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Conservation INsight
November 25, 2020
The Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts wishes you and your family a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

Thankful for our friends and partners who work together, making a better world for today and tomorrow!

SWCD Virtual Conference
TOP TEN REASONS to register now:
  1. Early Bird prices through Dec. 11
  2. Member-District Discount through Dec. 11
  3. VERY affordable (no travel or hotel costs this year!)
  4. Amazing line-up of great speakers
  5. Damian Mason, Keynote Speaker
  6. Can watch in your pajamas!
  7. Networking and chat rooms available
  8. Relative Breakout Session topics
  9. Three half-days
  10. Everyone's attending!
  11. and BONUS! Session recordings will be available to all registrants for six months!
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Registration NOW Open
for 2020 SWCD Conference
IASWCD Business Meeting Delegates* - Districts, Register Now!
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
Deadline to register delegate: January 2, 2021
For IASWCD Business Meeting
*Delegates are currently registered for the following districts:
Carroll County
Crawford County
Elkhart County SWCD
Floyd County
Gibson County SWCD
Grant County SWCD
Howard County
Jennings County SWCD
Knox County
Kosciusko Co SWCD
Monroe County
District Showcase Award Presentations
Please congratulate our 2020 Indiana District Showcase Award recipients this year!
Jennings County SWCD, Delaware County SWCD and a group of Dubois/Martin/Daviess SWCD

Presentations on their award-winning projects are taking place now! These are being recorded. If you would like to attend the remaining two presentations, please contact Amy Work (amy-work@iaswcd.org) for the Zoom link.
Jennings County
Presentation: completed on 11/23
Dubois/Martin/Daviess County SWCDs
December 2
10 am
Delaware County
December 3
10 am
Two Lunchtime Legislative Training Sessions for Indiana District Staff and Supervisors

The Legislative Process (December 9, 2020 at 12:00 PM Virtual) This training opportunity will provide an overview of the legislative process, and provide some updates on how things may look differently in 2021 due to COVID. Use this opportunity to be in the know on what’s going on, and prepare yourself to be an effective participant in the legislative process. The speaker will be IASWCD Lobbyist, Cresswell Hizer. You can register for the training here! (Zoom link will be provided upon registration.)
Talking with Legislators (December 16, 2020 at 12:00 PM Virtual) This training opportunity will provide tips and tricks for communicating with legislators and other elected officials. Wondering where to start? This is the opportunity for you to learn new skills, and begin to piece together a game plan for how you can communicate with your elected officials this year. The speaker will be IASWCD Executive Director, Joe Schmees, with help from IASWCD Lobbyist Cresswell Hizer. You can register for the training here! (Zoom link will be provided upon registration.)
Arrow Head Country RC&D's Annual Rafting Program Creatively Goes Virtual
The Arrow Head Country RC&D Education Committee has provided an annual educational rafting trip to local high school students for over 20 years. Now on the Tippecanoe River, this trip has had to go "virtual" due to the pandemic. Despite the current situation, these Indiana Conservation Districts and partners created eight videos to provide the River Expedition to students and others. Hats off for their creativity and quick response of an alternative solution!
Shout out to the Indiana Districts involved in the annual Tippecanoe River Expedition: Cass, Fulton, Jasper, Kosciusko, Marshall, Miami, Newton, Pulaski, Starke, and White County SWCDs.

Shout Out to Delaware County SWCD for receiving funding from the Ball Brothers Foundation for improving water quality! Read full Inside INdiana Business story here.
NACD Government Affairs Update on NRCS’s EQIP and CSP Final Rules
The 2018 Farm Bill was passed nearly two years ago, and efforts to implement this piece of legislation still continue today. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been working hard to write the regulations necessary to update its programs and incorporate new provisions from the farm bill ever since it was signed into law. In the past few weeks, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has finalized the regulations for two of the biggest conservation programs in the farm bill – the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
Friends of NACD District Grants Program
Districts - Propose your creative new project and apply for a $2,500 Friends of NACD District Grant before the Nov. 30, 2020 deadline. Review the full RFP and eligibility criteria on the Friends of NACD District Grants webpage.
NACD announced the launch of registration for the 2021 NACD Annual Meeting. The 75th Annual Meeting will be held virtually February 1-10, 2021 and will celebrate our legacy and recognize our origins through the theme "NACD's 75th Anniversary: A Diamond Out of the Dust."
Upcoming DSS Training: How to Facilitate a Virtual Meeting
December 17
9 am to 10:30 am (EST)
See flyer for details
Lake Michigan Basin Webinar Series
IDEM and partner organizations have planned a series of webinars targeted at the broad range of organizations working on watershed protection and restoration efforts within the Lake Michigan basin. Webinars will take place every two weeks via Microsoft Teams between the months of October and February and are anticipated to run approximately one hour in length, unless otherwise stated. All webinars will be recorded and posted for later playback.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) invites potential conservation partners in Indiana to submit project applications for dollars through NRCS’ newest funding opportunity – Indiana Partners for Conservation. Indiana NRCS will award up to a total of $1 million to locally driven partnerships that address natural resource issues, encourage collaboration and develop state-and-community-level conservation leadership.
“We take great pride in our partnership efforts in Indiana,” said Indiana NRCS State Conservationist Jerry Raynor. “Individually, the groups that comprise our conservation partnerships have diverse knowledge in a wide range of disciplines and focus areas. But as partners, we share our unique areas of expertise in conservation work together to put more conservation on the land.”
Determining How Effective NRCS Conservation Practices are at Protecting Wetlands
By Joseph Prenger, CEAP-Wetlands Component Leader, Natural Resources Conservation Service
If you were to travel back in time to colonial America, you would see a much different landscape. Wetlands, those areas where water covers or is close to the soil surface all or most of the year, were much more prevalent on the landscape than they are today. Back then, wetlands were viewed as a barrier to agriculture and development. Since then, more than half were drained, including about a half-million acres annually for production agriculture from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s.
New Farmers.gov Conservation Concerns Tool Provides Customized Support for America’s Farmers and Ranchers
By Michael Synclare, USDA·Nov 17, 2020
Are you interested in keeping your working land productive for years to come? Use our new Conservation Concerns Tool to learn about conservation concerns that might impact your agricultural operation, then work with us on solutions targeted to fit your business needs. This tool is available now on our farmers.gov website, no login or account necessary. 
Conservation at Work
Real Stories. Real Successes. Real quick.
Learn about the benefits of conservation practices directly from the farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners applying them with our new 90-second video series. Explore the different types of conservation practices and pick a video to watch below. 
USDA to Open Signup for the Conservation Reserve Program and CRP Grasslands in Early 2021
WASHINGTON, Nov. 12, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the signup periods for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and the CRP Grasslands in 2021. Signup for general CRP will be open from Jan. 4, 2021, to Feb. 12, 2021, and signup for CRP Grasslands runs from March 15, 2021 to April 23, 2021. Both programs are competitive and provide annual rental payments for land devoted to conservation purposes.
2020 Farm Service Agency County Committee Elections Underway
WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2020 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has mailed ballots for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committee elections to eligible farmers and ranchers across the country. To be counted, ballots must be returned to the local FSA county office or postmarked by December 7.
Purdue Extension News
Free Webinars:
Enhancing Your Land Lease
December 2, 2020
12:00 – 1:00 PM EST
Presented by: Jenna Nees, Purdue Extension & Putnam Co. SWCD
Register at: https://tinyurl.com/WIAWebinar  
Take a look at additional leasing options that might interest land owners including how to incorporate conservation into a lease, pasture leases, and hunting leases. These options might enhance leases you currently have in place or give you some basic ideas that you can use to obtain an additional income source.

Take Time for Your Health Webinar
December 15, 2020
12:00 – 1:00 PM EST
Presented by: Molly Hoag, Purdue Extension
Register at: https://tinyurl.com/WIAWebinar  
Workshop: Communicating with Farmers Under Stress
Farming is an inherently dangerous and stress occupation. Join this workshop to gain deeper understanding of the stressors farmers are facing, how to identify someone in distress and practical tips on how to help. As a side benefit, you will walk away with ideas and tips on how to reduce your own stress.
Dec 18, 2020 08:30 AM (EST)
Other News
Communication Workshop: Engage in Better Information Exchange
Hosted by North Dakota State University Extension, this virtual workshop will take place on December 7 from 9 am to 4 pm (CST)
Ind. Family of Farmers logo
Indiana’s Family of Farmers Makes $5,000 Donation to Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry
(Indianapolis) – Nov. 17, 2020 – Today, Indiana’s Family of Farmers (IFoF) donated $5,000 to Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry to assist with hunger relief efforts in Indiana. These funds will be used to pay for the processing of approximately 4,000 pounds of donated livestock, providing 16,000 meals to Hoosiers in need. Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry encourages farmers to donate livestock to be processed and given to hunger relief agencies across the state. A donation like IFoF’s will cover the costs of processing of the donated livestock. The meat is then provided to community food pantries, food banks, churches, shelters and more.
December 5 is World Soil Day!
NCRW Network wants to hear from you!
Input needed as NCRW Network starts planning their 2021 webinar line-up. What webinar topics interest you? Who do you want to hear from?
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:
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.