Conservation Update
March 12 - March 25, 2015 
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NACD Fly-In Trip to Washington, D.C.

Members of the IASWCD Board and Jane Hardisty met with Senator Donnelly during their trip to Washington, DC last week for the NACD Fly-In

Four members of the IASWCD Board (Kerry Ames, Roger Wenning, Jamie Scott, and Paula Baldwin) and State Conservationist Jane Hardisty spent two days in Washington, D.C. last week on an action-packed trip to meet with legislators.

The group met with legislative staff and legislators in 10 of the 11 offices representing Indiana. They discussed the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget and its impact on the Conservation Title of the Farm Bill. 

During the visit, Senator Donnelly introduced a resolution supporting the International Year of Soils and locally-led soil and water conservation efforts.

Thank you to the board members and Jane Hardisty for their time and dedication to advocate for Indiana conservation on a national level!

CCSI Hires New Agronomist

Ashley Hammac, CCSI Conservation Cropping Systems Agronomist

The Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative (CCSI) expanded its core team this month to include a new conservation cropping systems agronomist, Ashley Hammac. Ashley joins the CCSI team to provide education on conservation agriculture to a variety of audiences across the state and to assist with soil health research, demonstrations, and data collection from farmers that cooperate with the project.


"We are excited to have Ashley on board with the CCSI team," said Les Zimmerman, chair of the CCSI oversight committee. "We look forward to an energetic outreach effort to promote conservation cropping systems in Indiana and to help our ag producers realize the potential of healthy, well managed soils to positively impact our water quality along with their bottom line."


Ashley brings an educational background in environmental soil and water studies and agronomy to the position. He also draws on his experience working with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, where he worked in permitting and compliance for aquatic coastal systems impact. Though he did not grow up farming, his parents did, and Ashley looks forward to becoming more involved in farming himself.


Eileen Kladivko, a member of the CCSI steering committee and professor of Agronomy at Purdue University, stated, "Ashley brings a passion for conservation to our CCSI team, and he is excited to work with the many committed partners in this effort.  His location at Purdue will also facilitate greater interactions with Purdue Extension Specialists and County Educators in the areas of soil health and conservation cropping systems."


Ashley looks forward to being a resource for local soil and water conservation districts and other partners as well. He may be reached at [email protected] or at 251-259-7614 (cell) or 765-496-0503 (office).

Partner News

On Farm Network Becomes INfield Advantage

By Meg Leader, Agricultural and Environmental Affairs Program Manager, ISDA Division of Soil Conservation 

The new 2015 INfield Advantage map - see below for a link to download a full PDF version.

Indiana's On Farm Network program, a joint program of the Indiana Conservation Partnership that is coordinated by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, has changed its name to INfield Advantage. The name was changed to acknowledge that Indiana has its own program. The name change was announced by
press release last week.

Last year, the On Farm Network program completed its USDA CIG grant and the Indiana Corn Marketing Council/Indiana Soybean Alliance reaffirmed their continuing support of the program. In their March 2014 Strategic Plan, Corn and Soy suggested doubling grower engagement over the next few years and funding the program through Checkoff.


In 2015, INfield Advantage will be expanding to 34 groups (see map).  The local leader in most groups is a SWCD staff person. Meg Leader, ISDA, serves as the State Coordinator overseeing the program. Please contact her at [email protected] or 317-460-6158 for more information or to discuss starting a group in your area.
A Message from NRCS

Indiana Farmers Sustain Future Generations
By Jane Hardisty, NRCS State Conservationist

There's a lot of talk today about the importance of agriculture and our ability to feed the world in the future.  Words like sustainable, productive, efficient and innovative are being used to describe the future of agriculture in order to ensure our ability to grow the food and fiber needed over the next fifty years.  But there is good news-many of our Hoosier farmers are already ahead of the game. 

The theme of this year's Ag Day is Agriculture-Sustaining Future Generations and it is a great way to recognize these farmers who have taken up the challenge and made a commitment to produce more with less; less land, less water, less energy and fewer nutrient inputs.  


Each day the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Indiana works with farmers to help them plan and install conservation practices that improve the health of their soil, such as no-till, cover crops, integrated pesticide and herbicide management, diverse crop rotations and nutrient management.  These practices are having a positive effect on the environment-improving our water quality, air quality, wildlife habitat, pastureland and woodlands.   

It's easy to take agriculture for granted in America.  Our food is readily accessible and safe.  Agriculture keeps our economy and rural communities strong and viable.  So whether it's on one acre or a thousand acres, we are here to work with private landowners to help conserve and protect our natural resources.


As we celebrate agriculture throughout this week, I want to thank Indiana's farm families for all you do to care for the land, improve the environment, and provide us safe and affordable food.  I look forward to continuing to work together to sustain future generations!

Contact Us


Find your Region Director

Visit us on social media:

Like us on Facebook     Follow us on Twitter

These are just a few of the upcoming events around the state. You can find many more on the Conservation Calendar and the Soil Health Events Calendar.

NACD Stewardship Week 2015

April 26 - May 3 will be NACD's National Soil and Water Stewardship Week. The theme this year is "Local Heroes - Your Hardworking Pollinators."

You can find education and outreach materials to coincide with the pollinators message on the NACD Soil and Water Stewardship Week webpage.

In April, a social media toolkit
for the pollinators theme (with sample tweets, Facebook posts, infographics, and more) will be included in the Conservation Update newsletter.
Job Openings

Please email job descriptions, instructions for applying, and a deadline in one PDF to [email protected] to be included.

Johnson County SWCD - Agriculture Resource Specialist
Download the description and apply by April 3.

Tippecanoe Watershed Foundation - Outreach & Marketing Specialist
Visit their website for more information and to apply.