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Conservation INsight
June 9, 2021
IASWCD News
SWCD Region Meetings
Must register to receive Zoom link.
These will be recorded and posted on the IASWCD.org website after the final meeting on June 17.

Southeast - June 10 @ 7 pm
Southwest - June 15 @ 12 noon
Northeast - June 17 @ 7 pm
(all times are Eastern)
SAVE THE DATES for VirTuesdays
Virtual Training for Indiana District Staff and Supervisors
Hosted by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts

A series of four Virtual Trainings
on Tuesdays at 7 pm (ET).
July 20
District Insurance Needs and Liability

August 24
Human Resource Management 101: Contract Employee vs. District Employee

September 21
Records Retention

October 19
Turning Data into Action

FOUR different topics and speakers.
More details coming soon!
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The Passing of a Conservation Friend in Posey County
Larry Burkhart, a 10 year supervisor with the Posey County SWCD recently passed away. Larry became involved with the Posey SWCD in 2005 as an Associate and moved to an Appointed Supervisor in 2011. He served in that position until his death this past weekend. Larry had retired from the United States Forest Service after 30 years of service and eventually became involved with the District. Larry will truly be missed by the District and all who knew him. Larry is survived by his wife of 57 years Sharon (Toothman) Burkhart, two children, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Cards of condolences may be sent to the family at Sharon Burkhart, 4400 Skunks Run Rd., Mt. Vernon, IN 47620. Memorials can be made to the Posey County Humane Society or the First United Methodist Church. 
Indiana Tree and Shrub ID Trainings Now Posted on Website
One of the Indiana Conservation Partnership's strengths lies in providing comprehensive and consistently high-quality training opportunities to agency staff members.
In addition, Purdue Extension Forestry and Natural Resources has a YouTube channel Playlist of over 50 two-minute “ID that Tree” videos. Check it out!
WHO: ICP Staff
WHAT: Webinar - Informing Conservation Adoption using Social Indicators Data
WHEN: Thursday, June 17
TIME:   3:30 PM (eastern)
HOW: Join the webinar by clicking here. Please join us on Thursday, June 17 at 3:30PM (eastern) as we listen to Dr. Linda Prokopy provide an overview of what the science is telling us about how farmers make their conservation decisions. Dr. Prokopy will also provide an update on the social indicators studies conducted around Indiana and how you can access and use the results to help your landowners make better decisions about conservation adoption on their land. You can find the current map and reports at https://www.purdue.edu/fnr/prokopy/social-indicator-studies/.
ICP Webinar, August 17
9 am to 10:30 am
Pathway to Water Quality Volunteer Sign-Up Now Open
The Indiana State Fair takes place July 30-August 22 (closed Mondays and Tuesdays). You can volunteer with fellow ICP partners to serve at the Pathway to Water Quality.
NACD News
Winds, Water and Wildfire Summits Recordings Now Available
In May, NACD hosted a series of virtual summits to address how conservation districts are working together with all community members to conquer the challenges that natural disasters such as high winds, wildfires and flooding pose to facing private landowners.

The recordings from all three summits are now available to view on NACD's YouTube Channel. The playlists for each regional summit can be found here:
Follow NACD on Twitter
June U&C Webinar Addresses Challenges of Urban Agriculture Projects
The next NACD Monthly Urban and Community Webinar will be held June 17 at 12 p.m. Eastern.
In this webinar, learn from Jakob Hamlescher and Janine Rybka of Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) as they share information on how they overcame some setbacks after receiving their 2020 Urban Agriculture Conservation grant. From staff changes and issues with securing a site to a global pandemic, the team at Cuyahoga SWCD has faced a variety of challenges. Yet, they will still be able to achieve their goal of installing a food forest to provide both a learning space and to contribute to conservation of native North American fruit trees.
The one-hour webinar will take place on Zoom. Registration is available online for free, but is required.
IDEA News
IDEA Fall Conference,

Register Now!

October 5-7
Muncie, Indiana
This conference provides an opportunity for Indiana's SWCD staff across the state to learn, be encouraged, refresh, share, network and gather valuable information to take back to their district office. Registration deadline: August 6.
ISDA News
Op-Ed: Big Changes Coming to the Western Lake Erie Basin
by Bruce Kettler, Director of ISDA
Patience is a virtue. And that certainly stands true when waiting for something long anticipated, like the award notification of a multimillion-dollar grant. We patiently awaited the news of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program grants from USDA-NRCS. The Indiana State Department of Agriculture was thrilled to receive a Regional Conservation Partnership Grant for the Tri-State Western Lake Erie Basin – collaboration; a grant that totaled almost $8 million.
Clean Water Indiana (CWI) Grant Networking Sessions
Attend one of the Clean Water Indiana (CWI) Networking sessions to learn more about the 2022 Grants. June 16 and 22.
Information is for SWCDS and Non-SWCDS interested in applying for a CWI Grant. Applications are due September 9.
AgriVision Award applications accepted June 1 - July 1
The Lieutenant Governor's office and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture envision Indiana to be a “global center for food and agricultural innovation and commercialization.” In the spirit of this vision, the department established the AgriVision Award, which is the highest agricultural honor presented by the state.
2021 Indiana Agriculture Photo Contest open June 1 - 30
The Indiana State Department of Agriculture will be accepting submissions for the 14th annual Indiana Agriculture Photo Contest beginning June 1. The contest is open to all Indiana residents and was created to recognize the hard work and contributions of Hoosier farmers, as well as the beauty of the state’s agricultural landscape. Contest winners will have their winning photographs framed and featured in the Offices of the Lt. Governor’s Family of Business in Indianapolis, as well as be special guests at this year’s Celebration of Agriculture at the Indiana Statehouse, where they will be recognized and presented a certificate by Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch.




ISDA Division of Soil Conservation
View Key Performance Indicator and Program Measures by Year on their website
USDA-NRCS News
May 26, 2021 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is investing up to $15 million nationwide to support the development of new tools, approaches, practices and technologies to further natural resource conservation on private lands through the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program.
USDA Announces Grants for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production
May 28, 2021 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of up to $4 million for grants to support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects. USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production is accepting proposals for planning and innovation projects, and these grants are part of USDA’s broader efforts to support urban agriculture. USDA will accept applications on Grants.gov until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on June 18, 2021. “Urban agriculture can play an important role in food justice and equity,” said Susan Houston, Farm Service Agency Executive Director in Indiana.
May 28, 2021 - USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Indiana announced it is accepting proposals to designate new priority watersheds for the Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI) and National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI).
Known as “America’s River,” the Mississippi River is North America’s largest river, flowing over 2,300 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. The watershed not only provides drinking water, food, industry and recreation for more than 18 million people, it also hosts a globally significant migratory flyway and home to more than 325 bird species.
Mississippi River Basin Initiative
Indiana NRCS is accepting applications until June 18, 2021 to be considered for planning or implementation projects for funding in FY22. MRBI watershed projects must first complete a watershed assessment plan (planning phase) meeting NRCS guidance (funding is available for a one-year agreement to complete this work). This planning phase will provide time for watershed-level assessment, on-farm planning, and outreach to support development of the multi-year implementation plan that will assist states with their nutrient loss reduction strategies or source water protection. Watersheds must be located in a priority watershed listed in the Indiana State Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
 
Watersheds with an approved assessment plan can apply for targeted EQIP funding for implementation of conservation practices over the course of several years. The approved assessment plan does not have to be a product of the MRBI readiness phase but does need to meet the NRCS assessment plan criteria. 
 
Partners who are interested in being a part of an MRBI readiness phase or implementation phase should contact Jill Reinhart, Assistant State Conservationist for Partnerships. 
June 1, 2021 - In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar. Violent protests erupted in the nearby streets for the next six days. One year later, on the first anniversary of the raid, the first gay pride march was held in NYC and cities throughout the country.
USDA-FSA News
WASHINGTON, May 25, 2021 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced an initiative to quantify the climate benefits of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts. This multi-year effort will enable USDA to better target CRP toward climate outcomes and improve existing models and conservation planning tools while supporting USDA’s goal of putting American agriculture and forestry at the center of climate-smart solutions to address climate change.
Indiana Farm Service Agency Website
USDA Call for Proposals: CRP Climate Change Mitigation Assessment Initiative
Request for Proposals
USDA is seeking proposals for projects to survey, sample and measure the climate benefits of land enrolled in the following CRP practice types over time:
  1. Predominately Perennial grass with legumes and shrubs, depending on the practice
  2. Tree
  3. Wetland, including both mineral and organic soils and both floodplain and non-floodplain wetlands
A project can cover one or more of the above practice types and should be for a three- to five-year term, with the potential for renewal. Projects should be a minimum of $1 million and not exceed $9 million. Applications are welcome from all types of organizations, including public, private and nonprofit institutions. Project proposals can be from a single entity or from a group of partners who coordinate efforts. Applications from or in partnership with Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU), Tribal Colleges & Universities (TCU) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) or organizations will be considered as part of the selection process. The deadline for proposals is July 2, 2021. Visit the request for proposals for more information on requirements, project deliverables, evaluation criteria and how to submit your proposal. Visit FSA’s Monitoring, Assessment and Evaluation page for additional information on CRP Monitoring, Assessment and Evaluation (MAEs).
Other News
Upcoming Webinar:
and other great information
Registration Open for Ag Leadership Benefit
September 2 @ 12:00 pm
Enjoy a day of golf and comradery with your colleagues and support the Indiana Agricultural Leadership Program. Bring your friends, work partners, and customers for a day of golf at one of Indianapolis area’s finest courses. Come Early for Pre-Scramble Putting Competition. Your participation will support Indiana’s premier program for building leadership capacities for today and tomorrow in the agricultural and rural communities.
ALP Program
The Indiana Agricultural Leadership Program (ALP) provides individuals involved in agriculture and related industries and those who serve rural communities with the opportunity to improve leadership skills, gain understanding and develop the expertise needed to provide leadership in public affairs for their businesses and communities. Agriinstitute is now Seeking applicants for Indiana Agricultural Leadership Program, Class 20.
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Nominations Open for 2021 Charles Deam Forest Stewardship Award
In appreciation of Charles Deam’s contribution toward many of the forestry programs and information that we now enjoy, the Indiana Forestry & Woodland Owners Association sponsors the Charles Deam Forest Stewardship Award contest which seeks annually to find the forest landowners who are demonstrating exceptional management of their forest resources. Online submission available (and preferred) this year. Deadline for applications is June 15.
See What's New with Pollinator Partnership
W4L Survey for District Staff and Supervisors
District Staff and Supervisors - Women4theLand is seeking your input on how best to serve you and the women in your districts. Please participate in this short survey which is open from June 8 to June 22.
SAVE THE DATE: District Success with Women4theLand (via Zoom)
A Zoom discussion featuring Indiana Districts who have had great success hosting Women4theLand Outreach events with female landowners. July 22 at 12 pm (ET).
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Job Postings :
Current list of Conservation Job Opportunities now posted on the IASWCD website.
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 :
June 10 - Indiana District Region Mtg: SE
June 15 - Indiana District Region Mtg: SW
June 15 - Coffee and Compost, Allen Co.
June 16 - CWI Networking Session
June 17 - Indiana District Region Mtg: NE
June 21-27 - Nat'l Pollinator Week
June 22 - CWI Networking Session
July 20 - VirTuesday: District Insurance Needs and Liability
July 22 - District Success with Women4theLand
August 24 - VirTuesday: Human Resource Management 101, Contract Employee vs. District Employee
September 21 - VirTuesday: Records Retention
October 5-7 - IDEA Conference for Indiana SWCD Staff
October 19 - VirTuesday: Turning Data into Action
For a complete list of upcoming conservation events, go to the Events Calendar on the IASWCD website.*
*Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, events are changing daily. Please check the individual hosting organization's website and/or Facebook page for the latest information on cancellations and reschedule dates. Thank you.