Conservation Update
December 4 - December 17, 2014 
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Annual Conference

It's Not Too Late to Register for Conference!

You can still register for conference this week. Don't miss out on the celebration of 75 years of Soil & Water Conservation Districts in Indiana! In addition to the opportunities for learning and networking that conference provides each year, we'll have interesting presentations on the history of SWCDs and some great old photos from years past. Come share memories and make new ones at the 2015 Annual Conference.

And don't forget to reserve your hotel accommodations as well. You can do so at the  reservation site. The deadline for hotel reservations is this Saturday, December 20.
Conservation Partners News

New Members Appointed to SSCB

The IASWCD would like to congratulate the two new members to the State Soil Conservation Board, Ray Chattin and Robert Woodling. We are excited to have a full State Soil Conservation Board in place.

Governor Mike Pence recently named appointees to the State Soil Conservation Board:
  • Martin Chattin (Knox County), appointed to serve a four-year term through November 30, 2018
  • Robert Woodling (Monroe County), appointed to serve a four-year term through November 30, 2018
  • Scott Ham (Floyd County), reappointed to serve a four-year term through November 30, 2018
  • Warren Baird (Tipton County), reappointed to serve a three-year term through November 30, 2017
  • Robert Eddleman (Marion County), reappointed to serve a four-year term through November 30, 2018
  • Larry Clemens (Steuben County), reappointed to serve a three-year term through November 30, 2017
  • Nola Gentry (Tippecanoe County), reappointed to serve a three-year term through November 30, 2017
Sponsor Spotlight

Bronze Sponsors

The IASWCD would like to thank the following Bronze level sponsors for their support of Annual Conference:

Break Sponsors
We also would like to recognize the following Break sponsors for providing for refreshments during breaks throughout Annual Conference:

Op-Ed Story

Celebrate Our Soil
by Jane Hardisty, State Conservationist
State Conservationist Jane Hardisty. Photo:
State Conservationist Jane Hardisty. Photo: USDA-NRCS

World Soil Day took place on December 5, but in case you missed State Conservationist Jane Hardisty's op-ed piece last week, it is not to be missed. What's more, 2015 has been declared the "International Year of Soils" by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Read on and join in the growing worldwide conversation on soil health!

Happy World Soil Day! December 5th is World Soil Day and it's a great time for all Hoosiers to celebrate this Important and non-renewable resource. Some of the best, most productive soils in the world are found in Indiana and the United States.

Soil is one of our greatest natural resources and it plays a very important role in our lives every day. And yet, since our soil is underfoot, it is often taken for granted. We build on the soil-our homes, businesses, schools, roads and farms all depend on it for their foundation, but more importantly, soil is the foundation for our food, feed, fiber, and fuel production. In fact, ninety-five percent all of our food comes from the soil.

world soil day

Even though soil is one of our greatest natural resources, it is threatened. Organic matter once found in our soils decreased significantly when early settlers converted native prairies, grasslands and forests to farms and towns. Soil erosion, which washes off or blows away highly productive topsoil, is still a concern. The amount of naturally fertile soils available for food production is also at risk as urban development causes the loss of 3.5 acres of farmland every minute in the United States.

But there is good news. Most of the soil in Indiana is on private lands, so whether you are a gardener, farmer, or forest owner, you can do your part to protect and even restore soil health again. Keep the soil covered with growing plants or residue; use a diverse mixture of plants; rotate your plants or crops; and use other conservation practices like no-till. All of these practices can increase organic matter and improve the health of your soil regardless of your soil type.

Soil is a limited resource. Maintaining and improving our soil resource is needed to meet our future food, water and energy security so let's stop treating our soil like dirt and give it the respect it deserves.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service works every day with private landowners to help them conserve and protect our natural resources in Indiana. If you would like to learn more about improving the health of your soil contact a district conservationist in your county. 

Soil Health News

NRCS Launches Soil Health Literature Review Project

The USDA NRCS Soil Health Literature Review Project, developed to support the science based approach to NRCS' soil health initiative, was recently launched and made available to both the public and USDA employees.

NRCS' Soil Health Literature Review Project provides more than 180 peer-reviewed journal articles focused on the impact of conservation practices on soil's physical and chemical properties important for soil health. The site provides access to a searchable database of journal references related to physical and chemical soil health properties and conservation practices.

The 2014 Soil Health Literature Review Project is a collaborative project involving NRCS' Soil Science and Resource Assessment and Science and Technology Deputy Areas. The public can access the Soil Health Literature Review Project here.
Contact Us



December 20:
Reserve your room for Annual Conference

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 our statewide events calendar.

Planning an Event? Get it on our calendar using this form!
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 one PDF to [email protected] to have it posted on the website.

Pike County - Agronomic Technician
- Download the description and instructions.

ISDA - Resource Specialist
-Download the description hereThere are 2 open positions. These can be located in the SPD Job Bank by searching their ID numbers: Southwest Position, 593729; Southeast Position, 593730.

CCSI - Agronomist
- Apply online at the Purdue Careers site. More details are available here, but you must apply online to be considered.
GrantStation & Current Funding Opportunities


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