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Conservation INsight
September 25, 2019
2019 District Showcase Award Recipients
Please congratulate these Indiana Districts as they will be receiving the 2019 District Showcase Award. Knox, Pulaski, and Parke/Vermillion will be hosting ICP visits and premiered at the 2020 Annual Conference of Indiana SWCDs Conservation Luncheon in January.
SAVE THE DATE to attend these visits:
  • Pulaski County SWCD - October 11
  • Parke/Vermillion County SWCD - October 29
  • Knox County SWCD - TBD
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2020 Annual Conference of Indiana SWCDs 
Coming Soon . . .
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 . Supervisor Scholarship applications will be made available soon on the Annual Conference web page.
NACD Releases Statement on Repeal of EPA's WOTUS Rule
On September 13, NACD released a statement regarding the decision of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to finalize the repeal of the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule under the Clean Water Act. “Since  the WOTUS rule was proposed in 2014 , NACD has been working continuously to advocate for its reversal,” NACD President Tim Palmer said. 
2020 Stewardship Materials Now Available on NACD's Marketplace
NACD’s 2020 Stewardship materials celebrating the theme “ Where Would We BEE Without Pollinators? ” are now available on  NACD’s Marketplace  to download for free. Pollinators form the foundations of a healthy and sustainable future for food and the environment, but in recent years, they have shown concerning signs of decline. It’s important that we work to help them prosper by enhancing native pollinator habitats and protecting against pollinator declines.
2020 NACD Annual Meeting to Feature Conservation Innovation Fair
NACD's 74th Annual Meeting from February 8-12, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nev., will feature a  Conservation Innovation Fair , aligning with the meeting's theme, " Conservation Innovation: Working from the Roots Up .”
The Resource:
2019 Summer Edition has Arrived
This summer's edition of  The Resource is packed with exciting updates and stories from districts and conservation leaders across the nation. This edition highlights the work America’s conservation districts are accomplishing nationwide, boosting technical capacity to help deliver locally-led conservation on a variety of landscapes. 
Reminder: Bring your Ticket War Items to the IDEA Conference
Just a reminder for anyone attending the IDEA Conference October 1-3 in Madison, bring your items to donate to the "Ticket War." Funds raised help support scholarships for future conferences.

Impacting Community

Date: December 6
975 Industrial Dr #1, Madison, IN 47250
Successful Districts must utilize all of their leadership skills to impact their communities in order to meet their natural resource goals. As Districts engage their community in meeting natural resource needs, strategic planning and implementation skills become crucial. This workshop is “hands-on” and is designed for group discussion.
USDA Invests in Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Improvements in 25 States
Investments will Benefit 168,000 People in Rural Communities
WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2019 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary of Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy today announced that USDA  is investing $144 million to improve rural water infrastructure in 25 states  (PDF, 163 KB). “Modern and reliable water and wastewater infrastructure systems are foundational to economic growth and quality of life in rural communities,” LaVoy said.
State Soil Conservation Board Meeting
October 29
Parke County 4-H Fairgrounds
This day will consist of the SSCB meeting at 9:30 am followed by a presentation by Parke & Vermillion County Soil & Water Conservation Districts highlighting their year as a 2019 District Showcase Award recipient.
The Indiana State Nutrient Reduction Strategy represents the state’s commitment to reduce nutrient runoff into Indiana’s waters from point sources and non-point sources alike.
Regional Conservation Partnership Program - Two Webinars Available
There will be two informational RCPP webinars offered for partners interested in applying for the FY19 funding (applications due by Dec. 3).

A national webinar is scheduled for 3pm EDT on September 26, 2019. A second webinar on how to use the RCPP portal will be scheduled once the portal is ready to accept applications. Information on how to participate in these webinars will be posted to the national RCPP website once it is available. National RCPP website: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/financial/rcpp/
An Indiana RCPP webinar will be held Friday October 4 at 1:00 EST. The webinar will be hosted in the NRCS State Office conference room, so participants are welcome to attend in person or virtually. This webinar will be recorded. Jill Reinhart, Assistant State Conservationist for Partnerships, will review the RCPP program and application, answer questions, and share lessons learned from past projects. Webinar link:  
Phone: 1-888-844-9904 Access: 7011519
Indiana RCPP website: 
USDA Opens Signup for Regional Conservation Partnership Program
USDA is investing up to $300 million to help support the adoption of innovative conservation approaches on agricultural lands. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting proposals through December 3, 2019, for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program.
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 .
Other News
SWCD Input Wanted with Survey
Clear Choices Clean Water is approaching its 10 th  anniversary, and we are undertaking a strategic planning process to guide our next steps. We are hoping the SCWDs will help us look backward and forward by filling out the following short survey – their input is critical to our planning process!  Please submit responses by the end of business Thursday, September 26.
As a (modest!) thank you, we will be doing a drawing for four $25 Visa gift cards after the survey closes. Folks may opt in at the end of the survey. Winners will be notified on Friday, October 4.
2020 Cover Crop Champions Announcement
The National Wildlife Federation is accepting proposals to become 2020 Cover Crop Champions. As a reminder, National Wildlife Federation (NWF) created a program in 2013 for cover cropping farmers and agricultural professionals, called the “Cover Crop Champions.” Champion teams are comprised of Outreach Champions and Farmer Champions. Together they create an outreach plan for how to reach farmers not currently using sustainable agriculture practices. Questions and specific project discussions are welcome and encouraged. Please contact Jess Espenshade at 734-887-7114 or by email at
Water Resource Management: Local Control and Local Solutions 
The 2020 Key Topics, Learning Objectives and Resources are now posted on the Envirothon website under Current Competition.
Reminder: Deadline of Oct 6 for 2020
Forestry Education Grant Proposals
Funding is available for  $500.00 competitive grants for projects that align with the IFEF mission and vision of educating about forestry stewardship and forestry management. In addition, this year, they are offering  up to $1,000.00  grant opportunities for projects that feature and promote outreach and communication specifically about young forests and their importance to create forest diversity. If you have great ideas for a project (may include, but is not limited to field days, video, flyers, advertisements, photos with captions, other multi-media, etc.) to promote Indiana forestry initiatives, let us know! Grant applications are open August 2 and close on October 6. 
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 1-3 - IDEA Fall Conference, Clifty Inn
October 6 - Jasper Co.: Macroinvertebrates
October 8 - Women's Learning Circle, Clinton Co.
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, Vanderburge and Warrick
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 12 - Learn the Dirt on Soil, Monroe Co.
November 14 - Women's Learning Circle, Tippecanoe Co.
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 .