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Conservation INsight
April 1, 2020
Nominations now being accepted for the 2020 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 2020 River Friendly Farmer Award Ceremony will take place on in August 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 12, 2020.
2021 Annual Conference of Indiana SWCDs: Call for Presentations
New Deadline: May 1
Each year, the Indiana SWCD Conference offers a unique learning and training opportunity for Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors, Staff, and Conservation Partners. We again anticipate over 350 attendees representing local/state/regional/national organizations, public agencies, businesses and more. 
Oral presentations are invited to be considered on topics relating to three session tracks: On the Ground (conservation implementation /technical), District Management, and Outreach & Education. Presentation information should be submitted online by May 1.
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May 14, All Employee Meeting Cancelled
In light of the current pandemic situation, leadership from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture Leadership, and the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation District have decided to cancel the All Employee Meeting scheduled for May 14, 2020. 
We will be issuing refunds to those who have already paid. Please be patient as IASWCD staff are currently working offsite, so any checks received (and not deposited) will be returned when they return to the office. Attendees' check payments that were previously  deposited  and credit card payments will be refunded as soon as possible. 

The 2020 Delegate Notebook can be viewed online on the IASWCD website/For Supervisors page?
COVID-19 Information for Districts
As IASWCD receives information on COVID-19 and how it pertains to Districts, they will update links to resources and information on the  "For Districts" page of the IASWCD website .  
Conservation Planning Boot Camp
NRCS Conservation Planning Boot Camp is a three-week, intensive training course for technical employees that covers current conservation planning policy, procedures and guidelines as outlined in the National Planning Procedures Handbook.
Upcoming sessions:
·       May 5 – May 21 (canceled)
·       June 2 – June 18
·       July 7 – July 23
·       July 28 – August 13
·       August 18 – September 3
·       September 15 – October 1
NACD Offers Virtual Event Ideas for Stewardship Week
This year, NACD is celebrating its 65th Annual Stewardship Week from April 26-May 3, 2020, focusing on the theme, “Where Would We BEE Without Pollinators?” In preparation of likely event cancellations due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) concerns, NACD suggests holding a virtual event instead of in-person.
NACD Offers COVID-19 Resource Webpage
NACD has created a COVID-19 webpage, containing resources and guidance for conservation districts and their associations for determining protocol and response in the wake of COVID-19. 
Conservation Officials Ask for Increasted Funding during NACD Virtual Advocacy Day
WASHINGTON (March 25, 2020)  – Today, conservation district officials and employees assembled online to advocate for locally-led conservation in coordination with the National Association of Conservation Districts’ (NACD) Virtual Advocacy Day. The Virtual Advocacy Day takes the place of NACD’s annual Spring Fly-In, allowing local leaders to communicate with their Members of Congress on region-specific issues and how they can help with the locally-led conservation mission.
Hoosier Riverwatch - Riffles and Pools
IDEM eNewsletter
Op-Ed: Celebrating Hoosier Farmers Who Are Protecting an Irreplaceable Resource
By Jerry Raynor, Indiana NRCS State Conservationist
Now more than ever, as we see empty grocery shelves in response to the current pandemic, we realize how important food and fiber is to the American population. Farmers are the backbone of Indiana, shouldering the tremendous responsibility of feeding a rapidly growing nation. Their critical work also provides economic stability across the state — supporting rural economies and creating jobs in local communities. This March 24th, we celebrate National Ag Day – a day to reflect on the amazing work of our Indiana farmers.  
USDA Seeks Public Comment on More Revised Conservation Practice Standards
Washington, D.C., March 27, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is seeking public comment on proposed revisions to 49 national conservation practice standards through a posting in the Federal Register. The proposed revisions posted this week with the public comment period closing April 23, 2020.
USDA Continues Conservation Planning and Programs for Indiana’s Farmers
(March 26, 2020) - USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) field offices in Indiana are open by phone appointment only until further notice, and NRCS staff are available to continue to provide one-on-one, customer-specific advice to producers to help them meet their unique conservation and business goals. All USDA Service Centers, including those with NRCS field offices, are not currently accessible to customers in person. NRCS staff are working with customers through phone, mail and online communications, and field work continues with appropriate social distancing to help producers with conservation planning and financial assistance through Farm Bill programs.
FSA Makes Changes to Farm Loan, Disaster, Conservation and Safety Net Programs to Make it Easier for Customers to Conduct Business
FSA Services Available by Phone Appointment Only
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 26, 2020 – USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices are open by phone appointment only until further notice, and FSA staff are available to continue helping agricultural producers with program signups, loan servicing and other important actions. Additionally, FSA is relaxing the loan-making process and adding flexibilities for servicing direct and guaranteed loans to provide credit to producers in need.
Purdue Extension News
Upcoming Free Webinar Series: Online Marketing Strategies with Low Budgets
One webinar each week for three weeks in April. Topics include  Social Media 101 Best Practices in Online Marketing  and  Saving Time Using Social Media Strategies
Other News
Indiana Corn Checkoff Board Seeks Five Directors
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Corn Marketing Council (ICMC) will have elections for five positions on its board of directors this year. Hoosier farmers interested in directing Indiana’s corn checkoff investments may now petition to run for election to one of those seats. ICMC manages the corn checkoff investments with the goal of supporting and growing Indiana’s corn industry.
“The volunteer leadership of those who have served on the ICMC board have benefitted Indiana corn farmers for many year,” said ICMC President Joshua Miller, who is a corn grower from Anderson, Ind. “For the Indiana corn industry to remain strong and effective, we rely on farmers to fill these leadership positions. We always want people with new perspectives and ideas to help our corn research and promotion efforts.”
Indiana Envirothon Competition Cancelled
On March 20, due to the current pandemic issue and restrictions, the Indiana Envirothon Executive Committee decided to cancel the state Envirothon competition scheduled for April 29 and not participate in the National Envirothon competition for 2020.
The 2020 Pollinator Poster is Now Available for Download
The moment we've all been waiting for is finally here! From Pollinator Partnership: the official "Our Future Flies With Pollinators" Poster by artist Fiorella Ikeue.
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  :

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.