Conservation Update
August 28 - September 10, 2014 
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Top News

NRCS Announces $328 Million for Agricultural Conservation Easement Program 

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said yesterday that the Department of Agriculture is investing $328 million to help private landowners protect and restore key farmlands, grasslands and wetlands. $3.4 million of this will be ACEP available in Indiana.  The 2014 Farm Bill created the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) to protect critical wetlands and keep lands in farming for the future.


"Conservation easements help Hoosier farmers protect valuable agricultural lands from development while enhancing lands best suited for grazing and wetlands to their natural conditions," Jane Hardisty, Indiana's State Conservationist said. "These easements are making a dramatic and positive impact for food supply, rural communities, and species habitat."


Read more about this program in the complete USDA press release and continue reading below for details about upcoming local informational meetings about ACEP.

Conservation Organizations Invited to Learn About Indiana Easement Programs


 

Entities interested in learning more about the new USDA - NRCS easement programs are invited to attend a two hour meeting titled Conservation Easements and Partnership Efforts to Conserve Indiana's Private Land on September 24, 2014.
Wetland easement site northern Indiana (Photo: NRCS)

NRCS professionals will be on hand to answer any questions about ACEP's two easement programs - the Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) and the Agricultural Land Easements (ALE). 


 

The meeting will be from 1:30-3:30 pm and will be held at the Indiana NRCS State Office located at 6013 Lakeside Boulevard, Indianapolis. Those who are unable to attend the meeting will also have the opportunity to participate through a webinar. There will be no cost for this workshop but participants are asked RSVP by September 19th to Lisa Bolton ([email protected]) or by calling (317) 295-5800. 

 

More information is available on the Indiana NRCS website.
 
CCSI News

"Livestock, Forages, and Cover Crops for Healthier Soils" Field Day Next Week!

There is still time to sign up for the "Livestock, Forages, and Cover Crops for Healthier Soils" field day on September 15 in Connersville! 

Hollen Family Farms raises grass-fed beef and uses cover crops as part of a transition from row-crop to permanent pasture. Photo credit: Chris Hollen

You will learn about:

  • Cover Crops & Grazing
  • Soil Health Systems with Livestock and Cover Crops After Silage
  • Forage & Cover Crops
  • Aerial Seeding, Soil Pits, and Rain Simulator Demonstrations
See the event brochure for more details or visit the online registration site.

 

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

Indiana Master Naturalists Invite Public to "The World Beneath Our Feet, an Appreciation of Life in the Soil"
 
The Elkhart County Indiana Master Naturalists (IMN) and sponsors are hosting the 2014 IMN State Gathering, and you are invited to attend the keynote session featuring Dr. James B. Nardi, author of Life in the Soil, A Guide for Naturalists and Gardeners. Although the conference is only for Master Naturalists, Class Sponsors, and Class Presenters, we invite the public to attend this keynote session free of charge.
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The session, "The World Beneath Our Feet, an Appreciation of Life in the Soil" will take place on Saturday, October 11 from 10:15-11:15 am, at Prairie Camp (63526 County Road 9, Goshen, IN 46526).

Register by September 5 by contacting the Elkhart County SWCD at: (574) 533-4383, ext. 3 or [email protected]
District Spotlight

Once a month, we'll be featuring recent successful activities and projects put on by different districts from around the state. If you'd like to share a success story from your county, please write us at [email protected] to be included in a future District Spotlight! 

Steuben County Youth Conservation Field Day
 
On September 9, the Steuben County SWCD hosted a successful Youth Conservation Field Day for 306 local fourth grade students at Pokagon State Park. 

The children took part in many activities throughout the day, including talks on wildlife, water safety, job duties of conservation officers, entomology, fish management, soils, water quality, and more! The purpose of the day was to provide a foundation of knowledge about natural resource conservation.

One of the big hits of the day for the students was a performance by the Dumpster Drummers of Fort Wayne. The Drummers are a musical group who teach about recycling by using recycled materials and dumpsters to create music. 
 
The Dumpster Drummers entertain while teaching about recycling. Photo: Kayleen Hart
The Dumpster Drummers entertain while teaching about recycling. Photo: Kayleen Hart
Kayleen Hart, the SWCD administrative coordinator, said, "The children love it. They think they are 'awesome.' The first year, The Northeast Solid Waste District (NESWD) sponsored them for the field day performance, but this year our office received a SARE Youth Educator Grant which will assist with half the cost for the next two years. The NESWD still picks up the other half."

The teachers also see value in the conservation activities for their students. In particular, they enjoy the soils sessions because of the visual demonstrations about erosion and keeping the soil covered, as well as the tie-in with subjects included on the ISTEP test.

The Steuben County SWCD thanks their partner agencies for their help in putting on the event, donating time, and educational materials.
Contact Us

 

Upcoming Deadlines

September 19:
-Proposed Resolutions due (scroll to the bottom of page at link for past resolutions and forms)

November 3:
- Supervisor Scholarship for Annual Conference Applications Due (scroll to the bottom of the page at link for form and instructions)

 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!


September Rain 
Garden Workshops!
There is still time to sign up for many of the statewide 
with Rusty Schmidt! Click here to find one near you.

September 25:

September 26-28:

CCSI Events

September 15
Wollyung Farm, Connersville

GrantStation & Current Funding Opportunities

Grantstation

View the latest GrantStation on the IASWCD website. Several other current grants are also posted there.