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Conservation INsight
December 19, 2019
2019 Annual Conference
Indiana Soil and Water Conservation Districts
January 14-15, 2019
Indianapolis Marriott Downtown
Note: On January 13 - State Soil Conservation Board (SSCB) and Indiana District Employees Association (IDEA) meetings will take place as well as a Meet and Greet the Keynote Speaker, Chad Pregracke. See the conference website for agenda details.

NEW! The Marriott has given us an extension on the conference room rate - book anytime now through conference to receive this discounted rate!
Legislative Breakfast
The Legislative Breakfast takes place on Tuesday, January 15 from 7:30 am to 8:30 am at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown. Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch will be attending this year and speak briefly. 
SWCD Delegates for the Annual Business Meeting at Conference
Each Soil and Water Conservation District in good standing (fully paid annual dues) with the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Inc. will have the opportunity to send one SWCD Supervisor delegate to the Annual Conference business meeting. The vote of the district will be cast by the delegate or the alternate at the meeting. 

District Delegates have been submitted from these 62 counties:
NACD 2019 Spring Fly-In Rescheduled
The U.S. House of Representatives released their 2019 Congressional Calendar and NACD is rescheduling the 2019 Congressional Fly-In to Wednesday, March 13, 2019, to coincide with Congress' schedule. Please start making plans to come to Washington, D.C., to meet with the new 116th Congress to advocate for conservation districts.
NACD Statement on EPA's WOTUS Rule
(New rule provides opportunity for locally-led conservation)
WASHINGTON, D.C.  — On Tuesday, Dec. 11, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers unveiled rulemaking which includes a new Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) definition under the Clean Water Act. The proposed rule is designed to review and revise the definition of WOTUS to ensure it is consistent with the Trump Administration’s February 2017 executive order. The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) President Brent Van Dyke   issued the following statement on the proposed rule:
Meeting at Conference in January
IDEA will have their members meeting on Sunday, January 13 at the Annual Conference of Indiana SWCDs
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
All are welcome to attend.

Silent Auction Donation
Please consider bringing an item to auction as IDEA will be hosting their silent auction fundraiser again this year at the January conference.
EPA Awards $400,000 to Improve Water
Quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin
I NDIANAPOLIS (Dec. 4, 2018) — The Environmental Protection Agency awarded the  Indiana State Department of Agriculture  more than $400,000 to improve water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin. The grants were distributed through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Great Lakes Commission. “This funding reinforces the critical work being done in the Western Lake Erie Basin,” said Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “We have a long road ahead, but every action taken to improve water quality, whether large or small, is a step in the right direction.”  
Kettler: National FFA Announcement Another Defining Moment for Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS (Dec. 11, 2018)  — Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler issued the following statement on National FFA's  announcement  today to continue to host the National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis through 2031. “Today’s announcement by National FFA is another defining moment for our state. This student-led organization has been pivotal in shaping agriculture’s future leaders, and this convention allows them to experience many new and exciting facets about the industry. As a former National FFA Officer, I can attest to this firsthand.
USDA Internship Opportunities
The USDA has announced internship opportunities through the OneUSDA Internship Program. This program offers Federal opportunities to students currently enrolled in qualifying educational programs or institutions. The web page referenced below has summarized the available opportunities for individuals interested in an internship in soils through the Natural Resources and Biological Sciences job series.
A word from new NRCS Chief Matt Lohr
Partnership Agencies Encourage Farmers to Consider Pollinator Habitat
Indianapolis, IN, December 11, 2018 – With a December 21 sign up deadline approaching, Pheasants and Quail Forever and the Natural Resources Conservation Service are encouraging farmers to consider utilizing a federal program that provides funding to establish habitat for Monarch butterflies and other wildlife.
Jake Swafford, Coordinating Wildlife Biologist with Pheasants Forever, said the Monarch Butterfly Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), helps landowners establish milkweed and other nectar-rich plants that provide food for Monarchs and other pollinators, such as honey bees, that are vital to agriculture.
Purdue Extension News
Indiana Small Farm Conference
February 28-March 2, 2019
Hendricks County Fairgrounds,
Danville, Indiana
This conference serves as the annual educational and farmer-to-farmer networking event for the Indiana small and diversified farm community. The Purdue Small Farm team hosted the inaugural conference in 2013 and has had continued success thanks to the support of Indiana farmers and organizations. The conference now hosts over 500 attendees, 50 exhibitors, and several national speakers.
Other News
Newsletter: Great Places
Indiana Leading the Way with Cover Crops
Article: Erin Jordan, The Gazette
Already a national leader for use of cover crops, Indiana wants a five-fold increase in cover crop acreage planted in the off season grains by 2025.
If the Hoosier State pulls this off, nearly half the state’s 11 million acres of corn and soybeans will be growing something year-round. That degree of adoption could push the needle on reducing nitrate and phosphorus fertilizer runoff into rivers and lakes, according to research by  Purdue University  and  Iowa State University .
Saluting the new Indiana Farm Family of the Year
Article: James Henry, AgriNews
When AgriNews and Beck's Hybrids decided more than two decades ago to establish the Indiana Farm Family of the Year award, with support initially from the state Department of Agriculture and now from Indiana Farm Bureau, we had big dreams, but couldn't imagine just how special this celebration would become.
Friday, February 22, 2019
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 
Pfendler Hall Second Floor
715 W. State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907​
Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) Launches New Conservation Information Website
The Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC), a clearinghouse of information on conservation farming practices, has launched its brand-new website at  www.ctic.org . The easy-to-search, simple-to-navigate site contains thousands of documents and links to information on conservation farming systems. 
Brown Bag Lunch
January 10 @ 11:30 am
Come join others interested in getting children outdoors...even in winter.
Job Postings  :
Current list of Conservation Job Opportunities now posted on the  IASWCD website.
  • Urban Conservationist, Warrick County Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Invasive Species Technician, Gibson, Pike, Posey, Vanderburgh, Warrick Soil and Water Conservation Districts
  • Director of Soil Conservation, Indiana State Department of Agriculture
  • Education Coordinator, Pulaski County Soil and Water Conservation District
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  :
January 8 - 9th Annual Soil Health Winter Clinic
January 3-11 - National No-Till Conference
January 14-15 - Indiana SWCD Annual Conference
January 21 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day
January 29 - Southern Region: Soil Health Workshop
February 2-6 - NACD Annual Meeting
February 18 - President's Day
March 10 - Daylight Savings Time starts

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