IASWCD logo transparent
Conservation INsight
February 17, 2021
The IASWCD Office has Moved!
Please note that the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts' office has moved. We are still located in the Indiana Farm Bureau Building in downtown Indianapolis, but we are now in Suite 142. Please update our contact information in your records.
2021 Legislative Update Webinar for Districts
Save the Date: February 26
12 noon (EST)
Cress HIzer and Joe Schmees will recap the first half of this legislative session and talk about priorities for the second half. This webinar will also be recorded for those of you unavailable to watch it live. Watch for the Zoom link in your email inbox.
IASWCD logo transparent
Legislative Bill Tracking for Districts
Joe Schmees, IASWCD Executive Director, is closely tracking the 2021 Indiana General Assembly and sending emails to Indiana District Staff and Supervisors with updates. These 2021 Legislative Updates are also posted on the IASWCD.org/CWI page of the website.
Get to Know Eliana Blaine,
New Urban Soil Health Program Director
Hi everyone, my name is Elli. I wanted to send out a note to introduce myself. At the beginning of January, I stepped into the new role of Urban Soil Health Program Director with the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (IASWCD). I am excited to work with everyone to get this initiative up and running across the state.
CCSI-SARE Core Cover Crops and Core Soil Health Trainings
The CCSI-SARE Core Cover Crops and Core Soil Health Trainings will be held virtually this year over three, 2-hour sessions with built-in breaks. They will be conducted via Zoom Meetings – allowing for more interaction than standard webinars. USDA guidelines for conducting Zoom Meetings (using a waiting room, etc.) will be followed.
Session 1 – Thursday March 11, 2:00 – 4:00 EST
Topics: Soil Health Systems; Cover Crop Basics
Session 2 – Thursday March 18, 2:00 – 4:00 EST
Topics: Cover Crop and Soil Health Strategies and Equipment
Session 3 – Thursday March 25, 2:00 – 4:00 EST
Topics: Insect Pests and Beneficials Management; Cover Crop Termination; Weed Management
Registration is required for each session.   

These particular trainings are designed to build a foundation for understanding how cover crops and soil health systems can be incorporated into Midwestern cropping systems – including considerations for changes in nutrient and pest management. As train-the-trainer events, they are designed for conservation staff, farmer-mentors, agronomists and other ag professionals who work one-on-one with farmers, and who have not attended prior Advanced and/or 3-Day Soil Health Trainings. Anyone who wants a quick refresher is welcome.
NACD Announces 2020 Photo, Poster Contest Winners
WASHINGTON (Feb. 9, 2021) - Today, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD), in partnership with the NACD Auxiliary, announced the winners of the 2020 Photo Contest and 2020 Poster Contest during the virtual 75th NACD Annual Meeting.
The photo contest, open to amateur photographers in both youth and adult divisions, consists of images reflecting the themes of “Agriculture and Conservation Across America,” “Close-Up Conservation,” “Conservation in Action” and “Conservation Practices.”
“This year’s contest winners creatively captured the beauty and importance of conservation and those working to help protect our natural resources,” NACD Auxiliary President Karen Smart said.
NACD Announces 2021 District Grant Recipients
WASHINGTON (February 9, 2021) - Today, National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) Second Vice President Kim LaFleur announced the 2021 recipients of the Friends of NACD District Grants program during NACD’s 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting.
The Friends of NACD program was established in 2009 to support the nation’s nearly 3,000 conservation districts through cash donations to NACD.
2021 IDEA Membership Drive Underway
Deadline extended to April 30
Indiana's Soil & Water Conservation District Employees impact the local landscape of Indiana by participating in and delivering the vision of the Indiana District Supervisors, Local Officials, and the Indiana Conservation Partnership. Membership in the organization is $25/ year. Please make checks payable to "Indiana District Employee Association" and view the membership form for more details.
NACD 2020 Poster Contest Winner from Indiana
Clarinda Weber, Anderson, Indiana, won 1st place in the National Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts' 2020 Poster Contest. Winners were announced at their annual meeting and Clarinda won in the 4-6 grade category with the theme "Where Would We Bee Without Pollinators?" Her poster was submitted by the Madison County Soil & Water Conservation District. Congratulations!
Cover Crop Insurance Incentive Program
announced for Upper White Region counties
INDIANA (Feb. 1, 2021) – The Indiana State Department of Agriculture, The Nature Conservancy and the United State Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency have joined forces to implement the Upper White River Crop Insurance Incentive Program. This program mirrors efforts in Iowa and Illinois, and will reward farmers who plant cover crops by providing a reduced premium on their crop insurance. The discount program was designed to promote additional acres of cover crops that are not covered by other state or federal incentives.
Follow ISDA on
Hoosier Headlines
Indiana NRCS Newsletter
Community Brings Black History to Life Through Farming, Education
Stanley Madison has big plans for Lyles Station. His family’s history stretches for five generations through the small unincorporated area near Princeton, Indiana and he has dedicated his life in recent years to educating others about the rich history of the place he calls home.
The first Black settlers arrived in Gibson County in early 1800s and bought land to start farming. The area that is still known as Lyles Station really began to grow in the early 1840s when the Lyles family sold their land in Tennessee and moved north to Indiana where slavery was outlawed and they could live with more freedom.­­
USDA Extends General Signup for Conservation Reserve Program
WASHINGTON, Feb. 5, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) General Signup period, which had previously been announced as ending on Feb. 12, 2021. USDA will continue to accept offers as it takes this opportunity for the incoming Administration to evaluate ways to increase enrollment. Under the previous Administration, incentives and rental payment rates were reduced resulting in an enrollment shortfall of over 4 million acres. The program, administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provides annual rental payments for 10 to 15 years for land devoted to conservation purposes, as well as other types of payments.
Follow USDA on:
Purdue Extension News
2021 Midwest Women in Ag Conference 
Virtual this year
February 25th
9:30 am - 3:00 pm EST
Cost: $40
For the agenda, registration and more details click the button below.
Division of Fish & Wildlife
Wild Bulletin
Other News
Fallow Fields Study
Attention Indiana farmers! Do you have fallow or unmanaged land on your farm? Purdue Entomology wants to see your bugs! The Insect Ecology Lab at Purdue University is looking for sites of unmanaged or fallow agricultural land to study insect and plant diversity this summer. Surveys are non-destructive and consist of insect collections and plant counts from April to October. Land should be unplanted for at least one year, not managed (pesticide, herbicide, burning, tilling, etc), and approximately 2.5 acres (1 ha) or larger. If you are interested in participating or for more details, contact Allison Bistline-East:909-334-2555, abistlin@purdue.edu
Farmer-Led Conservation & Watershed Protection Mini-Grant Program
Looking to kickstart or expand farmer-led conservation demonstration efforts? This mini-grant program will support nongovernmental organizations, state or county government agencies, university Extension professionals, and others who support farmers in one or more of the 12 SERA-46/Hypoxia Task Force states in the Mississippi River Basin: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Qualified organizations must partner with an existing farmer or farmer-led organization. Awards will be up to $4000 for one year. Applications will be accepted now through April 30, 2021. 
New 2021 SICIM Competitive Grant for CISMAS
SICIM is pleased to announce a new competitive grant funding opportunity for 2021. Established Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMAs) can propose an invasive species related project and apply for funding from SICIM (up to $1000.00). Applications will be reviewed by a SICIM committee, and selected winners will be notified by late March. Please send your application to: troy.hinkle@in.nacdnet.net. Applications are due by 4:00PM on February 26, 2021. CISMAs should contact their local Regional Specialist to discuss project ideas and/or submit questions on how to complete the grant application.
Indiana Envirothon has a New Website and has Gone Virtual!
Good News! The Envirothon has gone virtual and it is free this year. Regional Competition for the 2021 season is underway. Visit the new Indiana Envirothon website for registration and more information. The State Envirothon Committee has also decided to make the Indiana State Envirothon competition virtual and free. Check it out!
Indiana's Adams County SWCD Promotes Webinar Series through YouTube Video
PLANTING GREEN - The Steps to a Successful Future.
Each virtual webinar is 1- hour in length.
Two remaining sessions:
 *  March 17 at 10 a.m. with Dan Kaminsky - Herbicides for Interseeding and Cover Crop Roller Crimper
 *  April 7 at 7 p.m. with Dean Tonner and Dan Kaminsky - Interseeding and Fall Season Cover Crop Selection.
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 :
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.