Conservation Update
September 25 - October 8, 2014 
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Annual Conference News

Platinum Sponsor Saddle Butte Ag Bio Till Promotes Soil Health Through Cover Crops

With Annual Conference just a few months away, the IASWCD would like to thank our sponsors who help to make this yearly event possible. Our 2015 Platinum sponsor is Saddle Butte Ag, a family-owned and operated seed company from Oregon.

Saddle Butte Ag's Bio Till Logo

Since 2002, Saddle Butte Ag began getting involved in selling cover crop seeds. They started with annual ryegrass, conducting studies to determine the most resilient varieties of ryegrass for the Midwest and cooler regions. By 2009, Saddle Butte Ag's line of cover crops had expanded from annual ryegrass to include Austrian winter peas, barley, cereal rye, clover, oats, oilseed radish, rape, vetch, wheat, and four different mixes. Their line of cover crops now goes under the name of Bio Till, a division of Saddle Butte Ag. 


Through their expanded cover crop lineup, Saddle Butte Ag's Bio Till division is helping to fight erosion, increase organic matter, and improve and protect the soil in the Midwest and other regions.


Thank you to Saddle Butte Ag for your generous support of the IASWCD Annual Conference!

Top News

Districts Complete CRP Status Reviews and Earn $349,896!

Over sixty-one Soil and Water Conservation Districts recently completed a one-year contribution agreement between the IASWCD and USDA-NRCS that ensured status review completions on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts.  

The Districts helped USDA-NRCS meet the CRP status review policies that ensure CRP continues to address priority resource concerns and to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for new CRP enrollment from Indiana farmers. 

This work was worth $349,896 to the sixty-one SWCDs. Thanks to all the Districts for their hard work in completing this agreement.  A special thank you to Knox County SWCD and Troy Hinkle who helped with the technical aspect of this agreement.  The IASWCD hopes to be able to offer more agreements like this in the future to our local Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

NACD Board Briefs

The September 2014 issue of the NACD "Board Briefs" from the NACD Field Services Team is now available. 
This monthly one-page report brings you the highlights of NACD activities from the previous month. You can
download a copy
 of the most recent briefs and other NACD publications at any time from the IASWCD website.



Updated Cover Crop Guide Now Available
field guide The second edition of the Midwest Cover Crops Field Guide from the Midwest Cover Crops Council and Purdue University is now available. The guide is pocket-sized for use in the field, and can help users in determining the appropriate cover crops for their system. New topics and additional states have been added to this updated version. The Midwest Cover Crops Field Guide is available  for online order through Purdue Extension's Education Store.

Don't Forget - Send Us Your Demo Plot Info! 

Thanks to those who have shared your cover crop demo plot information to be included in our statewide, interactive map! You can take a sneak peak of the map now, but there's still room for more. Please click to fill out a spreadsheet with your demo plot's information. An example row is included in the first row in italics. (Be sure to include the latitude/longitude of the plot's location for the most accurate mapping!) Please send your completed spreadsheet to [email protected] to be included in the map. 


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Other News

Trading the Office for the Farm for a Day

When I first joined the IASWCD at the beginning of the summer, I knew that not coming from an agriculture background would present a learning curve for me. At the time, I thought that everyone who worked in the districts had extensive knowledge of farming and that I was the

 only one "playing catchup" in that area. Over the past few months, as I've 

combine in soy bean field

met others at trainings and field days, I've learned that though many staff do have years of experience in agriculture, I'm not the only one who doesn't. However, I still want to learn more about agriculture because I know it will help me be more effective as a part of this organization.


At the encouragement of Lisa Holscher, IASWCD soil health program manager, I contacted two farmers who serve on the IASWCD board to ask if I could "shadow" them for some time on their farm. I joined Roger Wenning and his son Nick for an afternoon last Tuesday. I rode with Nick in a combine while they harvested soybean test plots with agronomists from two seed


The Wennings worked with agronomists from two seed companies on a soybean test plot.
I saw cover crops at different stages of growth in the fields.  Roger and Nick patiently answered my many questions about anything and everything related to the equipment they used, their planting techniques, and the benefits of different cover crop varieties - and they never made me feel silly for asking questions that might have seemed obvious to someone with more experience in the field.


All in all, the afternoon was extremely educational for me. Even though I still have a lot to learn, the time spent on the farm is helping me to understand the big picture and everything that goes into conservation agriculture just a little bit better. If you're in the same boat, don't be shy about reaching out to farmers on your local district board to spend some time with them on the job. In my experience, taking the opportunity to learn firsthand was definitely worth it.


Thank you to Roger and Nick Wenning for taking the time to share their work with me and help me learn!


By Emily Neitzel

Contact Us


Annual Conference
January 11-13, 2015

Registration Materials

Registration forms, a PDF version of the conference brochure, and a link to the online registration site are available now on the IASWCD website's conference page.

Don't Forget - Deadlines

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

January 2:
- Register your district's delegate and alternate for the Annual Business Meeting

 Upcoming Events

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

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

November 3:

November 12:

CCSI Events

Save the Dates! November 5-7
-NW Cover Crop & Soil Health Tours in Jasper, Newton, Lake, Benton Counties

Save the Date! November 12
-Orange Co. Field Day

Job Openings

In addition to this section of our newsletter, we now have a new page on the IASWCD website where job opportunities with Districts can be posted. Please email job descriptions, instructions for applying, and a deadline in a PDF to [email protected] to have it posted on the website.

Dubois Co. SWCD Seeks Resource Specialist

Please click here for the job description and here for instructions for applying.
GrantStation & Current Funding Opportunities


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