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Conservation INsight
December 23, 2020

IASWCD Virtual Conference
Only Weeks Away!
With record high attendance expected, the Annual Conference of Indiana SWCDs will go virtual January 11-13, 2021.

Register now to attend the 12 Breakout Sessions, Round Tables, Keynote Session, Awards Ceremony and time to meet our vendors during Exhibitor Exploration!

This year's Happy Hour promises a relaxing time to enjoy and support Indy's local talent. Reminsce with us through some fun oldies and newer pop music favorites. Happy Hour GIVEAWAYS (must be present online to win)!
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IASWCD Business Meeting Delegates* - Register by January 2
Each Soil and Water Conservation District in good standing (fully paid annual dues) with the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Inc. will have the opportunity to have one SWCD Supervisor delegate participate in the virtual Annual Meeting, January 2021. The vote of the district will be cast by the delegate or the alternate. The delegate will be required to attend the following:
IASWCD Annual Business Meeting on Tuesday, January 12, 2021
9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
via the IASWCD virtual meeting link
Slate of Officer Candidates include:
  • for President - Bobby Hettmansberger, Wabash County
  • for Vice-President - Jeff Baker, Warrick County
  • for Secretary - Marc Roberts, Montgomery County
  • for Treasurer - Sarah Delbecq, DeKalb County
IASWCD Business Meeting Delegates*
*The following 59 districts currently have delegates registered for this meeting:
Boone County
Brown County
Carroll County
Cass County SWCD
Crawford County
Daviess County SWCD
Decatur County
Dubois County SWCD
Elkhart County SWCD
Floyd County
Fulton County
Gibson County SWCD
Grant County SWCD
Harrison County
Hendricks County
Howard County
Huntington County SWCD
Jackson County
Jay County
Jennings County SWCD
Johnson County SWCD
Knox County
Kosciusko Co SWCD
LaGrange County
LaPorte County
Lake County
Lawrence County
Madison County
Marion County
Marshall County
Monroe County
Morgan County SWCD
Newton County
Noble County
Parke County SWCD
Porter County
Putnam County
Randolph County
Ripley County
Shelby County
Spencer County
St. Joseph County SWCD
Wabash County SWCD
Warren County
Warrick County SWCD
Washington County
Wayne County SWCD
Wells County SWCD
We're HIring! Regional Urban Soil Health Specialists
The Regional Urban Soil Health Specialists will be the technical field staff implementing the new IASWCD Urban Soil Health Program, promoting a systematic conservation approach to agriculture in urban settings and with farmers otherwise new to agriculture. The Regional Urban Soil Health Specialists will work to develop and maintain strong working relationships with the Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) and other local partners in their service area, supporting the development of the local urban soil health working groups, and providing one-on-one technical assistance, education and outreach. Currently, IASWCD is hiring three (3) Regional Urban Soil Health Specialist positions in each of the following Indiana regions: northwest, northeast, and southeast. Deadline to apply is January 8 or until positions are filled.
Upcoming Events
Upcoming 2021 line-up of virtual events! Some relatively traditional webinars and some "virtual shop visits." Using available technology - with an eye towards bandwidth constraints - CCSI will take you on a live walk around equipment and blend it with videos and imagery. You can ask the guests your own pressing questions. And, because these are broadcast earlier in the morning, you can get on with your day.
NACD Announces 2020 UAC Grants Initiative and New Grantee Story Map
Since 2016, NACD has partnered with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on a very successful Urban Agriculture Conservation (UAC) grant initiative, awarding almost $5 million dollars to 87 conservation districts. Pending the finalization of funds from NRCS, NACD will again award up to 18 grants of no more than $50,000 to conservation districts in Fiscal Year 2021. Deadline to apply is February 15, 2021.
Richland SWCD Releases Pollinator Conservation Educators' Guide
Looking for more educational resources on pollinators? The Richland Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) in South Carolina recently published a pollinator conservation educators’ guide for teachers, informal educators and parents to use with students in grades 1-6. The guide, with support from an Urban Agriculture Conservation grant and NRCS, includes instructions and printable resources for hands-on activities that teach students about the process of pollination and flower anatomy.
2021 Soils Planner Now Available
This year, the planner is back to its traditional size (8-1/2” x 11”) and features “Soils in the Geologic Record.” Better known as “buried soils,” the featured soils contain secrets of the climate, ecosystem, and fossils of the Earth’s prehistoric past. Each month displays a Geologic age and tells the story of the Earth’s soils through pictures. The 12-month planner is functional as well as educational. The monthly pages provide space for notes and show conference dates that have been confirmed for 2021.
Indiana NRCS Announces $7.7 Million Available to Help Protect and Restore Sensitive Lands
State Conservationist Jerry Raynor announced today that Indiana’s USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making available over $7.7 million to help landowners protect and restore key farmlands, grasslands and wetlands across Indiana. The funding is provided through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), created by the 2014 Farm Bill to protect critical water resources and wildlife habitat, and encourage private owners to maintain land for farming. Eligible entities must submit applications for the current funding pool on or before February 3, 2021.
USDA Seeks Public Input on Guidance Defining Nonindustrial Private Forest Land Eligibility
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking public input on nonindustrial private forest land (NIPF) related to technical and financial assistance available through conservation programs of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). "We want to ensure we continue program consistency across USDA agencies with how we are defining nonindustrial private forest lands,” said Jerry Raynor, NRCS State Conservationist in Indiana. “It’s important that our conservation assistance reach all eligible lands to ensure we address Indiana’s priority natural resource issues across all land uses.”
WASHINGTON, Dec. 9, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is increasing incentive payments for practices installed on land enrolled in the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is upping the Practice Incentive Payment for installing practices, from 5 percent to 20 percent. Additionally, producers will receive a 10 percent incentive payment for water quality practices on land enrolled in CRP’s continuous signup. FSA administers CRP on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation.
Purdue Extension News
So You’ve Inherited a Farm, Now What?
Virtual 2-Night Event
Thursday, January 21st & 28th at 6:30 p.m. EST
 Cost is $25 per person/household/farm
Register by January 19th at https://tinyurl.com/inheritedfarm
Grow Your Farm Operation
 Virtual Program Series
Tuesday evenings (6:30-8:30 pm EST)
from January 12th – March 2nd
Cost is $100 per farm operation
Register by January 8th at: https://tinyurl.com/GYFO2021
First Steps in Succession Planning Webinar
 January 20, 2021
12:30 – 1:30 PM EST
Presented by
The Purdue Succession Planning Team 

Register at: https://tinyurl.com/WIAWebinar  
Other News
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF): Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program 2021 Request for Proposals
OVERVIEW: The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC), in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), USDA Forest Service (USFS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), FedEx, Southern Company and BNSF Railway are pleased to solicit applications for the 2021 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration program. This program will award approximately $1.5 million in grants nationwide. 
Due date: January 28, 2021.
Nominate a Master Farmer Candidate
Indiana Master Farmer nominations are due Feb. 15. Who should you nominate?
Tom J Bechman | Dec 01, 2020
Who nominates people to become Master Farmers? It’s a frequently asked question. The answer? It can be anyone — except someone directly connected to Indiana Prairie Farmer. The nomination can come from a neighbor, relative, landowner, Extension educator, or two or more of those people working together. That’s how every Master Farmer is nominated — by someone who thinks highly enough of a person or a family to put in the effort it takes to submit a successful nomination.