sign-up. Volunteers will receive a complimentary admission ticket to the Indiana State Fair. For more information, contact DeeDee Sigler, PWQ coordinator, at [email protected].


Thank You, Districts!

Thank  you for supporting your Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts! Counties who have paid their dues for 2014 are recognized on the IASWCD website at


Three Minutes for Soil Health

"Water in the bank: Cover crops and moisture" is a three-minute video in which North Carolina State University's Dr. Chris Reberg-Horton discusses how cover crops affect water dynamics through the life-cycle of the cash crop. No cropping system is drought proof, but there are things that farmers can do to mitigate the effects of a dry year

News Release: Restoring floodplains in Indiana helps clean up the Gulf of Mexico

This press release comes to us from The Nature Conservancy. "'The report shows that for a comparatively small investment, Indiana can have a big impact on water quality both in the state and down river,' says Professor Jennifer Tank at the University of Notre Dame. 'Taxpayers, landowners, conservationists and resource managers should all be thrilled to see so much bang for the buck.' ...The Notre Dame findings estimate that nearly 600 pounds of nitrogen are cleaned out of the river annually by every acre of floodplain that is restored." Read the full release.

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Conservation News

Conservation in the City: Hoosier SWCS Summer Meeting

The Hoosier Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society's Summer Meeting will take place on June 6, 2014. Register soon because there is only space for 50 people! Join a discussion designed for professional conservationists, academia, educators, and others interested in advancing conservation in Indiana. Conservation work does not stop at the edge of the suburbs. Our featured speaker is Tim Carter, PhD with the Center for Urban Ecology at Butler University. Bus tours will include the Efroymson Conservation Center, Big City Farms, and the Marion County Fairgrounds.  Register here.
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!
June 2:

June 6:
- Conservation in the City, Hoosier SWCS Summer Meeting

June 7:
- Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment Birding Day

June 9:
- Septic & Well Workshop, Marion County

June 10:
Webinar: Managing for Soil Health in the Piedmont Area of the Southeast -  A Farmer's Perspective

June 13:
River Friendly Farmer applications due

June 16 - 17:
Farm Management Tour, presented by Purdue Department of Agricultural Economics

July 12:
- District Showcase applications due

September 9:
- Friend of Conservation Award applications due
- Supervisor of the Year Award applications due

CCSI Events

July 8  

Field Day at Don Villwock's farm in Knox County 


Other News
ISDA Seeks Farmers to Speak at State Fair
ISDA is hoping to coordinate daily speakers to represent different commodity farms at this year's State Fair. The coordinators are seeking farms producing everything from corn and soybeans to spearmint and fish. Good candidates for this opportunity would be farmers who are excited to discuss their farm and farming practices with the general public at the fair. If you or someone you know would be interested in this, email Ben Kenney, [email protected].
2014 Outdoor Lab of the Year Award
The Indiana State Tree Farm Committee is pleased to sponsor a contest to recognize the Outstanding Outdoor School Classroom each year. Download the 2014 application here. Initial judging will be made at the District Tree Farm Committee level, and district finalists will have an on-site evaluation conducted by the selection committee. Completed applications should be mailed by June 15 to your Tree Farm District Chairperson in which the school is located. Members will select district winners and then on-site evaluations of District winners will occur in September. 
GrantStation & Current Funding Opportunities


View the latest GrantStation on the IASWCD website. Several other current grants are also posted there.
Job Board
Part Time Soil Technician - Warrick & Pike County SWCDs
Email Erica Burkemper-Fischer for more information.