Conservation Update
July 30 - August 12, 2015 
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Statewide News 

USDA NASS Begins Project to Gather Conservation Data Nationwide

U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is contacting farmers and ranchers from now through August as part of a national survey of conservation practices.

During the first phase of the National Resources Inventory (NRI) - Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP), NASS will contact approximately 24,000 farmers and ranchers nationwide to determine if their operations and properties meet eligibility criteria to participate in the survey. Farmers and ranchers deemed eligible may be contacted from October 2015 through February 2016 and asked to participate in the survey, part of a two-year project. The same survey process and schedule will be followed later in 2016 with a different set of producers.

CEAP's purpose is to measure the environmental benefits associated with implementation and installation of conservation practices. Data obtained from the project may help NRCS conservationists and partners determine the efficiency and effectiveness of current conservation techniques.

LARE Grants Awarded to 13 SWCDs

New grants for the care of Indiana's water bodies totaling $1,290,880 have been awarded through the Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) program in the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. 
The grants help fund 33 projects in 26 counties. 

The new grants include projects to control erosion and enhance aquatic habitat on rivers and lakes. Thirteen grants for watershed land treatment were awarded to County Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) to complement their efforts with local landowners to reduce sediment and nutrient runoff. 

"We are pleased to partner with the sponsoring organizations at the local level, and this cooperation helps create improved recreational opportunities for boating and fishing," said Mark Reiter, director of the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. "Enhancing habitat for fish and other organisms while addressing erosion is a clear win-win for both the resources and the citizens of Indiana."

Click to view the list of projects by water body, county, project type and grant award.

Bicentennial Barns

Indiana Farm Bureau and Farm Credit Mid-America are teaming up to collect the stories and photos of barns around Indiana to celebrate Indiana's agricultural legacy during the 2016 Bicentennial. To enter, visit
Funding Opportunities

Forestry Educational Grants Announcement
The Indiana Forestry Educational Foundation (IFEF) is pleased to announce the availability of competitive grant funds to help educate and inform the public about forestry and Indiana forestry related topics.
The opportunity for award of IFEF grants, which are available as $500.00 awards, is available for consideration to those organizations/groups meeting the following conditions and at the discretion of IFEF:
Note:  Instructions for completing the online grant application are provided on the application itself.
  • Must be Indiana-based
  • Grants funds must be used on projects related to forestry
  • Educates the general public and/or woodland owners
  • Project begins and ends between January 1 and December 31, 2016.  (Start and end dates reviewed on a case-by-case basis due to the nature of forestry, weather, and other outdoor conditions)
  • E-mail questions to [email protected] .  An e-mail response is provided within approximately four business days.
Completed online grant applications should be submitted no later than 12 am (Midnight) on Thursday, October 1, 2015. IFEF will make grant award announcements in December 2015.
Highlighted Events

CCSI & SWCDs Host Dr. Ray Weil for 3 Soil Health Workshops

Dr. Ray Weil, a professor of Soil Science at the University of Maryland best known for his ecological approach to soil science, will speak at 3 events in Indiana next week.

Three "Cover Crops: YOUR Choice, Not Theirs" field days next week will connect farmers with local and national experts on cover crops and no-till. These events are a joint project of CCSI and the SWCDs of Bartholomew, Steuben, LaGrange, Warren, Parke, Vermillion, and Fountain counties.

Dr. Ray Weil, a professor of Soil Science at the University of Maryland, will speak at each of the events. He is best known for his ecological approach to soil science. He is a leader in researching and promoting the adoption of more sustainable agricultural systems in both industrial and developing countries. His research focuses on soil organic matter management for enhanced soil ecosystem functions and nutrient cycling for water quality and agricultural sustainability. 

Find an event in your area:

Annual Supervisor Summit August 25
There's still time to sign up for the Annual Supervisor Summit. The deadline for registration is August 18.

Join other SWCD Supervisors at a workshop geared specifically towards the leadership roles of these important positions. Interactive sessions will explore and build upon concepts of Supervisor responsibilities and challenges relating to proactive district management. Discussions will center around topics such as, but not limited to: CWI project planning, board meetings, supervisor recruitment, and personnel management. Discussions will be led by fellow SWCD Supervisors and other Partnership leaders.

To find more information and register visit the Eventbrite registration page.
Resources and Webinars


IDEM's Confined Feeding Operations (CFO) Permits Section has updated and revised their application packet.  The new version replaces all previous versions including the most recent revision done and approved in November 2013.  There are many changes on the form, and this will be the required form for all new applications, construction or expansion applications, amendments, and renewals.

Please share this information with producers you work with who may find it useful. It is available on the state forms page for download; scroll down to the CFO section.

Technical Webinar Summarizing Lake Erie Nutrient Case Study Available to View

Elin Betanzo, Senior Policy Analyst at the Northeast-Midwest Institute, presented findings from the NEMWI study evaluating water quality data in the Lake Erie drainage basin to the Nutrients Annex 4 Subcommittee for the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement on July 30, 2015.  The study identifies the water quality data needed to detect statistically significant reductions in nutrient loads and concentrations at the watershed scale, water monitoring sites that are currently collecting the needed water data, and data gaps for measuring the effectiveness of agricultural management practices to reduce nutrient input into the Lake Erie drainage basin. The Annex 4 Subcommittee is considering monitoring and implementation strategies for tracking progress toward proposed 40% phosphorus reduction goals for Lake Erie.

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Webinar 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a Request for Applications soliciting applications from states, tribes, local governments, universities, nonprofit organizations, and other eligible organizations for approximately $13.9 million in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants and cooperative agreements to be awarded as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

The EPA is hosting a webinar to discuss the Request for Applications on Thursday, August 13 at 11 am EST. 
Register for the webinar here.

Contact Us


Find your Region Director

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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.

August 15 - Forestry Field Day

August 19 - Ag Recycling Day

August 25 - Supervisor Summit

Resolutions Due
September 10

Now is the time to consider and submit resolutions for the 2016 Annual Business Meeting. 

Please submit resolutions to be heard at the 2016 Annual Conference no later than Thursday, September 10, 2015. Resolutions received after 4 p.m. on September 10 will not be accepted. 

More information and guidelines can be found on the IASWCD website.
Support IASWCD

Do you frequently make purchases on You can help support conservation in Indiana by selected IASWCD as a recipient of AmazonSmile contributions when you shop on Amazon will donate a portion of their profits to IASWCD at no additional cost to you. It's a simple way to support conservation in your day to day life!
Job Openings

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

District Coordinator - Dearborn County SWCD

District Technician - Clay County

District Manager - Greene County