Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts
January 18, 2017
Conservation Update

January 5, 2017 - January 18, 2017

2017 Annual SWCD Conference
January 23-24, 2017
Indianapolis Marriott Downtown

The final conference brochure is now posted on the IASWCD website

Plan ahead for parking at the conference... For those of you parking at the Marriott hotel, you should receive a 25% discount off the prevailing parking rates at the hotel. Please check your hotel bill to make sure you received this discount.  For those of you looking for other options, please explore this link:

Most important, make sure where you are parking allows overnight parking if staying! We suggest carpooling as much as possible!


2017 Indiana Legislative Session Statehouse Visits
IASWCD is offering to coordinate visits to the Indiana Statehouse during February and March. These visits will provide an overview of the legislative process, a tour as well as a meet and greet time with your legislators.  Dates, details and registration information can be found   here .

CCSI News 
Calling all SWCD Staff . . .
Basics of Soil Health Training
February 8, 
West Lafayette
This training is part of our Soil Health Curriculum and was developed in 2013 to provide more connection between traditional soils science and the evolving science of soil health. This foundational knowledge of soils and soil health will become even more important as Indiana's Nutrient Management/Soil Health task force emphasizes the need to adopt practices that can reduce nutrient loading in surface waters, avoid regulation, and help improve the bottom line for Indiana farmers.

Great training for District staff who:
  • are new/newer staff
  • have not taken soil science courses
  • have not attended Core/Advanced Cover Crops or Core/Advanced Soil Health Systems trainings
This training is held every other year.  To enhance the learning experience, seating w ill be limited. Registration is available at Eventbrite.  

Hamilton County SWCD Featured in NACD eResource
Shou out to Hamilton County SWCD for their great work in urban conservation and their B a ckyard Conservation Program! This district has expanded their  urban support   with many local partners in encouraging soil health. Their efforts, along with others, are making a difference in the local food pantries by encouraging citizens with individual and community food plots to donate their fresh produce. Check out the details in NACD's eResource .
NACD News  
"Did You Know" Articles for NACD
Did you know that any individual, state, agency, or district can write a "Did You Know" article? The last Tuesday of each month, "Did You Know" is featured on NACD's blog and in eResource. If you have comments or questions on this month's, or suggestions for future editions, contact NACD Southeast Representative  Phylis Vandevere.

Live Auction at National Conference
The 2017 NACD Live Auction will be held Monday, January 30, 2017 from 7:00 - 9:00 PM. Featuring auctioneer Johnny Regula, this year's auction will get your attention with items spanning from hand-crafted quilts and freshwater pearls to corn and soybean seed, a John Deere Gator Utility Vehicle, or the use of Case IH tractors. See More . . . 
USDA Announces $252 Million Available for Regional Conservation Partnership Program
WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2017 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today invited potential conservation partners, including private industry, non-government organizations, Indian tribes, state and local governments, water districts, and universities to submit project applications for federal funding through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).
Through this fourth RCPP Announcement for Program Funding (APF), USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will award up to $252 million dollars to locally driven, public-private partnerships that improve the nation's water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat, and protect agricultural viability. Applicants must match or exceed the federal award with private or local funds. Read more...

NRCS, USFWS Partner to Accelerate Conservation on Agricultural Lands for the Monarch Butterfly
The monarch butterfly is a new national priority species of Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW), a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Populations of monarchs, a pollinator species cherished across North America, have declined significantly during the past two decades. This collaboration aims to help the species recover by working with agricultural producers to make wildlife-friendly improvements on their farms, ranches and forests. Read more... 

EQIP Application Deadline January 20
Indiana's agricultural producers who want to improve natural resources and address concerns on their land are encouraged to sign up for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) through the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  Jane Hardisty, NRCS State Conservationist, announced that January 20, 2017 will be the EQIP application deadline in Indiana. "While we are taking applications throughout the year, the first review of applications for funding will be for applications 
received by  January 20. 
If more funds are available after this date, there will be another review for additional applications. I encourage producers with resource concerns to submit an application by the application deadline," Hardisty explains. Read more . . . 

Indiana NRCS Announces Applications Available for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Jane Hardisty announced that Indiana is now accepting applications for enrollment in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), the nation's largest conservation program.  NRCS has made several revisions to the program this year to help producers better evaluate their conservation options and the benefits to their operations and natural resources. New methods and software for evaluating applications will help producers see up front why they are or are not meeting stewardship thresholds, and allow them to pick practices and enhancements that work for their conservation objectives.  These new tools also allow producers to see potential payment scenarios for conservation early in the process. Read more...

Information Security Awareness (ISA) Training
Deadline to complete training: February 1, 2017
All USDA employees, partners, TSPs, volunteers and contractors who have access to a CCE compliant computer must complete the mandatory annual information security awareness (ISA) training. This training is required by law and is an essential part of keeping the information systems secure. The FY17 ISA course will be assigned to AgLearn user accounts on October 1, 2016. Please Note: Those who do not complete the training by February 1 will have their access to USDA computer systems suspended until the training is complete.
Other News
Want to Host a Women's Learning Circle in your District?
 Women4theLand's mission is to empower women landowners and farmers to make good conservation choices for their land and to educate natural resource professionals and technical field staff on better strategies for outreach to women.

If you would like to host a circle or just find out more information about how and why they work, please contact our state coordinator, Heather Bacher. We will match you with a circle facilitator, provide you with planning and resource materials, host a few planning calls and give you other support as needed to  conduct the circle.  Contact Heather Bacher at  or  317-514-4634 Also be sure to visit the website at   You can sign up for more information here

Central Hardwood Oak Ecology and Wildlife Management Conference
March 7 and 8, 2017
The Season Lodge in Nashville, Indiana
This conference is open to landowners, professional resource managers and anyone interested in our oak forests. Plenary session will include programs on oak ecology, disturbance ecology, deer and oak forests and funding for forest restoration and management.

For more information and registration information, click here.
Ron Culberson Article #6: 
Genuinely Speaking: YOU Can Make Your Message More Memorable
Is your information memorable? Do your colleagues, staff, or constituents get what you're trying to convey? Do people see you as fun, funny, or interesting? If not, you should consider tapping into your unique gifts, skills, stories, and humor to make your messages more memorable. First Lady Barbara Bush was asked to speak at Wellesley College's graduation ceremony. Being an all-female college, many of the students complained about having Bush as their speaker because they felt that she had not achieved success by her own means but rather on the coattails of her husband. Knowing that some students were opposed to her, Barbara Bush started her presentation with this statement: "Somewhere in this audience may sit an individual who will one day preside over the White House as the spouse of the President. And I'd like to wish him well." Read more...
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: 

January 18-19, April 5-6, May 24 - Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy, Purdue University

January 23 - Indiana Agvocate training, Boone County

January 23-24 - SWCD Annual Conference, Indianapolis

January 26 - Indiana Agvocate Training, Marshall County

January 28-February 2 - NACD Annual Meeting, Denver, CO

January 31 - Annual Southern Regional Soil Health Workshop

February 1 - DEADLINE: Internet Security Awareness Training

February 2 - Indiana Agvocate Training, Orange County

February 8 - CCSI Basic Soil Health Training

March 2-4 - Small Farm Conference

March 2-3 - Indiana Lakes Management Society conference

March 15 - Midwest Cover Crops Council Annual Meeting

March 21 - NACD Fly-In

April 30-May 7 - Stewardship and Education Week

July 30-August 2 - SWCS Annual Conference

November 8-9 - National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health
Current Job Openings *

See Job Descriptions and/or Applications at 

Office Administration/Education Coordinator - Cass County SWCD 

Urban Conservationist - Marion County SWCD

Watershed Technician - Macon County SWCD, Illinois 

Communications Facilitator - Indiana Family of Farmers
*(Note: please submit job openings to: 
and include instructions for applying, deadline and job description in a single PDF file. Thank you.)