Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts
August 3, 2016
Conservation Update

July 21 - August 3, 2016

Two Indiana Districts Awarded Grants
 for Urban Agriculture Conservation
The National Association of Conservation Districts, in partnership with USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service, has awarded grants to two Indiana districts to help boost technical assistance for urban agriculture and conservation awareness and development.
The Urban Agriculture Conservation Grants Initiative was established for conservation districts and their partners to be able to provide much needed technical assistance for agricultural conservation where the land is predominately urban or urbanizing. Through this initiative, districts will be able to begin or expand efforts to support agricultural conservation projects in their under served communities.

Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District will receive a grant that will allow them to hire two part time urban agriculture program associates. One associate will provide on-site technical assistance on how to develop and sustain an urban food plot or community garden. Strategies of conservation will be included in this effort including soil health, nutrient and pest management, cover crops, no till, and conservation irrigation. The second new associate position will focus on education and developing partnerships within the county to encourage established or developing community gardens, as well as individual gardeners, to donate part of their yield to local food banks.  Many partnerships have already been established and will take active roles in developing this initiative. The Good Samaritan Network in Hamilton County, Purdue Extension and their Master Gardener program, Project Eden, Carmel Green Initiative, the Plots to Plates Community Garden, the Hamilton County Harvest Food Bank and the Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development (HAND) will offer assistance with networking, identification of potential sites, participation with the programs, education, connection to individuals living in food deserts, conservation and technical support of this program.

Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District will receive a grant to develop the Urban Growers Exchange. This exchange will be a catalyst for urban farming sustainability based on soil health. This grant will allow more assistance in working with several partners, including Indy Food Council, Indy Urban Acres, Clear Choices Clean Water, and the Indianapolis Food Bank, to help combat food inequality and food desert issues in Marion County.  It will expand conservation technical assistance, develop a network for peer interaction, and it will build on the work begun by their Soils Health Specialist, Kevin Allison, along
Marion County SWCD staff with Jane Hardisty, State Conservationist, at local Urban Garden site
with a partnering program with NRCS to pilot an Urban Agriculture program in Indiana. This grant will also allow Marion County SWCD to hire an Outreach Coordinator who will manage a new website where up to date information will be provided regarding workshops, demonstrations and field days. The website will provide high quality technical information targeting urban growers in Marion County and include fact sheets, permaculture templates, a blog spot and highlight growers and their successes.

To view NACD's release on the urban conservation funding announcement and a complete list of all 42 districts who received awards, go to  the NACD site

District Showcase Award 
Deadline August 4 - DUE TOMORROW!
It's time for Indiana's District Showcase Award! This annual award is designed to highlight the success of  up to four local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) in the Hoosier state. It allows Districts the opportunity to share new project ideas or better ways to design and implement existing conservation projects. This award is sponsored by the Indiana Conservation Partnership (ICP) and f our SWCDs will be honored as recipients of the District Showcase Award at the 2017 Conservation Awards luncheon with a video and award presentation. This event is part of the 74th Annual Conference of Indiana Soil and Water Conservation Districts. The awards luncheon will be held on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown. Winning Districts will have the opportunity to showcase their photos and materials depicting the winning projects during the trade show at the conference on January 23 and 24. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. EDT on August 4, 2016. 

Trade Show Booth Space - Early Bird Registration Now Open
for 2017 Annual SWCD Conference
Early Bird registration is now available online for all exhibitors wanting to participate in the Trade Show at the 2017 Annual Conference
of Indiana Soil and Water Conservation Districts on January 23-24, 2017. 
If you know of anyone who might be interested in exhibiting this year, please direct them to or print out the reservation form here. This form includes prices, add-ons available and all details needed to reserve a space. Or, they can go online and fill out the new online Google Reservation Form

Early bird rates end on October 7 - after that date, prices to reserve a booth will increase. 
Nominations for NACD's  Distinguished Service Award  and  Friend of Conservation Award  will be accepted now through  August 31, 2016 .
NACD awards are great opportunities for our members to give the top
conserv ation leaders in the nation the recognition they deserve! You ca n nominate an  individual, business, agency, or organization for their outst anding  work and leadershi p in natural resources conservation. The winners of the awa rds will be featured in several NACD publications and asked to attend a special ceremony held in their honor at NACD's 2017 Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, on  January 31, 2017 Nominations for the 2016 awards may be submitted by an individual, organization, agency, or conservation district. For nomination forms and more information,  click here .  
Eastern Native Grass Symposium (ENGS)
At the request of State Agronomist, Vic Shelton, the Eastern Native Grass Symposium planning committee would like to encourage each of the districts to consider "sponsoring" one - three producers from your county to attend the highly anticipated Symposium on August 29-31.  It is the first time in Symposium history that this event is being held in Indiana and the committee would like to see a high attendance from Indiana landowners and producers at this event in Evansville.
Well known keynote speakers, hot topics and vendors are already lined up as part of the Symposium ( see highlight of speakers here) so please consider reaching out to your county and feel free to share the ENGS brochure.  

Partner News
Indiana Conservation Alliance (INCA) 
Space is filling up fast for INCA's Conservation Congress. This is an important meeting that not only your members but your board of directors or executive committee will find valuable. The cost is just $25 per person which includes lunch and morning and afternoon breaks. (Your organization's INCA dues funds the balance of the meetings expense).
When: Friday, September 30th
Where: Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
Why: Indiana's Future Depends on It
Many of us have recognized the decrease in the recognition of the importance of Indiana's natural resources over the years. You have to look no further than the steady decline in state funding for conservation over time.
We are at a "tipping point." Millennials more and more consider "quality of life" when making employment and family decisions. Recent events highlight the importance of water quality and availability. There is a growing lack of understanding that a healthy natural environment is just good business. The list goes on and on ...
Speakers include: Bill McCoy from Patoka National Wildlife Refuge; Steven and Nancy Byers, from the  Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, will discuss "Creating an Effective Coalition," a fascinating grassroots story of what can be accomplished.
INCA's Conservation Congress is an opportunity for stakeholders across Indiana to focus on the future of our natural resources and wildlife conservation. Your input is needed and valued. Space is limited,  CLICK HERE, to register for the Congress now.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Partners in Community Forestry Conference
November 16-17
Indianapolis Marriott Downtown
Conference details including the agenda, click here
Scholarship Information, click here 

Grants announced for 33 Indiana Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) projects
New grants for the care of Indiana's water bodies totaling $1,296,000 have been awarded through the Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) program in the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife.

The grants, awarded by DNR director Cameron Clark, fund 33 projects in 25 counties, encompassing watersheds of 36 lakes and streams.

Local sponsors submit applications for LARE assistance and commit to sharing a portion of the total cost. DNR's share comes from a fee paid annually by boat owners when registering their boats with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

The new grants include several projects to control erosion and enhance aquatic habitat on rivers and lakes. Thirteen grants for watershed land treatment were awarded to specific County Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) to complement their efforts with local landowners to reduce the amount of sediment and nutrient runoff. Preventing these pollutants from entering water is more economical and effective than trying to remove them from lakes and streams.  Read the full release, dated August 2, here .

Supervisor Summit & Staff Summit
Deadline to register: August 16
August 23 - 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
Registration now OPEN!
Supervisors register at:

Purdue College of Agriculture
Distinguished Ag Alumni (DAA) & Certificate of Distinction (CD)
The College of Agriculture and the Purdue Agricultural Alumni Association invite you to submit nominations for their 2017 awards programs. There are two major awards that encompass all of their disciplines: the College's Distinguished Agricultural Alumni (DAA) and the Ag Alumni Association's Certificate of Distinction (CD).  The specific information and criteria for these two awards is summarized here Nomination Deadline: 8:00 am September 12, 2016
Other News
Farm Foundation 
Farmers Needed! Seeking Indiana farmers to be part of a study of the economic costs and benefits of cover crops. Farm Foundation and Purdue University are collaborating on this three-year study, which is targeting farms in 37 counties of Indiana. 

"Farmers tell us that one of the biggest reasons why they don't adopt conservation practices is the lack of credible information about the economics of these practices," states Purdue University Economist Wally Tyner, who is leading the three-year project. "We are seeking farmers to help us gather the data needed so we can compare economics of systems with and without cover crops," he adds.  

To participate, a farming operation must be in one of the following 37 Central or Northeast Indiana counties: Adams, Allen (western), Benton, Blackford, Boone, Carroll, Clinton, Decatur, DeKalb, Delaware, Fayette, Grant, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Henry, Howard, Huntington, Jay, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Miami, Montgomery, Morgan, Noble, Putnam, Randolph, Rush, Shelby, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Union, Wabash, Wayne, Wells, and Whitley. 

For more details and contact information,  click here

Living Lands & Waters 
LL&W is a non-profit organization that operates on a one-of-a-kind fleet of barges, on which they host community-based river cleanups and educational workshops, held on their floating classroom. This August, they will be bringing their cleanup operation to Lawrenceburg and other areas along the Ohio River.

Chad Pregracke, founder of Living Lands and Waters, was a keynote speaker at the IASWCD Annual Conference in the past.  

For more information on Living Lands & Waters and their river cleanups, visit their website:    Videos regarding LL&W can be viewed at .

Pass this information along to co-workers, scout troops, school groups, etc. that there are "cleanups" happening and volunteers can sign up at:  Shifts consist of either 9am-12pm or 1pm-4pm with lunch provided for all volunteers between 12pm-1pm.  

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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. 

Here are just a few highlighted below:
August 10 & 11 - CCSI Advanced Conservation Cropping Systems

August 5-21 - Indiana State Fair

August 16 - Forest Invasives Field Day, Purdue Extension

August 17 - River Friendly Farmer Awards Event

August 17 - Miami Co. SWCD Cover Crop Workshop

August 17 - Newton County SWCD Pond Management Workshop

August 19 - "Communication" Cornerstone: Leadership Institute Workshop

August 20 - Pasture Field Day, Dearborn SWCD

August 23 - SW, Green  Pasture Field Day (Holland)

August 23 - Marshall SWCD field day

August 23 - Supervisor & Staff Summit

August 25 - NW, Pre/Post Harvest Workshop 

August 25 - Wabash SWCD field day

August 29-31 - Eastern Native Grass Symposium

August 30-Sept. 1 - "In Depth" Soil Health Training

September 7 - Forage Management Workshop

September 17 - Woodland Owner Workshop, Clark County SWCD

September 30 - INCA 1st Conservation Congress

October 5-7 - IDEA Fall Conference

October 26 - SE, Two Stage Ditch Workshop (Posey & Vanderburgh SWCD)

November 16-17 - Partners in Community Forestry Conference

January 23-24 - SWCD Annual Conference, Indianapolis

January 28-February 2 - NACD Annual Meeting
Current Job Openings *

See for current openings. 

*(Note: please submit job openings to 
and include instructions for applying, deadline and job description in a single PDF file. Thank you.)
Upcoming Award Reminders

Conservation Farmer of the Year - deadline September 9

Friend of Conservation

- deadline September 9


Supervisor of the Year 

- deadline September 9

Special Thank You to the 78 Districts who have Paid Annual Dues as of 08/02/16:
St. Joseph