Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts
January 31, 2018
Conservation Update

January 18 - January 31, 2018

District Press Page
Don't miss the new Press page, "Districts in the News," where Districts and their recognized accomplishments are published on the IASWCD site

District Directory
Districts - Please check the "Local District" contact page on the IASWCD site to confirm your contact information is correct. If it needs to be revised, please contact

In Case of Government Shutdown
Many Indiana Districts each have their own procedures in place in the event of a Government Shutdown. The National Conservation District Employees Association (NCDEA) developed a guide for districts to consider when creating operational policies regarding federal shutdowns and this guide is posted on the IASWCD website . Please consult this guide and be prepared. 

Congrats to the  LAKE COUNTY SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT for having two winners place in the NACD National Poster and National Photo Contests! 

 Allison Melvin received first place in the youth division/"Conservation in Action" category for her photo. And,Jamie Kuiken placed third in the poster contest! 

Shout out to the  KNOX COUNTY SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT for the article in Indiana Prairie Farmer. This is the third installment of a three part series concerning invasive species. These articles are written by TomBechman and feature Ray Chattin, W illem Drews and Troy Hinkle. 
Pictured L to R: Troy Hinkle, Will Drews, Ray Chattin, Knox County SWCD
 (Photo credit: Tom Bechman, Indiana Prairie Farmer)
NACD and AFT Release Water Quality Trading Handbook
WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 17, 2018) - The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and American
Farmland Trust (AFT) released a handbook to highlight the role conservation districts play in water quality trading and other environmental markets programs. AFT and NACD collaborated to produce the "Handbook for Conservation Districts on Environmental Markets," which is a detailed look at how conservation districts and their partners are engaged in water quality trading and payments for ecosystem services. The handbook provides guidance and lessons learned from the real-world experiences of conservation districts across the country.  View the full report here

NACD's 72nd Annual Meeting Unites  Conservation  Leaders

More than 1,000 leaders in conservation from across the country  gathered in Nashville, Tennessee  to celebrate the 2018 NACD Annual Meeting, network and gain insight on the central challenges facing their work in the field.
View the conference "Daily Digest" here .
Leadership Institute
The Indiana Conservation Partnership Leadership Institute is a statewide leadership development program established for Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors. Key District staff are invited to participate along with their supervisors.The program  intends to improve District capacity to increase the quality of Indiana's soil, water and related natural resources. Learn more...

Next workshop: February 23, 2018 - "Board Development"
Noble County Public Library, Albion, IN
SAVE the DATES for upcoming workshops. 
Additional dates can be found on the IASWCD website calendar
Reinhart Announces Second Round of Applications for Big Pine Watershed
Indianapolis,  January 29, 2018 - Jill Reinhart, Acting State Conservationist for Indiana's USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service announced today they are still accepting applications to improve water quality in the Big Pine watershed located in portions of Benton, White, Warren, and Tippecanoe counties.   
Dollars are still available for farmers through the Big Pine Watershed Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).  RCPP is a partner-led program, with NRCS directing technical and financial assistance to priorities identified by partners. Partners involved in Indiana's Big Pine watershed include The Nature Conservancy, Ceres Solutions LLC, Land O'Lakes, Winfield United, Conservation Technology Information Center, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and NRCS.  Read more... 

Assistance Available to Agricultural Producers through the Conservation Stewardship Program
Indianapolis, January 18, 2018 - Agricultural producers wanting to enhance current conservation efforts are encouraged to apply for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).  Through CSP, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps private landowners build their business while implementing conservation practices that help ensure the sustainability of their entire operation. NRCS plans to enroll up to 10 million acres in CSP in 2018.  While applications for CSP are accepted year-round, applications must be received by March 2, 2018 to be considered for this funding period. Read more...

Retirement Party for Jane Hardisty
Come help honor Jane at her official retirement party
February 24
Reception: 4:30 pm
Dinner: 6:00 pm
Primo Banquet Hall and Conference Center, Indianapolis
Reservations being taken now!  Information and registration form can be found here .
Or, register online hereRSVP must be received by February 7

Read the First Soil Health Update of the Year

USDA Seeks Applications for $10 Million in Conservation Innovation Grants
USDA is offering grants for innovative ideas for conservation strategies and technologies. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) plans to invest $10 million in the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program, funding innovative conservation projects in three focus areas: grazing lands, organic systems and soil health. Grant proposals are due Feb. 26, 2018 Read more...

Ag Census
The USDA conducts the Census of Agriculture every five years. The census is the only complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. The 2017 Ag Census surveys have been sent out. Complete this census by February 5 to be counted. Complete it online here

FY18 Information Security Awareness Training in AgLearn
All NRCS Employees and Partners with USDA Access - this course must be completed by February 16. Information here.
Watershed Management Plans
The primary purpose of a watershed management plan is to guide watershed 
coordinators, resource managers, policy makers, and community organizations to restore and protect the quality of lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands in a given watershed. The plan is intended to be a practical tool with specific recommendations on practices to improve and sustain water quality. These are also "living documents", meaning that as conditions change over time in a watershed, the plan must be reexamined and revised to reflect goals that have been achieved or not met. To view the latest Watershed Management Plans click here

Making a Difference
IDEM has worked side by side with numerous locally-led watershed groups to help improve water quality. IDEM Clean Water Act grants and funds from a variety of innovative partnerships have helped clean up our rivers and streams by increasing education, developing effective water quality improvement plans, and helping individual landowners manage their land in ways that benefit our waterways. Over time, these projects have led to measurable improvements in water quality in our rivers, streams, and lakes. Read these case studies to learn more about what has been accomplished by working together and how these small actions have led to big changes. 
Other News
EPA Environmental Grant Opportunity
Up to $3 M in funding now available for locally-focused environmental education grants
The EPA has announced that up to $3 million in funding for locally-focused environmental education grants will be available under the 2018 EE Local Grant Program.  EPA will award three to four grants in each of EPA's ten Regions, for no less than $50,000 and no more than $100,000 each, for a total of 30-35 grants nationwide. Proposals are due March 15, 2018. The Requests for Proposals will be posted on  Note: There are new agricultural themes included in this year's grant description (including conservation practices and integrated pest management practices).  Read more...

Call out to all Indiana SWCDs
Women4theLand has received a CIG grant to host Urban Women's Learning Circles in 2018 and 2019. The emphasis is on urban absentee landowners. Women4theLand is seeking districts who are interested in partnering with them and hosting these circles as well as rural landowner circles. Please contact Heather Bacher for more information or to get your district's circle scheduled now at  o 317-514-4634 .

Indiana Children and Nature Network (ICAN)
Register your Nature Play Day
Nature Play Days are events held between June 9-17 that encourage kids and families to get outdoors! All types of events, locations, hosts, etc. can qualify as NPD's so don't hesitate to register. Registration and information including previous NPD events can be viewed here.

Our Farms, Our Future Conference
August 3-5, 2018
St. Louis, Missouri
Hosted by the  Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program and the  National Center for Appropriate Technology ATTRA program, this national event will bring together the diverse agricultural community including farmers and ranchers, agribusiness stakeholders, students, researchers, scientists, agency representatives and nonprofit leaders. This conference will provide a stimulating set of sessions on the future of sustainable agriculture in the United States. Learn more and register here.

"Know How" Education Seminar
March 6 - Fishers, IN
March 7 - Ft. Wayne, IN 
Two tracks will be featured at this educational seminar. Track #1: Quality, Conservation and Revenue. Track #2: Protecting Our Land and Water Resources.
For more information regarding the seminar and registration, click here

National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF)
NWTF is again making a request for proposals for habitat and conservation related projects to provide financial assistance.   Proposals are due back to Ryan Boyer by February 26, 2018.  This year there is added emphasis on proposals that provide greater than a 1:1 match as well as increased number of partners participating on the project will be weighted heavily. Please keep this in mind when developing the proposals. Guidelines here and application here.
In This Issue
Quick Links
Upcoming Events
Please refer to the IASWCD Events and CCSI Soil Health Events calendars for a full list of upcoming events and more details regarding these events below: 

February 8 - Purdue Extension & UofI Extension Grazing Workshop

February 19 -  Morgan County: Project WET, WOW and Project Learning Tree Workshop

February 22 - Posey County: Grassland Management Workshop

February 23 - Leadership Institute: Board Development

February 24 - Retirement Party: Jane Hardisty

March 2 -  Leadership Institute

March 6 - KNOW HOW Education Seminar, Fishers, IN

March 7 - KNOW HOW Education Seminar, Ft. Wayne, IN

March 7 - Southern Indiana Grazing Conference, Odon, IN

March 9 -  Leadership Institute

March 10 - Forest Managment for the Private Woodland Owner, Johnson County

March 11- Daylight Saving Time Starts

March 20 - NACD Fly-In

March 22 -  Forest Managment for the Private Woodland Owner, Johnson County

March 22-23 - Indiana Lakes Management Conference

March 24 - Spring Wild Edibles Workshop, Morgan County

March 29 -   -  Forest Managment for the Private Woodland Owner, Johnson County

April 5 - Forest Managment for the Private Woodland Owner, Johnson County

April 12 Forest Managment for the Private Woodland Owner, Johnson County

April 14 - Forest Managment for the Private Woodland Owner, Johnson County

April 19 - Forest Managment for the Private Woodland Owner, Johnson County

April 29-May 6, 2018 - NACD Stewardship Week

May 28 - Memorial Day

August 28 -  Leadership Institute

November 30 - Leadership Institute

December 7 - Leadership Institute
Current Job Openings *

See Job Descriptions and/or Applications at 

Watershed Coordinator,
Big Creek Watershed

Special Projects Director

*(Note: please submit job openings to: 
and include instructions for applying, deadline, 
and job description
 in a single PDF file. Thank you.)