Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts
March 15, 2017
Conservation Update

March 2, 2017 - March 15, 2017

Staff and Supervisors . . . We Need YOU!
Pathway to Water Quality Celebrates 25 Years!
In order to get Pathway ready for viewing at the Indiana State Fair this year, we have several work days scheduled. Can you help us?
Pathway logo
General Clean Up Day: March 29
Pervious Prep: March 31 and  April 6
Begin: 9 am
No need to RSVP, but please contact Gary Struben or 765-717-1314 
with any questions or to get information regarding rescheduled dates due to weather. 

Rounding Up PWQ Photos
In honor of the 25th Anniversary, Sara Peel is collecting pictures of past Pathway exhibits and volunteers. Please send any you would like to share to:   More anniversary details to follow . . .

Wayne County SWCD: Annual Meeting honors Local Farmers
Wayne County SWCD held their annual meeting this year on February 6 where 208 Wayne County residents attended. Willard Newman was named as their 2016 Conservation Farmer of the Year. Mr. Newman began his farming career after a two year stint in the military, where he served as a gun crewman aboard a merchant
Willard Newman (center), 
Conservation Farmer of the Year, 
Wayne County
ship. After serving his country, Mr. Newman returned to the farm. He began his lifetime career of farming, ra ising six children, including 48 years of milking cows! Until a recent mishap,this 92 year old farmer kept active with farm chores, receiving help from his son, Randy, and son-in-law, Kenton. An avid no-tiller since the 1980's, Mr. Newman is an advocate for using wheat to help in areas of a field that require special attention in erosion prevention.

Kristen Ward and the Ward family were also honored at the Wayne County SWCD annual meeting for receiving the River-Friendly Farmer Award at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on Farmers' Day, August 17. 

Huntington County SWCD: Annual Meeting with Guest Spea ker, Le nny Farlee
Joe Northrop, River-Friendly Farmer 2016, Huntington County
 County SWCD held their Annual Meeting and Banquet on February 23. The evening included reports from conservation partnership staff, a presentation of conservation awards and recognition of 4-H Soil and Water Conservation project participants. The guest speaker was Lenny Farlee, Purdue Extension 
Forester for the Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center for Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources. 

Dave and Mark Shane, Conservation Farmer of the Year, Huntington County
Mr. Farlee's presentation provided information about managing woodlands. Dave and Mark Shane were honored as Conservation Farmer of the Year 2016, Huntington County. And, Joe Northrop
was honored for receiving the River-Friendly Farmer Award in August at the Indiana State Fair.  

Tra ining Reimbursements available through March 15. 
Remi nd er that the Indiana State Soil Conservation Board is offering SWCD staff and supervisor training funds for training through June 30, 2017. A special emphasis is made on "grant writing" training this year. See list of workshops here. Read more r egarding the reimbursement for training here
NACD News  
NACD Urban Agriculture Conservation Grant Initiative
NACD has partnered with NRCS once more on an urban agriculture conservation initiative. NACD will award $50,000 grants for up to 20 districts. The program is designed to enhance urban agriculture conservation technical assistance activities in districts with developed or predominantly developing land use. A special emphasis is being placed on underserved communities and food deserts.Both Hamilton and Marion County SWCDs received grants from this initiative last year.
Webinar to review this initiative and answer questions:
April 6 @ 12 noon EST
RFP and FAQs are posted on NACD's website

NACD is now accepting project proposals as directed in the RFP through May 14, 2017. Please contact Debra Bogar with any questions.

The Resource and Annual Report
The winter edition of NACD's quarterly publication - The Resource - as well as the 2016 Annual Report can be downloaded by  clicking here. In this issue, you'll find hyperlinks throughout that will redirect you to specific pages on the NACD website. You will also find a highlight reel of NACD's 2016 activities; several district and Soil Health Champion spotlight stories; columns from NACD's president, immediate past president, and CEO; and four 2017 outlooks on NACD communications, development, membership, and government affairs.

NACD Blog: Getting Seeds Started Right
by Justin Husher
When spring can't get here soon enough, it's time to start getting your hands dirty starting some seeds!  Seed starting is fairly easy, given the right set-up, a bit of patience, and a bit of diligence. The wrong way to start seeds is in front of a window in northeast Ohio in March. The plant will respond to the low levels of light by becoming "leggy," stretching in search of more light. Often these frail plants are so weak that they can't even be handled, let alone transplanted. Read more...

"Healthy Soils Are Full of Life!" materials now available
Click here  to be redirected to NACD's Marketplace where the 2017 stewardship and education materials are available for FREE download.  Soon districts will be able to place orders for print-on-demand 2017 materials. Stay tuned for updat
es regarding on-demand printing options!
ICP News  
"ICP Updates" Webinar Now Posted
If you missed the live ICP webinar on March 7, 2017 regarding  ICP Accomplishments, the 2017 Work Plan, Updates regarding Pathway to Water Quality and ICP Leader Updates, you may now view it online.
 NRCS Soil Health Update: March 2017 issue

2016 Indiana USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Annual Report
This report highlights the financial and technical assistance provided by Indiana NRCS as well as three Indiana conservation success stories.  Read here . . .

USDA Seeks Project Proposals to Protect and Restore Critical Wetlands
Washington, D.C., March 10, 2017 - Acting Deputy Agriculture Secretary Michael Young today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing up to $15 million in technical and financial assistance to help eligible conservation partners voluntarily protect, restore and enhance critical wetlands on agricultural lands. Restored wetlands improve water quality downstream and improve wildlife habitat, while also providing flood prevention and recreational benefits to communities.

Funding will be provided through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP), part of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), a Farm Bill conservation program. The partnership is administered by USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the leading federal agency for wetland conservation on private lands. Through WREP, states, local units of governments, non-governmental organizations and American Indian tribes collaborate with NRCS through cooperative and partnership agreements. These partners work with tribal and private landowners who voluntarily enroll eligible land into easements to protect, restore and enhance wetlands on their properties.  

Proposals must be submitted to NRCS state offices by April 24, 2017. More information is available on the ACEP webpage. Read more . . . 

Webinar Series about Project Applications for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)
In January 2017, USDA invited potential conservation partners 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 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.

The NRCS will host a webinar for potential applicants to assist with pre-proposals, due April 21, 2017. The webinar will introduce participants to the NRCS and its programs, discuss the RCPP and APF requirements, and offer best practices for project applications.  The NRCS will offer the webinar from 2:00 - 3:30 PM Eastern Time on March 22, 2017 and  April 5, 2017. Read more and register here.

2017 Great Lakes Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program Request for Proposals (RFP)
The Great Lakes Commission is pleased to announce the request for proposals (RFP) for the 2017 Great Lakes Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program grant program. This program, formerly known as the Great Lakes Basin Program for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control, is administered by the Great Lakes Commission through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). To date, this program has supported more than 490 projects to reduce the input of unwanted sediment, nutrients, and other sediment-borne pollutants into Great Lakes, reducing soil erosion by an estimated two million tons and phosphorus loadings by two million pounds.   For program year 2017, two grant options are being offered; small scale grant projects and larger watershed scale grant projects. Grants provided under this year's program will focus on reducing sediment and phosphorus runoff into the Great Lakes. Please check the "2017 REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS" for details at: Click on the "Apply for Grants" button at the top right hand side of the page to begin the application process. The due date for applications is 6:00 p.m. EDT on March 31, 2017. A 25 percent non-federal match is required for each project. The match can be provided as cash or in-kind services. Funding is provided by NRCS through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. PROJECTS All grant projects must explicitly reduce sediment and phosphorus entering the Great Lakes. Funding will be available for both technical assistance and financial assistance.  An estimated ten to twelve small scale projects will be funded for up to a maximum of $50,000 each. Projects can be up to 36 months in duration. An example of a small scale project is the installation of a phosphorus scrubber device in a waterway to reduce phosphorus from entering the Great Lakes.   An estimated four to five watershed-scale projects will be funded up to maximum of $200,000 per project. The projects may be up to 36 months in duration. An example of a watershed scale project is establishing a 4R cost-share program with stratified soils samples to reduce dissolved phosphorus entering the Great Lakes.  Any questions should be directed to Gary Overmier at  or  734-971-9135 .

National Cooperative Soil Survey Quarterly Newsletter Released  
Issue 78 of the NCSS Newsletter
IDEA News  
2017 Membership Dues must be received by March 31, 2017
Membership forms and more details can be found here.

2017 IDEA Poster Contest Underway!
  • County winners in each category must be submitted to the IASWCD office by Friday, June 9, 2017 in order to be judged on the state level. 
  • State winner checks will be mailed to the District for distribution at your convenience.
  • State winning posters will be displayed at the Pathway to Water Quality exhibit
  • NACD is moving to digital submissions of posters, IDEA is not going digital for state submission yet. 


to the five Indiana poste rs that were all awarded Honorable Mention at the NACD National Poster Contest this year:

Lake County - 10-12 grade division

Lawrence County - K-1 division

Vermillion County - 2-3 division

St. Joseph County - 4-6 division

     Bartholomew County - 7-9 division

Purdue Extension  
Training: Native Warm Season Grass Establishment and Management 
May 16 - West Lafayette, IN
May 18 - Farmland, IN
Other News
Gro Native Program
The Grove  Native program  (www.grownativeindiana.or g) has expanded statewide and is soliciting applic ation s from retailers, nurs eries, and garden centers across Indiana. 

Retailers can  apply to be listed at one of two levels:
Grow Native Basic- any retailer that sells plants native to Indiana can be listed as a 
basic member. Membership entitles participants to a logo window cling and a digital logo for use in promos. The business is listed on the Grow Native website and they can order free brochures on native landscaping and invasive plants to avoid.

Grow Native Gold- retailers who sell native plants and DO NOT sell any invasive plants listed on the Indiana Invasive Plant List can be certified at this higher level and get the promotion assistance above but with prominent promotion on the Buy Native page of the website and via INPAWS outreach materials.

Joining is simple. Retailers can go to the Sell Native page on the Grow Native website, fill out a form and upload current stock species list(s). The certification committee will review your application and reach out regarding your certification.

This is a great opportunity and easy way for SWCD's across Indiana to help promote native plants in the landscape industry and help connect landowners to sources for native plants. This letter can be used to reach out to your local nurseries. 

If you have questions please feel free to contact: or Ellen Jacquart at
Stream Simulation Training - SAVE THE DATE!
October 23-27 (4.5 days)
Bloomington, IN
Registration will open in May

Farm Forum:  Soil Health Partnership to expand to 100 farm sites for 2017
This year, 35 more farms will join a revolutionary research effort that hopes to show U.S. farmers how sustainability through soil health can also lead to increased profitably. The Soil Health Partnership announced the planned expansion to 100 farms at the 2017 Commodity Classic.
"This is the largest farmer-led soil health research project of its kind," said Nick Goeser, SHP director.  "We believe our long-term data on real, working farms will result in a better understanding of the links between soil health and our farmers' crop yields, economic investments and environmental risk," Goeser said. "Our enrolled farmers are the backbone of this project, both for their participation in the data collection process, and for serving as ambassadors in this agricultural shift." Read more...

Erosion Control Workshop Evansville, IN
March 22 from 9 am to 2 pm (CST)
Sign up by Friday, March 17
University of Southern Indiana, Carter Hall

Women in Agribusiness accepting Nominations for Award
The Women in Agribusiness Demeter Award of Excellence recognizes companies and individuals whose achievements further their mission of attracting and advancing women in the ag and food sector and that exemplify the belief that nurturing gender diversity is in a company's and the industry's best interests.
Deadline to submit is June 30, 2017.
Districts are eligible . . . 
Funds for Source Water and Watershed Protection in Company Communities:  American Water Environmental Grant Program
The American Water Environmental Grant Program supports nonprofit organizations that address a watershed or source water protection need in local communities within American Water service areas in California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Source water protection projects should result in the protection or improvement of the community's public drinking water supplies. Watershed protection projects should focus on activities that improve, restore, or protect one or more watersheds. Grants of up to $10,000 will be provided for environmental sustainability activities such as watershed cleanups, reforestation efforts, biodiversity projects, stream-side buffer restoration projects, hazardous waste collection efforts, community education, etc. Applications must be postmarked by March 27, 2017. Visit the company's website to download the 2017 Program Brochure and the Grant Application Form, and to access contact information for each state.
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: 

March 15 - Midwest Cover Crops Council Annual Meeting

March 16 - NW Region Meeting, Delphi, IN

March 21 - NACD Fly-In

March 22 - NE Region Meeting, Columbia City, IN

March 22 - Erosion Control Workshop, Evansville, IN

March 30  - Understanding Native Pollinators and Their Needs Conference

March 31 - Deadline for 2017 IDEA Membership dues 

April 6 - Webinar regarding NACD Urban Agriculture Grant Initiative 

April 30-May 7 - Stewardship and Education Week

May 16 - Native Warm Season Grass Establishment and Management, West Lafayette, IN

May 18 - Native Warm Season Grass Establishment and Management, Farmland, IN

July 15-18 - NACD Summer Conservation Forum and Tour

July 30-August 2 - SWCS Annual Conference

August 4-20 - Indiana State Fair

November 12-17 -  National Association of 4-H Extension Agents/Educators Conference in Indianapolis

December 7-8 - National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health

January 8-9, 2018 - Annual SWCD Conference, Indianapolis Marriott Downtown

January 27-31, 2018 - NACD Annual Conference, Nashville, TN
Current Job Openings *

See Job Descriptions and/or Applications at 

Urban Conservationist, 
Marion County SWCD 

Communications Facilitator - Indiana Family of Farmers

Watershed Coordinator, 
Wayne County SWCD

Resource Specialist, 
ISDA Division of Soil Conservation, SE Indiana

Program Specialist,
 Sustainable Sourcing Initiative, Environmental Defense Fund, Washington D.C.
*(Note: please submit job openings to: 
and include instructions for applying, deadline and job description in a single PDF file. Thank you.)