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Conservation INsight
July 7, 2021
Indiana District Showcase Award Now Accepting Online Applications
District Insurance Needs and Liability: Join the First VirTuesday, July 20
Hosted by ISDA and IASWCD ... join us as we navigate through various insurance considerations for Soil and Water Conservation Districts. This training will address the NRCS vehicle policy, insurance coverage provided by the IASWCD and a general overview of Tort Law. Speakers include Josh Croy, Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance (pre-recorded); Roger Kult, ASTC - M&S, NRCS; and, Winston Lin, the Assistant Section Chief for Government Litigation, Office of the Attorney General.
VirTuesdays are a series of four Virtual Trainings on Tuesdays at 7 pm (ET). Registration is required and the Zoom link will be provided upon registration.

Each date/topic below will link you to the description and registration site.

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Indiana's Porter County SWCD Featured as NACD Celebrates 75 Years with District Success Stories

Porter County SWCD Provides Plants for Local Schools
by Michelle Benson, District Educator, Porter County SWCD
Saylor Elementary School has a secret! Few outsiders realize that at the center of the school there is a courtyard peppered with trees and plants that welcome birds, chipmunks and squirrels. More than just a wildlife habitat, the space has also become a respite for students. “We use the courtyard to practice mindfulness with our students, and I also take an individual student out there if they are having a rough day, or simply to teach them how to relax outside. We feed birds and squirrels, and the students enjoy helping to fill all the feeders. They get to know the regular squirrels and birds, and this also teaches empathy,” explained Karen Kinsey, Saylor’s Home School Advisor. 
Don't Miss the Opportunity to Volunteer at the State Fair on Behalf of Conservation!
Pathway to Water Quality (PWQ), managed by the Indiana Conservation Partnership, is a model watershed located on the Indiana State Fairgrounds that shows how land “sheds” excess water. The PWQ exhibit demonstrates practical displays and information showing how proper management practices at home, on the farm and in business can protect our soil and water resources. PWQ needs volunteers to host this display and answer questions. Join us as we spread the news of conservation!
NACD Summer Meeting
The 2021 Summer Conservation Forum and Tour will be held July 24-27 in Chicago, Illinois.
August 6 Deadline to Register for Fall Conference
IDEA Annual Fall Conference is October 5-7. Registration deadline is August 6. See website for more details.
New Division of Soil Conservation Deputy Director
Jennifer Thum, who has been serving as the Northeast District Support Specialist (DSS), has been promoted to ISDA Division of Soil Conservation Deputy Director. Katie Secrest is currently acting as the NE DSS during this transitional period. Katie has been working as an ISDA Resource Specialist (RS) since 2018 in the mid-Northeast, and serving in a DSS capacity role for four districts since April 2021. (click on map for DSS region information)
Big changes coming to the Western Lake Erie Basin
by Bruce Kettler, Director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture
Patience is a virtue. And that certainly stands true when waiting for something long anticipated, like the award notification of a multimillion-dollar grant. We patiently awaited the news of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program grants from USDA-NRCS. The Indiana State Department of Agriculture was thrilled to receive a Regional Conservation Partnership Grant for the Tri-State Western Lake Erie Basin – collaboration; a grant that totaled almost $8 million.
July 6, 2021 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing up to $17 million nationally for conservation partners to help protect and restore critical wetlands on agricultural lands through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP). USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is prioritizing proposals that focus on assisting historically underserved producers conserving wetlands.
July 1, 2021 - According to a recent conservation survey, Indiana farmers have set a conservation record this year by planting an estimated 1.5 million acres of overwinter living covers, the largest amount ever recorded by an Indiana Conservation Partnership survey.
Overwintering living covers (i.e. - cover crops and small grains, like wheat) are known for their environmental benefits. Cover crops and small grains help increase organic matter in the soil and improve overall soil health by adding living roots to the soil more months of the year. Cover crops also improve water infiltration into the soil, while other covers, like legumes serve as natural fertilizers.
Other News
Webinar and Discussion Series: Riparian Forest Buffer
The U.S. Forest Service is hosting a series of webinars on riparian forest buffers. The first in the series, scheduled for July 13, 2021, is a presentation by USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station and Michigan State University. The second session, scheduled for Aug. 10, 2021, will be by the Chesapeake Bay Program. The third and final session, scheduled for Sept. 14, 2021, will feature presentations from Trout Unlimited and Shoal Creek Woodlands for Wildlife. All webinars are scheduled for 2 pm (CDT)
Carbon Markets For U.S. Row Crop Producers: Opportunities And Challenges
Questions about agriculture’s potential role in carbon sequestration are on many ag producers’ minds these days. Purdue ag economists Carson Reeling, Nathanael Thompson and James Mintert discussed the opportunities and challenges of the carbon markets in U.S. agriculture for row crop producers on this recorded webinar from June 24.
The Drop
monthly newsletter
Indiana Districts: LAST CALL to Provide Your Input to this W4L Survey
W4L is seeking input on how best to serve and support districts through their program. Deadline is Friday, July 9.
Lunch 'n Learn: District Success with Women4theLand
July 22
12 noon (ET)
Join W4L for this one hour Lunch 'n Learn as several Indiana District Staff share how outreach to women landowners in their districts has made a difference!
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 :
July 20 - VirTuesday: District Insurance Needs and Liability
July 22 - District Success with Women4theLand
July 30-August 22 - Indiana State Fair
August 24 - VirTuesday: Human Resource Management 101, Contract Employee vs. District Employee
September 21 - VirTuesday: Records Retention
October 5-7 - IDEA Conference for Indiana SWCD Staff
October 19 - VirTuesday: Turning Data into Action
For a complete list of upcoming conservation events, go to the Events Calendar on the IASWCD website.*
*As more events begin to take place in person, please check the individual hosting organization's website and/or Facebook page for the latest information on locations, guidelines and details. Thank you.