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Conservation INsight
May 23, 2018
"Get to Know Joe"
Joe Schmees began his new position as Executive Director of the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts on May 14. He is looking forward to meeting the many partners who make up the conservation partnership around the state. Joe's passion for land and water began as early as middle school when he studied and wrote a paper on the Dust Bowl. He realized then that we have an awesome responsibility to take action and prevent that kind of devastation from ever happening again. Joe appreciates that he's in a position now to collaborate with the 92 Indiana Soil & Water Conservation Districts and the many partners across the state working to protect our natural resources. He states, "The whole concept of conservation makes me feel good because I've had a strong draw to land and water since I was a child and doing this work makes me feel a part of something bigger, something that we're leaving behind for people like my daughter."

Schmees lives in Fishers with his wife, Lauren, and two and half year old daughter, Olivia. He grew up in Loveland, Ohio, near Cincinnati, and attended Wittenburg University where he double majored in chemistry and biology. He and his wife are co-chairs of the Wittenburg Alumni Group of Indianapolis. In his free time, Joe enjoys running, hiking, fishing, and paddling (both kayaks and canoes!). He is an avid reader - enjoying time to read in his favorite spot - his hammock in the woods. One of his favorite pastimes is exploring with Olivia and teaching her about the natural world.

Joe is on the board of directors of both the Indiana Lakes Management Society (ILMS) and the Indiana Water Resources Association (IWRA).

He is planning to meet the District staff and supervisors while attending all five of the upcoming Supervisor Training Region Meetings in August and September. Please feel free to introduce yourself and welcome Joe as he begins this new venture with us! You can contact him at
Districts - Nominate a River Friendly Farmer! Annually, each county Soil and Water Conservation District may nominate up to two farmers who do an outstanding job of protecting their rivers, lakes and streams through their everyday conservation management practices on the farm. Watershed organizations also may nominate farmers for the award by submitting an application to a county SWCD. The 2018 River Friendly Farmer Award Ceremony will take place on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Nomination forms and more information can be found on   IASWCD website/River Friendly Farmer page Deadline to receive nominations: June 15, 2018.
Pathway to Water Quality (PWQ) Volunteer Sign Up
General registration for volunteering at Pathway to Water Quality during the Indiana State Fair will go live here June 1 . For groups wanting to cover a full day of volunteering, registration is May 1-26. Please see details regarding volunteer registration  here . The Indiana State Fair takes place August 3-19, 2018
Conservation Clips
Conservation Clips are a weekly collection of articles distributed by NACD that provides their members and partners with the latest news in what's driving conservation.
Stewardship Week and Poster Contest
Thank you to all the districts who celebrated Stewardship Week and helped make it successful! You can continue to celebrate the “Watersheds: Our Water, Our Home” theme by participating in  NACD’s poster contest . Winners will be announced at the 2019 Annual Meeting  in San Antonio, Texas. Posters due for the Indiana state contest on June 8. Details here .
Save the Date! 2018 IDEA Fall Conference
October 2-4, 2018
SAVE the DATE: Supervisor Training/Region Meetings
Don't miss this year's Supervisor Training/Region Meetings as they are new and improved! Some regions will also have tours of interest and all of the meetings will have an opportunity for "Meet the New Leaders" of ISDA, IASWCD and NRCS. There may even be a fun COMPETITION between regions this year!
So, stay tuned for more details!

NW Region Meeting
Thursday, August 30
Fair Oaks Farms
Tour: 3-4:30 pm
Dinner & Meeting: 5-7:30 pm

Central Region Meeting
Thursday, September 13
Indiana Farm Bureau Building, Indianapolis
5 pm

SW Region Meeting
Monday, August 20
Antioch Church
tour and time TBD

NE and SE Region Meetings
dates and locations TBD
Next State Soil Conservation Board meeting
Tuesday, July 24
6013 Lakeside Blvd., Indianapolis 

Quickbooks Training
Wednesday, June 13
10 am to 3 pm (EDT)
Jackson County Public Library, Seymour, IN
Cost: $25 (lunch not included) 
Questions?: Please contact  Laura Fribley,  ISDA District Support Specialist 

Section 319(h) Solicitation
The solicitation for applications for FFY 2019 Section 319 grant funds began April 1, 2018. Notice of Intent (NOI) emails for the FFY 2019 grant solicitation are due  June 1, 2018 .   More information ...
Indiana NRCS Seeks Proposals for Technical Services in Western Lake Erie Basin
Indianapolis, May 9, 2018 – Jill Reinhart, Acting State Conservationist for Indiana’s USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced today that partner proposals will be accepted to help accelerate conservation activities on farms in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB).  Proposals will be accepted until June 15th from any partner located in Steuben, DeKalb, Adams, Allen, Noble, and Wells counties who meets the eligibility guidelines. Read more ...
Indiana NRCS Accepting Applications for Easement Programs
Indianapolis, May 16, 2018 – Acting State Conservationist Gerald Roach announced today that Indiana’s USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). ACEP restores and protects Indiana’s critical wetlands and grasslands which helps productive farms remain in agriculture and provides important habitat for wildlife and plant species. Applications are due on or before August 17 thto be considered for the 2019 fiscal year of funding that starts October 1, 2018. Read more...
Purdue Extension News
Cropland Weed ID Training for ICP staff
Register Early as these trainings usually sell out!
Training will cover: • Weed growth stages • Weed life cycles • Problem weeds • Weed Identification

Three different dates and locations. See flyer for details .
Time: 9:30 AM-2:00 PM Eastern Time
Cost: $25 (include lunch)
Other News
Soil Health Institute (SHI) conducting North American Soil Health Study
The Soil Health Institute is seeking individuals and organizations in North America to participate in an evaluation of soil health measurements and their impact on yield, economics and ecosystems. To be eligible, a site must have engaged in at least 10 years of continuous land use treatments in a statistically valid experimental design. For more information and to complete the online application form,  click here .
Combating Invasive Species CALL OUT MEETING: Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas
CISMAs are a grassroots group of partners from many organizations with a common goal of pooling resources and knowledge to help address mutual invasive species issues. Below is a list of upcoming CISMA callout dates and counties. Click on the county name for more information.
SICIM Annual Partners Meeting
June 21 from 9 am to 3:30 pm at the Orange County Community Center in Paoli, IN. Agenda and more information here . Register here.
Indiana Children & Nature Network
Nature Play Days are coming! Find a place to play or register your event here ! #ICANNaturePlayDay
( Photo: Fall Creek, a tributary to the Big Pine; Photo Credit: Seth Harden, The Nature Conservancy)
Big Pine Creek Watershed Project
The partners of the Big Pine Creek Watershed Project invite area farmers to a Building a Competitive Advantage with Conservation event on June 1 from 8 a.m. (ET) to 1 p.m. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. and a hot lunch is included. Ceres Solutions Cooperative, along with other local and state agricultural organizations, will be onsite to demonstrate and discuss strategies to build your conservation practices within your operation.  Read more ...
Hoosier Chapter SWCS: Extreme Weather Impacts on Water Quality and Quantity
Friday, June 15
9:00am – 3:00pm
Eagle's Hide-A-Way, 8901 W 65th St, Indianapolis, IN 46278
Lunch and breaks included in the registration fee.
See flyer for all the details.
Thank you to the 60 Indiana Soil & Water Conservation Districts for their payment of membership dues to IASWCD:

St. Joseph
Job Postings   :
Current list of Conservation Job Opportunities now posted on the
  IASWCD website .

  • Special Projects Director, SWCS
  • Conservation Technician and Outreach Assistant, Hamilton County SWCD
  • Executive Director, Wesselman Woods Nature Society
  • Northeast Resource Specialist, based in Huntington USDA Service Center
  • Northwest Resource Specialist, based in either the Lake, Cass, Jasper, or White County

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  :
May 28 - Memorial Day
May 31 - Women4theLand, Madison County
June 1 - Registration open, Pathway to Water Quality
June 2 - Invasive Weeds Field Day, Jackson County
June 7 - Grants Management Workshop
June 12 - Native Plant Stewardship Class, Brown Co.
June 12 - Cropland Weed ID Training, SEPAC
June 13 - Cropland Weed ID Training, TPAC
June 15 - Hoosier Chapter SWCS meeting, Indianapolis
June 15 - River Friendly Farmer Award Applications due 
June 19-20  -  Purdue Rainscaping Workshop
June 19 - Cropland Weed ID Training, SWPAC
June 26 - Native Plant Stewardship Class, Brown Co.
July 10 - Native Plant Stewardship Class, Brown Co.
July 19 - Agronomy Field Day, Steuben County
July 24 - SSCB Meeting, NRCS, Indianapolis
August 2-8 - NACD Summer Meeting
August 3-19 - Indiana State Fair
August 7 - Native Plant Stewardship Class, Brown Co.
August 15 - River Friendly Farmer Awards Ceremony
August 21 - Native Plant Stewardship Class, Brown Co.
August 28 - Leadership Institute
September 28 - SSCB Meeting, NRCS, Indianapolis
October 2-4 - IDEA Fall Conference, Bloomington, IN
October 30 - SSCB Meeting, TBD
November 30 - Leadership Institute
December 7 - Leadership Institute
For a complete list of upcoming conservation events,  go to the Events Calendar on the IASWCD website .