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Conservation INsight
March 27, 2019
DEADLINE March 30, 2019

2020 Indiana Soil and Water Conservation Districts Annual Conference
January 13-14, 2020
Downtown Indianapolis Marriott Hotel, Indianapolis, Indiana

Oral presentations are invited to be considered for the conference on topics relating to three session tracks: On the Ground (conservation implementation/technical), District Management, and Outreach & Education with the primary audience being SWCD staff and supervisors. 
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Statehouse Visits for Districts
There are a few dates still available. If you are interested, please contact Joe Schmees at joseph-schmees@iaswcd.org .
Indiana’s Soil and Water Districts do Amazing Things
by Tom Bechman, Indiana Prairie Farmer
Word around the statehouse is that the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts won’t get nearly as much money as it asked for. The group boldly requested $15 million, a figure not far from what was envisioned when Clean Water Indiana took over for T-by-2000. Instead, the Indiana Division of Soil Conservation within the Indiana State Department of Agriculture accomplishes great things on money from the cigarette tax fund, plus an additional million dollars a year for CWI grant money.
Stewardship Week Theme: "Life in the Soil: Dig Deeper"
Mark your calendars:  NACD's Stewardship Week  begins on Sunday, April 28. Stewardship Week gives conservation districts the opportunity to extend the reach of their education programs and educate future leaders on the significance of natural resource conservation. If your district is making plans for Stewardship Week, visit NACD’s new Stewardship Week webpage, stocked with resources and materials to help you host a successful event. 
Joint Forestry Team Renews MOU, Commitment to Coordinating Conservation Delivery
On March 11, the Joint Forestry Team (JFT), made up of representatives from the National Association of State Foresters, the USDA Forest Service, the National Association of Conservation Districts, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service renewed their shared commitment to coordinating delivery of conservation assistance to America’s forest landowners, farmers, and ranchers. Representatives include: Jennifer Hinkhouse (Wyo.), Tom Crowe (Ind.) and John McAlpine (Ark.) representing NACD. Hinkhouse serves as JFT’s chair.
Celebrate Stewardship Week by Hosting a Screening of Living Soil
In late 2018, the Soil Health Institute debuted a 60-minute documentary,  Living Soil , that captures the history and significance of the soil health movement. NACD has provided resources to promote and host a film screening of the documentary, also available on NACD's Stewardship Week webpage .
2018 NACD Annual Report
The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) is excited to release the organization’s 2018 Annual Report . The report encompasses a recap of NACD’s events and successes over the past year. In addition to membership details and financial statements, this year’s annual report contains a  Boots on the Ground  section that showcases all of the unique programs and initiatives NACD implemented in 2018 to serve districts and promote locally-led conservation across the country.
Membership Dues
2019 IDEA membership fee of $25 per person due by March 31 .
Poster Contest
Due by June 7, 2019
2019 Theme: "Life in the Soil: Dig Deeper"
There will be five (5) grade divisions: K-1, 2-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12.
Hoosier Homestead Awards presented to farming families
INDIANAPOLIS (March 15, 2019) — At the Indiana Statehouse,  Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch  and  Indiana State Department of Agriculture  Director Bruce Kettler presented 55 families with a Hoosier Homestead Award, recognizing their commitment to Indiana agriculture. To be named a Hoosier Homestead, farms must be owned by the same family for more than 100 consecutive years, and consist of 20 acres or more, or produce more than $1,000 in agricultural products per year.
2019 Hoosier Riverwatch Basic Training Workshop Schedule
The mission of Hoosier Riverwatch is to involve the citizens of Indiana in becoming active stewards of Indiana's water resources through watershed education, water monitoring, and cleanup activities. A Hoosier Riverwatch Basic Training workshop will introduce you to hands-on water quality monitoring methods. You will learn about aquatic habitat and practice chemical and biological assessment techniques. Each workshop is held both indoors and outdoors unless weather or water conditions permit otherwise. All interested persons age 18 and over are welcome to attend. View the schedule and other valuable information in the Riffles and Pools Newsletter.
Indiana NRCS Commits Dollars to Assist Farmers in Western Lake Erie Basin
Indianapolis, IN, March 19, 2019 - Jerry Raynor, State Conservationist for Indiana’s USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), announced Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) dollars will be made available to farmers who want to voluntarily invest in conservation practices to improve water quality in the Western Lake Erie basin. While applications are accepted on a continuous basis, June 21 will be the cutoff date this year to be considered for funding for this program.
USDA Seeks Public Comments on Conservation Practice Standards
through April 25
March 11, 2019, WASHINGTON – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced it is seeking public input on its existing national conservation practice standards as part of implementing the 2018 Farm Bill. NRCS offers 150-plus conservation practices to America’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to help them meet their business and natural resource needs on their working lands.
Indiana NRCS Accepting Second Round Applications in Big Pine Watershed
Indianapolis, IN, March 6, 2019 – Jerry Raynor, State Conservationist for Indiana’s USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced today they are still accepting applications to improve water quality in the Big Pine watershed located in northwest Indiana. 
Dollars are still available for farmers through the Big Pine Watershed Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The watershed which includes portions of Benton, White, Warren, and Tippecanoe counties and the partnership is working with farmers in the area to increase the number of nutrient and sediment reducing practices on cropland. While applications are accepted on a continuous basis, June 21 will be the second cutoff date this year to be considered for funding for this partnership project.
Map of the Month: March
This map shows the distribution of soil series in the USDA Soil Survey Regions in the continental United States. Soil series are a level in the soil classification system. 
Ag Day (L to R): Greg Matli, USDA-NASS; Joe Schmees, IASWCD; Jordan Seger, ISDA; Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch; Jill Reinhart, USDA-NRCS; Jerry Raynor, USDA-NRCS; Steve Brown, FSA
USDA Celebrates National Ag Day with New Youth Website
WASHINGTON, March 14, 2019 – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture joins the nation in celebrating National Ag Day, which highlights agriculture’s crucial role in everyday life, and honors the farmers, foresters, scientists, producers and many others who contribute to America’s bountiful harvest. As part of this effort, USDA is launching a new Youth and Agriculture website to connect young people and youth-serving organizations with Department-wide resources that engage, empower, and educate the next generation of agricultural leaders.
Indiana NRCS Invests Dollars to Help Protect and Restore Sensitive Lands
Indianapolis, IN, March 6, 2019 – State Conservationist Jerry Raynor announced today that Indiana’s USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making funding available to help landowners protect and restore key farmlands, grasslands and wetlands across Indiana. The funding is provided through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), created to protect critical water resources and wildlife habitat, and encourage private owners to maintain land for farming. Eligible entities must submit applications for the current funding pool on or before April 5, 2019.
National Cooperative Soil Survey Newsletter
2018 Farm Bill - What's New?
The 2018 Farm Bill provides support, certainty, and stability to our nation’s farmers, ranchers, and land stewards by enhancing farm support programs, improving crop insurance, maintaining disaster programs, and promoting and supporting voluntary conservation. 
Download these fact sheets for a listing of what’s new in the 2018 Farm Bill for programs administered by:

Farmer Scientists: Five Trials in Managing for Soil Health

Working with Dr. Robin “Buz” Kloot, Research Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health, five farmers seek to quantify the potential benefits of conservation practices that build soil health.
Purdue Extension News
Building Resiliency For Tomorrow's Climate
April 1, 2019 @ 12 Noon EST 
Presenter: Melissa Widhalm,
Purdue Climate Change Research Center

Gardening for Royalty: Native Plants for the Monarchs and Queens
April 18, 2019 @ 12 Noon EST 
In this webinar, Gina Anderson, Purdue Extension ANR Educator, will talk about the placement of native plants in the home landscape and their importance to pollinators. 
Survey: Perceptions of land managers to the use of hybrid and genetically modified trees
The Indiana DNR Community and Urban Forestry Program is sharing this survey as part of a masters level research project being worked on by Andrea Brennan at Purdue University. Participation in the survey is optional. This survey questionnaire is targeted towards Indiana land managers (professionals involved with tree selection, planting, distribution, and/or management) and seeks feedback on the potential use of hybrid and genetically modified trees. Information gained from this survey will contribute to informing tree selection and restoration recommendations for the future.
Division of Water: Floodplain Mapping Project
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has completed a multi-year project to comprehensively map floodplains for the majority of streams in Indiana, including many of those   not already covered by FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps. The mapping effort, known as the Indiana Best Available Floodplain mapping project, mapped more than 18,000 miles of stream throughout the state using semi-automated methods to create 1% annual chance floodplain limits and floodway limits. 
Other News
Register your Nature Play Day!
Register your nature event or camp today. Your event will be promoted by ICAN and part of a statewide kids and nature initiative. Registration is free and all types of events and hosts are welcome!
INPS Plant Sale & Auction
This popular free event is the Indiana Native Plant Society’s biggest fundraiser and a great way to reach the public. It takes place annually on the Saturday before Mother’s Day. 
Saturday, May 11, 2019
Park Tudor School Upper Gymnasium
7200 North College Avenue, Indianapolis
Indiana Envirothon State Competition April 24
State Envirothon competitions will be happening across the U.S., where thousands of high school students will be testing their knowledge of natural resource management and conservation stewardship. Indiana's state competition will take place on April 24 at Ivy Tech Community College in Noblesville.
2019 Featured Farmers
The Indiana State Fair and Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont™, are proud to announce the Featured Farmers being honored at this year’s Indiana State Fair. In its fifth year, this program celebrates and helps put a face on Hoosier agriculture by connecting consumers with farmers. Visitors to the Indiana State Fair can attend a live chat at 2:30 pm in the Glass Barn with a Featured Farmer every day of the Fair.
Annual Meeting
Registration is open  for the Soil Health Institute’s fourth annual meeting, held July 16-18, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. This year’s meeting theme is “Soil Health – A Global Imperative.”
The  Pollinator Partnership  has helped develop the free Insight Citizen Science iOS app to empower users to learn about North America’s essential pollinators and participate in observation-based research. Contribute meaningful scientific data by observing pollinators and recording your findings in the app. Use the Insight Guide to learn about the observation process and how to identify pollinators.
Job Postings  :
Current list of Conservation Job Opportunities now posted on the  IASWCD website.
  • Intern-Wabash County Farm, Wabash County SWCD
  • Women for the Land Initiative Director, American Farmland Trust
  • Midwest Conservation Technician (Carlinville, IL), American Farmland Trust
  • Conservation Technician, Adams County SWCD
  • Senior Environmental Manager, IDEM
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.
Click on the Pollinator Poster (R) to view this and other posters available for purchase.
Upcoming Conservation Events:
April 13 - Organic Gardening Workshop, Hamilton Co.
April 22 - Earth Day
May 13 - Making a Difference...Dearborn Co.
May 20 - World Bee Day
May 21 - State Soil Conservation Board meeting
May 27 - Memorial Day
May 28-June 5 - Stewardship Week
June 17-23 - Pollinator Week
July 16 - State Soil Conservation Board meeting
August 14 - River Friendly Farmer Awards event
August 20-21 - Conservation in Action Tour
September 17 - State Soil Conservation Board meeting
October 29 - State Soil Conservation Board meeting
For a complete list of upcoming conservation events,  go to the Events Calendar on the IASWCD website .