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Conservation INsight
April 24, 2019
Now taking Nominations for the
2019 River Friendly Farmer Award
This annual statewide initiative, River Friendly Farmer Award, recognizes farmers, who through good production management practices, help keep Indiana’s rivers, lakes and streams clean. 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 every day conservation management practices on the farm. Watershed organizations also may nominate farmers for the award by submitting an application to a county SWCD. The 2019 River Friendly Farmer Award Ceremony will take place on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Visit the IASWCD website for nomination forms and more information. Deadline to submit nominations and the required signature page: June 14, 2019.
2019 Annual SWCD Conference Presentations Online
Several of the annual conference breakout session presenters have given permission to view their presentations online and these are posted on the IASWCD conference webpage.
Program Manager Position Open
Northern Indiana
CCSI is currently accepting applications for a Program Manager serving northern Indiana. The position will remain opened until filled. Resumes and cover letters may be sent via email to Lisa Holscher, CCSI Director at: lisa.holscher@in.nacdnet.net
Check Your Conservation District's Contact Information
NACD has recently updated the interactive district maps in their Conservation District Directory. Is your district's contact information correct? To locate your district, simply click on your state, then identify your corresponding pin. If your district’s contact information is incorrect, incomplete or missing, please contact  NACD Director of Communications Sara Kangas.
Celebrate Stewardship Week
April 28-May 5
NACD Awarded Grant to Further Pollinator Conservation Education
WASHINGTON  – The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) announced it was selected as the recipient of the David Rockefeller Fund Pollinator Education Initiative Grant through an agreement with the Pollinator Partnership. NACD’s project was selected in late February to facilitate the development of a guide to conduct a pollinator conservation field day. Through this agreement, NACD will also develop online resources for students to further learn about and be tested on pollinator conservation, as well as lesson plans and materials for teachers to engage students in hands-on, habitat-focused outdoor activities.
NACD Releases 2017 Urban Ag Conservation Grant Report
In the spring of 2016, NACD partnered with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to pilot a much-needed service across the country: conservation technical assistance for the vastly growing industry of urban agriculture. This service was provided through an urban agriculture conservation (UAC) grant program for conservation districts.
In 2017, NACD and NRCS again partnered to provide urban agriculture conservation funding to districts. The NACD Urban and Community Resource Policy Group (RPG), composed of district officials and partners, embraced the continued opportunity to help districts enhance their services.
Leading Farm, Conservation and Wildlife Groups Unite in Support of Protecting Conservation Funding
WASHINGTON –  Having succeeded in protecting funding for the Conservation Title in the 2018 Farm Bill, more than 140 leading farm, conservation and wildlife groups are once again joining together to protect those hard-fought conservation funds and programs in the fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations process. In a  letter  delivered on Apr. 2, the groups, which include the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), National Farmers Union (NFU), National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD), National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and American Farmland Trust (AFT), called upon appropriators to respect the funding decisions made in the 2018 Farm Bill and reject any cuts to farm bill conservation funding through the appropriations process.
NACD Announces 2020 Annual Meeting Theme Contest
The 74th NACD Annual Meeting will be held February 8-12, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
NACD is  now accepting submissions   to the annual meeting theme contest, through the end of the month. This year's theme should focus on the concept of innovation. The person who submits the winning theme will receive one complimentary registration to the 2020 Annual Meeting and a ticket to the 2020 NACD Appreciation Banquet.
SUFC Launches New Website
The Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition (SUFC) recently launched a  new website . The site provides urban forestry news and resources, as well as information on relevant policy. NACD is one of nearly 40 national organizations that make up the coalition. For more information, visit  sufc.org .
Save the Date: 2019 Fall Conference
October 1-3, 2019
Rooms can now be reserved at Clifty Inn. See the flier for reservation details. Registration for the conference opens on May 1 on Eventbrite.
Clean Water Indiana
The Clean Water Indiana (CWI) Program was established to provide financial assistance to landowners and conservation groups. The financial assistance supports the implementation of conservation practices which will reduce nonpoint sources of water pollution through education, technical assistance, training, and cost sharing programs. The CWI fund is administered by the Division of Soil Conservation under the direction of the State Soil Conservation Board.
Agriculture remains the backbone of Indiana, census shows
INDIANAPOLIS (April 12, 2019) — Indiana farmers are among the most productive and efficient in the U.S., according to the latest  Census of Agriculture , released yesterday. The census, taken every five years, is the nation’s most comprehensive agricultural survey and shows trend data on variety of topics ranging from production to economics to farmer demographics.
On Farms and Forestlands, Every Day Is Earth Day
By: Steven Brown, State Executive Director, Indiana Farm Service Agency and Jerry Raynor, State Conservationist, Indiana Natural Resources Conservation Service
At USDA, we celebrate Earth Day 2019 by offering big thank-yous to Indiana farmers and forest landowners for all they do. Every day we see their efforts to conserve natural resources while producing food, fiber and fuel for people in their communities and around the world. They are doing what needs to be done to make sure we all enjoy the benefits of clean and plentiful water and healthy soils, ecosystems and wildlife habitat. This year’s Earth Day theme, “Protect Our Species,” highlights the responsibility we share in supporting wildlife. Two-thirds of the land in the continental United States is privately owned, and the decisions that Indiana farmers make for their land can impact wildlife.
1 Tool and 10 Takeaways: The 2017 Census of Agriculture
By Elizabeth Creech, USDA·Apr 18, 2019
The Census of Agriculture is a complete count of America’s farms, ranches, and the people who operate them. Conducted once every five years,  Census of Agriculture results  provide valuable insights into the lives of America’s farmers and ranchers for people outside of agriculture as well as state and federal governing bodies. For producers, Census results can inform management decisions now and into the future.
Purdue Extension News
Document: Recommended Indiana Native Plants for Attracting Pollinators (POL-6-W)
This document provides information about many Indiana native plant species. Native plants are preferable because of their close partnerships with native pollinators. The Plant Information columns provide Sun and Soil Moisture requirements, plant Height, plant Flower Color, and plant Bloom Time. Check it out!
Other News
USDA Census of Agriculture
The census report, along with a number of related publications, video presentations, and searchable data query interfaces, will be available on the NASS website at  www.nass.usda.gov . Available now are three videos featuring NASS subject matter experts explaining the importance of the Census, what’s new in this Census, and how to find Census data.

The Invasive Species Informer
Indiana State Fair
Smithfield Foods Donates $120,000 to North America’s Largest Environmental Education Program and International Competition
SMITHFIELD, Va., April 09, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --  Smithfield Foods, Inc. , is pleased to announce a combined $120,000 donation to support the  2019 National Conservation Foundation (NCF) Envirothon —North America’s largest environmental education program and international competition that brings together teams from across the U.S., Canada, and China to compete for recognition and scholarships.
Smithfield’s combined support of the program encompasses a $60,000 donation benefitting competitions at the local and regional levels, $35,000 in Smithfield-sponsored scholarships awarded to the top three championship teams, and $25,000 presented to the  North Carolina Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts  for its role as the host of the 2019 championship competition.
SepticSmart Week
September 16-20, 2019
Each year, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) holds SepticSmart Week with outreach activities to encourage homeowners and communities to care for and maintain their septic systems. During SepticSmart Week, EPA seeks to inform homeowners on proper septic system care and maintenance, assist local agencies in promoting homeowner education and awareness, and educate local decision makers about infrastructure options to improve and sustain their communities.
Host a Women’s Learning Circle in Your County
Women4theLand can help provide that opportunity! For more information, please contact Heather Bacher, W4tL Coordinator, at hbacher@women4theland.org  or 317-514-4634. Heather can help schedule a circle or answer questions. 
USDA Forest Service
Funding Available: 2019 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Request for Applications
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service anticipates that up to $4.1 million in new funds will be available for tree planting and forest health improvement in the Great Lakes Basin. This funding will be competitively awarded to the best proposals received through the June 28, 2019 deadline at grants.gov . Search for Grant Opportunity Number USDA-FS-2019-GLRI.
An informational webinar to discuss the application process is scheduled for  Thursday, May 2 at 10:00 am EDT/9:00 am CDT.   The webinar will be recorded for future viewing.
Next brown bag lunch on April 30 near Richmond, IN at Cope Environmental Center. Join them for lunch, learn about Cope and network with others getting children outside. 
Tuesday April 30th 11:30 am
RSVPs helpful but not required
Volunteers Needed
Pollinator Partnership has been awarded another 2-year grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to continue their regional seed collection and habitat enhancement efforts for monarchs and now, the rusty patched bumble bee, through their new initiative:  Project Wingspan  (PW). They are seeking volunteer seed collectors, collection locations, and team leads, as well as public land managers and private land stewards in Indiana who are interested in filling out our online habitat survey to participate in a habitat acreage count and be eligible for plant material awards. This project is a great opportunity for Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists, park friends groups, naturalists, native plant societies, public and private land owners/managers, universities, land trusts and conservancies, community organizations, natural resource students and professionals, and others to engage with their local community, support imperiled pollinators, gain valuable skills, and get your habitat counted.
Job Postings  :
Current list of Conservation Job Opportunities now posted on the  IASWCD website.
  • Women for the Land Initiative Director, American Farmland Trust
  • Midwest Conservation Technician (Carlinville, IL), American Farmland Trust
  • Conservation Technician, Adams County SWCD
  • Senior Environmental Manager, IDEM
  • Soil Health Program Manager, ISDA
  • Program Manager, CCSI
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  :
April 27 - Pollinator Day, Floyd County
May 18 - Making a Difference...Dearborn Co.
May 20 - World Bee Day
May 21 - State Soil Conservation Board meeting
May 27 - Memorial Day
May 28-June 5 - Stewardship Week
May 30 - Pond Clinic, Wayne Co.
June 14 - DEADLINE: River Friendly Farmer nominations
June 17-23 - Pollinator Week
June 20 - Using Native Warm Season Grasses/Grazing
July 16 - Agronomy Field Day, Steuben Co.
July 16 - State Soil Conservation Board meeting
July 25 - Woodland Mgmt Workshop, Boone Co.
August 14 - River Friendly Farmer Awards event
August 20-21 - Conservation in Action Tour
September 17 - State Soil Conservation Board meeting
October 1-3 - IDEA Fall Conference, Clifty Inn
October 29 - State Soil Conservation Board meeting

For a complete list of upcoming conservation events,  go to the Events Calendar on the IASWCD website .