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Conservation INsight
October 9, 2019
2020 Annual Conference of Indiana SWCDs 
Watch the  IASWCD website  for annual conference updates. This page will soon have all the information you need regarding conference registration, hotel reservations, cost, deadlines, supervisor scholarships and more! We are excited to be hosting Matt Lohr, 16th Chief of USDA-NRCS, as the Keynote Speaker this year at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown. Additional speakers will present on a variety of topics. Save the Dates:  January 13-14, 2020 .

Sponsors and Exhibitors Needed!
If you are interested or know someone who would be a good fit for the Indiana SWCD Conference as a sponsor and/or exhibitor, please have them contact Amy Work at amy-work@iaswcd.org.
Indiana Regional Conservation Partnership Program
The Indiana Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) webinar on September 26 was recorded and is now available for viewing at the link below. 
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State Association Directors Conference, September 2019. Indiana director, Joe Schmees, pictured in the center.
Joe Schmees attends 2019 NACD Executive Directors’ Conference in California
During September, Indiana's State Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts' Executive Director, Joe Schmees, attended the 2019 NACD Executive Directors Conference in South Lake Tahoe, California. He, along with 16 additional executive directors were hosted by the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts.
Representing all seven of NACD’s regions, the executive directors at the meeting ranged in tenure from six months on the job to almost nine years. Many of the executives had not previously met their colleagues from other states, and the full two-day agenda was instrumental in establishing in-person connections and providing a forum to discuss issues relevant to the conservation partnerships across the country.
SHOUT OUT! to the Jennings County Pollinator Committee spearheaded by Andy Ertel, Jennings County SWCD, on receiving The Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for their “Share Some Space" project.
Investing in Tomorrow: NCF Launches Fall Campaign
The National Conservation Foundation (NCF) launched the  NCF Fall Campaign , inviting conservation leaders to support the foundation's mission in delivering locally-led conservation solutions and developing the next generation of conservation leaders. The future of conservation requires skilled leaders who can understand and manage the complex challenges we face as land stewards and conservationists. 
October U&C Webinar Focuses on Water Quality Outreach
The next NACD Urban and Community (U&C) Conservation webinar scheduled for  12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. Eastern  on  October 17, 2019,  will focus on water quality outreach campaigns. The  Greenville County Soil and Water Conservation District  (SWCD) in South Carolina will discuss the ways in which it utilizes partnerships and collaboration to create quality engagement. The district is part of the  Reedy River Water Quality Group , a collaboration of government, nonprofit and environmental agencies that work together using a Clean Water Act 5(r) plan and creative messaging to engage citizens.
NACD Launches Discussion Board
NACD has launched a new feature of the  Members Only page : NACD Forums , a member-based community and bulletin board that will give NACD members the opportunity to participate in an open discussion on topics of their choice. Whether you are an executive director, Soil Health Champion or on the Board of Directors, the discussion board will provide a space for you to ask questions, chat with fellow members and more.
We Need Your Vote:
Fall 2019  The Resource  Cover Selection
NACD is hard at work collecting content for the next edition of  The Resource , set to be released in November. Vote today for your favorite cover photo!
NCF-Envirothon Seeking Education Specialist
The National Conservation Foundation (NCF)-Envirothon is seeking an education specialist who will help ensure a successful educational experience for high school students across the U.S., Canada, China and a growing list of countries through the Envirothon program.
Indiana Agriculture Insider

Monthly newsletter
Pollution Prevention Grants
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has announced the availability of funds from the Pollution Prevention Program. Eligible candidates may seek a grant ranging from $10,000-$25,000. Applicant match must be greater to or equal to the grant amount. Requests will be accepted through November 1.
NRCS to Invest $50 Million to Increase Recreational Public Access on Private Lands
Indianapolis, IN, October 2, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will make up to $50 million available to help create or expand state government and tribal programs that encourage landowners and land managers to allow public access to their land for hunting, fishing and other wildlife-dependent recreation. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting proposals through November 27 from state governments and tribes for the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP). “These projects are excellent examples of how we engage in public-private partnerships, uniting both public and private entities to deliver long-term conservation benefits that the public, outdoor enthusiasts, wildlife, landowners and land managers may experience,” said Indiana NRCS State Conservationist Jerry Raynor. 
USDA-NRCS Conservation Webinar: Benefits of Using Satellite Imagery for Making Better Crop Management Decisions
Oct 16, 2019
2:00 pm US/Eastern
Participate to understand the importance of using different types of satellite imagery to make agronomic management decisions along with an analysis of the economics of precision conservation. This webinar illustrates how satellite imagery can be acquired, analyzed and combined with other information to identify potential management areas. 
Volunteers Needed: The FFA National Convention and Expo
The FFA Convention and Expo will be returning to Indianapolis this year and will run from October 30-November 1, 2019. As in years past, NRCS will be supporting the Natural Resources and Environment Judging events and is asking for volunteer assistance from partnership staff. Please see the volunteer opportunities below. 
Natural Resources and Environment Judging Event Volunteer
The purpose of the environmental and natural resource career development event is to foster student interest and promote environmental and natural resource instruction in the agricultural education curriculum. 
This event will take place on Wednesday, October 30 th  at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Judges are separated into two categories: verbal and teamwork. A complimentary lunch will be provided starting at 11:00 AM. All volunteers should report to the fairgrounds no later than 11:30 AM for orientation and will be released of their duties at approximately 2:00 PM.   
Verbal Judging
Students will be provided a scenario that addresses an environmental/natural resource problem from soils, water, ecosystems and waste management. Teams are required to develop a statement that addresses the questions in the scenario and give an oral presentation justifying the decisions made by the team. Each team will have eight minutes to make their presentation. There will be an additional five minutes given to each team to address questions from the judges. We need approximately 45 volunteers for verbal judging. 
Teamwork Judging:
While the students are preparing their oral presentations, a group of 15 judges will evaluate how well the team members work together to develop their statement and presentation. Judging will be based on the following areas:
  • Managing team dynamics
  • Awareness of personality styles of others
  • Using positive and mature language and mannerisms
  • Reacting to changes
  • Handling tasks
If you would like to volunteer for one of these opportunities, please contact Kris Vance at:  kris.vance@in.usda.gov .
USDA Seeking Comments on Conservation Reserve Program Environmental Assessment
Washington, D.C., September 27 , 2019 –The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced the availability of a Programmatic Environmental Assessment for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The 2018 Farm Bill made changes to CRP, and the assessment evaluates those changes as they relate to the National Environmental Policy Act. The assessment only covers programmatic changes that have not been evaluated previously. The environmental assessment is available to the public for review, and FSA is requesting comments on the proposed alternatives and their potential impacts on the human environment. FSA will incorporate the feedback into the final assessment, as appropriate, prior to a decision. FSA will consider comments received by October 27, 2019.
Purdue Extension News
Soil, Water and Cropping Systems Forum: How Purdue is Moving Ag Forward in Sustainable Ways
Friday, November 22, 2019
9:30 am - 3:00 pm
Hendricks Co. Fairgrounds and Conference Center, Danville, Indiana
The event is open to county and regional staff as well as state level Indiana Conservation Partnership (ICP) members. This program will inform our partners about Purdue's work in soil health, ag water management, cropping systems, and nutrient management. Topics will include cover crops and N management, implications of novel soil mapping technologies on soil health assessment, water quality work in the St. Joe watershed, cover crops and weed management, balancing inset pest suppression and pollinator conservation, hemp production, Indiana State Climate Office, and others. Registration through November 12.
Call for Proposals: Midwest Women in Agriculture Conference
The Midwest Women in Agriculture Planning Committee invites you to submit a proposal to present at the 2020 Conference to be held at the Horizon Convention Center in Muncie. A pre-conference session is being offered on Tuesday, February 18th ( full day or half day). The conference itself is on Wednesday and Thursday, February 19 & 20. Deadline to submit is Friday, October 11.
Other News
Thank You for a Super Year!
The Indiana State Fair would like to thank all of our exhibitors, guests and families that participated in celebrating Heroes in the Heartland with us at the 2019 Indiana State Fair! We are proud to have showcased 46,668 entries from 7,643 exhibitors as we welcomed a total of 878,857 fairgoers through our gates. 2020 Indiana State Fair: August 7-23.
Register for Project Wingspan Online Training!
Project Wingspan is looking for enthusiastic seed collecting volunteers in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin to help collect seeds from milkweed and other common forage plants. As a seed collecting volunteer you will be provided with the training needed to make valuable contributions to support migrating monarchs and resident rusty patched bumble bees.
If you’d like to get started today, Pollinator Partnership has created a  simple 6-step online training module  to help you learn more about Project Wingspan and its goals, how to properly collect seed from the landscape, and how to identify the target native plant species. Skills that once learned, can be applied to your personal garden and other local community efforts.
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Enjoy this edition of the newsletter where you will find ag in the classroom, a podcast subscription, and tasty fall recipes! 
The 2020 National Conservation Foundation (NCF)-Envirothon's key topics, learning objectives and resources are now available on the  NCF-Envirothon website . The current issue topic for the 2020 competition season is " Water Resource Management: Local Control and Local Solutions ." 2020 NCF-Envirothon will be held July 26-31, 2020   at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Learn to be a Leader in Watershed Management
If you’re interested in water quality and watersheds, consider applying for the 2020 Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy. The Academy, organized by Purdue University with support from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and other Indiana conservation agencies and organizations, gives participants the chance to engage in basic and advanced level watershed topics covering leadership principles, watershed science, organization and communication, technology and GIS, stakeholder involvement techniques and policy skills. Enroll now to improve your watershed management skills! Application deadline is November 8.
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Farmer-to-Farmer Mentoring Program
If you are a beginning farmer, or you want to transition to organic, or add a new enterprise to your organic farm, gain insights from a mentor who has "been there" and knows what has and hasn't worked. MOSES has a partnership with OGRAIN to provide this program to grain farmers in particular. Mentored farmers pay $350 for a year-long mentorship that includes complimentary admission to the 2020 & 2021 MOSES Organic Farming Conference The application deadline for the 2020 program is Oct. 31.
Job Postings  :
Current list of Conservation Job Opportunities now posted on the  IASWCD website.

Note: Job Postings can be submitted to Amy Work at:  amy-work@iaswcd.org .  Please include job description and deadline to apply in a single PDF file or with a link.
Upcoming Conservation Events  :
October 10 - Women's Learning Circle, Lawrence Co.
October 11 - Pulaski District Showcase Visit
October 12 - Forestry Field Day, Orange Co.
October 13 - LaPorte Co. Sandhill Crane Paddle
October 17 - Women's Learning Circle, Tippecanoe Co.
October 19 - Women's Learning Circle, Posey, Vanderburgh and Warrick
October 22 - Knox County District Showcase Visit
October 25 - Forestry Practices, Washington Co.
October 29 - State Soil Conservation Board meeting & District Showcase Visit: Parke/Vermillion
October 29 - Learn the Dirt on Soil, Monroe Co.
November 5 - Learn the Dirt on Soil, Monroe Co.
November 7 - Women's Learning Circle, Boone Co.
November 7 - Women's Learning Circle, Franklin Co.
November 11 - Veteran's Day
November 12 - Learn the Dirt on Soil, Monroe Co.
November 14 - Women's Learning Circle, Tippecanoe Co.
November 22- Soil, Water and Cropping Systems Forum
January 12-14 - Annual Indiana SWCD Conference, Indpls.

For a complete list of upcoming conservation events,  go to the Events Calendar on the IASWCD website .