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Conservation INsight
April 14, 2021
Four Indiana SWCD Region Meetings
in June
Northwest - June 8
Southeast - June 10
Southwest - June 15
Northeast - June 17
Join us virtually in June for one or more Indiana SWCD Region Gatherings to hear partner updates and news about local projects!
Click on map to view a larger version
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IASWCD hosting April Lunch 'n Learns
for Indiana Districts
Register now for the two remaining
Lunch 'n Learns
Join live via Zoom or view the recordings later on the IASWCD.org/For-Districts webpage.
The Passing of Our Conservation Friends . . .

Joanna Owens previously worked for the Hamilton County Soil & Water Conservation District for 21 years (1979-2000) before retiring in 2000.
Indiana District Showcase 2020 Award Presentations
You can now view the three 2020 Indiana District Showcase full presentations
on the IASWCD YouTube Channel. (links below)
Jenning County SWCD
Tripton Park Project
Dubois/Martin/Daviess SWCD Invasive Species Program
Delaware County SWCD Lowhead Dam Removal Project
CCSI Newsletter
Urban Soil Health Program - Regional “Meet and Greet” Sessions
Join our regional virtual “meet and greet” sessions to learn more about the IASWCD’s new state-wide Urban Soil Health Program. Program Director Elli Blaine and each regional Soil Health Specialist will give a short presentation about the program’s background and goals. Learn how you can get involved, and about the resources available to partners. We’ll follow with plenty of time for you to ask questions, share insights about related projects happening in your area, and provide input on what you hope to see from this program.
The Urban Soil Health Program’s goal is to promote a systematic approach to urban and small-scale agriculture by enabling local efforts to deliver technical assistance, training, education and outreach related to soil health management systems to urban landowners, land-users, and other interested groups. We aim to reach new and underserved audiences in the small-scale farming arena, and promote focused efforts specializing in urban soil health. You must register to receive the Zoom link to join each meeting. Date & Times with Registration Links below.
April 28
10am-12pm EDT
Northwest Region
April 28
1-3pm EDT
Northeast Region
April 29
10am-12pm EDT
Southeast Region
NACD Announces Urban Conservation Grants for 20 Conservation Districts
WASHINGTON (March 31, 2021) – Today, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) announced $1 million in urban agriculture conservation funding for 20 conservation districts across 14 states.
NACD and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) first partnered through the Urban Agriculture Conservation Grant Initiative in 2016 to support technical assistance activities related to community-oriented agricultural programs. Including today’s announcement, NACD and NRCS have awarded more than $5.6 million in funding for 122 grants in 35 states.
NACD Announces $13 Million in 2021 Technical Assistance Grants
Washington (April 2, 2021) – Today, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) announced the award of $13 million in new technical assistance grants that will continue conservation assistance to communities in over 400 conservation districts in 48 states and territories.
The Technical Assistance (TA) Grants program is in its fourth year and was created in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to help increase staffing at the field level to provide conservation services to farmers, ranchers and local communities across the U.S.
NACD 2020 Annual Report
The 2020 NACD Annual Report summarizes the range of organizational accomplishments through fiscal year 2020, from NACD’s successful Annual Meeting in Las Vegas to the Summer Board Meeting that led to the development of a comprehensive Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force. 
National Conservation Foundation (NCF) 2020 Annual Report
NACD Offers New Items
Perfect for Stewardship Week
Coalition Advocates for Bolstered Conservation Funding
WASHINGTON (April 8, 2021) – Today, 70 leading agriculture, conservation and wildlife groups delivered a letter to Congress requesting robust funding for conservation programs and technical assistance in fiscal year (FY) 2022 appropriations. In the letter, American Farmland Trust (AFT), the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD), the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and other signatories called upon House and Senate appropriators to provide needed robust increases to discretionary United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) conservation funding and reject any cuts to farm bill conservation programs through the FY22 appropriations process.
NACD Responds to President Biden's FY22 Budget Proposal
WASHINGTON (April 9, 2021) – Today, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) released the following statement regarding President Joe Biden’s topline discretionary budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2022: “NACD is encouraged by the proposals to strengthen funding for conservation,” NACD President Michael Crowder said. “President Biden’s budget includes significant investments within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Forest Service that will bolster voluntary conservation across the country.”
Woods on Wheels
Indiana Woods on Wheels is a traveling interactive exhibit that provides information about the Hoosier state’s most renewable resource, our forests. Visitors will feel as if they have been transported to the woods as soon as they enter—the interactive displays will immerse the senses while covering key topics in forestry. Navigating through the exhibit takes visitors from learning about the benefits of forest management and how it supports Indiana’s native wildlife to the history of Indiana’s forests and the many industries that rely on our magnificent hardwoods to produce the products we all know and love.
Planting Season is Here; Stay Alert on
Rural Roads this Spring
INDIANA (April 12, 2021) - Spring weather is here and farmers are beginning to plant their crops across the state’s 15 million acres of farmland. The Indiana State Department of Agriculture and several state agencies are reminding Hoosier motorists to be alert, be courteous and be patient when they encounter farm equipment on Indiana’s rural roads. “Planting season is a crucial time for our Hoosier farmers, they have a lot of ground to cover in a short amount of time,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Secretary of Agriculture.
State Board of Accounts Training for Indiana Districts
December 1
10 am - 12 pm (EST)
Nonpoint Source Pollution Grant Application Solicitation
The solicitation for applications for FFY 2022 Section 319 grant funds begins April 1, 2021. Notice of Intent (NOI) emails for the FFY 2022 grant solicitation are due June 1, 2021. The NOI is a formal notification of the intent to submit an application and includes a brief description of the project. This is a requirement if you are going to submit an application for grant funding. Applications for FFY 2022 Section 319 grant funds are due September 1, 2021. 
Insect Alert: Cicada Brood X
How to prepare for the 17 Year Emergence of the Periodical Cicada - Brood X
Brood X Cicada emergence will occur this May and June. This Insect Alert (link to document below) addresses the Brood X situation in Indiana and provides guidance for landowners on hardwood tree plantations and ornamental trees. The recommendations reflect input from IDNR Division of Forestry, Entomology and Plant Pathology, Purdue Entomology and feedback from District Forester and Consultant Foresters that experienced the Brood X emergence in 2004.
NRCS Celebrates 5 Million Acres Enrolled in Conservation Easements
NRCS announced that landowners have enrolled over 5 million acres in conservation easements on wetlands and agricultural lands that have helped improve soil health, water and air quality, and wildlife habitat.
USDA Announces Funding Available to Organizations to Assist Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers under Pandemic Assistance for Producers Initiative
WASHINGTON, April 5, 2021— The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced the availability of $2 million to establish partnerships with organizations to provide outreach and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. The funding was made possible by USDA’s new Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, an effort to distribute resources more broadly and to put greater emphasis on outreach to small and socially disadvantaged producers impacted by the pandemic. Today also marks the reopening of FSA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) signup as part of the Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. Farmers and ranchers will have at least 60 days to apply or make modifications to existing CFAP 2 applications.
USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative on March 24, 2021. The initiative will reach a broader set of producers than in previous COVID-19 aid programs. USDA is dedicating at least $6 billion toward the new programs and will also develop rules for new programs that will put a greater emphasis on outreach to small and socially disadvantaged producers, specialty crop and organic producers, timber harvesters, and support for the food supply chain and producers of renewable energy, among others.
Indiana's Outdoor News
Other News
Soil Health Digital Cafe Series
The Soil Health Nexus is hosting a series of informal soil health webinars featuring Extension soil health experts and researchers from across the region discussing the latest soil health research, resources, and news. The webinars will take place monthly; they will be an hour in length with 20-minute presentation, followed by 10-minutes of Q&A and then a casual 30-minute Digital Cafe where attendees can continue to discuss the topic in more depth with Soil Health Nexus members.
Ag Policy and How it Impacts Soil Health Practice Adoption – April 21 @ 2 pm Central
River Rally Conference
May 17-20
Hosted annually by River Network, River Rally provides an inspiring and energy-infused touchpoint for nonprofit groups from across the U.S. and beyond, as well as for agency and foundation representatives, industry innovators, philanthropists, academics, students, and community leaders. We bring thought leaders and practitioners together to accelerate progress towards an equitable and sustainable water future.
Pollinator Week Shirts Now Available
One Week Remaining to Order!
The limited-edition Pollinator Week Shirts are here! This year we have T-shirts in 5 different colors AND a long-sleeved Tee featuring a design inspired by our 2010 World of Pollinators poster illustrated by Steve Buchanan. Order yours today and show your support for pollinator conservation. Don't forget to show off your new shirt during Pollinator Week from June 21-27 to help raise awareness for pollinator health and well-being!
The 2021 Nature Play Day Map is Live!
Register your Nature Play Day campaign to get on the statewide map! We'll be updating the map every 7-10 days so get your NPD campaign registered. Your NPD efforts can be formal events, making resources available to families, or as simple as a Nature Play Day branded online campaign to encourage kids to get outside. When you register your NPD campaign, you can share your website or social media info where attendees can get up to date information on your NPD offerings between June 5th and 13th. 
USDA Agroforestry RFP Now Available
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agroforestry Center is requesting proposals to create regionally-applicable and practice-specific agroforestry educational materials based on producer production information, experiences and testimonies. Awards are anticipated to be up to $100,000 with a minimum of $35,000 for any one project.
Upcoming Conservation Circles
April 19 - Soil Health Basics
April 20 - Brood X
April 26 - Soil Health Gardening & Small Farm Practices
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 :
April 14 - IASWCD Lunch 'n Learn
April 19 - Women4theLand Conservation Circle
April 20 - Women4theLand Conservation Circle
April 21 - IASWCD Lunch 'n Learn
April 23 - Virtual Pond Clinic, Dearborn Co.
April 26 - Women4theLand Conservation Circle
April 28 - Urban Soil Health Meet and Greet
April 29 - Urban Soil Health Meet and Greet
For a complete list of upcoming conservation events, go to the Events Calendar on the IASWCD website.*
*Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, events are changing daily. Please check the individual hosting organization's website and/or Facebook page for the latest information on cancellations and reschedule dates. Thank you.