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Conservation INsight
February 3, 2021
Legislative Bill Tracking for Districts
Joe Schmees, IASWCD Executive Director, is closely tracking the 2021 Indiana General Assembly and sending emails to Indiana District Staff and Supervisors with updates. These 2021 Legislative Updates are also posted on the IASWCD.org/CWI page of the website.
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CCSI Webinars & Virtual Shop Visits
Next Event: February 16
Rodney Rulon, Rulon Enterprises, will discuss the financial and operational questions a farmer answers before deciding to adopt a conservation practice. 
NACD to Hold Virtual Advocacy Week March 22-26
NACD’s Virtual Advocacy Week has been scheduled for the week of March 22-26, 2021.
Although traveling to Washington, D.C. will not be possible this spring due to ongoing concerns with COVID-19 (coronavirus) and limitations placed on people visiting Capitol Hill, it is still incredibly important that your members of Congress know what the needs of locally-led conservation are so that conservation districts can receive adequate support to continue protecting our nation’s natural resources. 
NACD Seeks UAC Proposals
The NACD Urban Agriculture Conservation (UAC) grant initiative is accepting applications through February 15! For more information, review the request for proposals and frequently asked questions on NACD’s Urban and Community Webpage.
February Urban and Community Conservation Webinar to Feature NRPA's Pollinator Efforts
The next NACD Urban and Community (U&C) Conservation webinar, scheduled for 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. Eastern on Feb. 18, 2021, will feature the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and its efforts to promote pollinator conservation with its Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz event. The webinar will include a presentation from Michele White, NRPA conservation program manager, on the association’s strategies to promote conservation, equity, health and wellness in communities across the country through parks and a variety of programs and resources.
Indiana Agricuture Insider
Lake Michigan Webinar Series
In order to coincide with the development of the 2020-2024 Lake Michigan Lakewide Action and Management Plan (LAMP), 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.
Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence Now Accepting Nominations
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is accepting nominations for the 2021 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence. These awards recognize Indiana citizens, businesses, nonprofit organizations, schools, universities, or government agencies that have implemented outstanding environmental strategies into their operations and decision-making processes. Nominations due by April 5.
Indianapolis (February 1, 2021) - Today marks the official beginning of Black History Month in America. The monthlong celebration grew out of National Negro History Week, which started in 1926. Since 1976, every February has served as a time to honor the contributions of Black Americans throughout the history of the United States. This includes the lasting impact Black farmers, landowners and communities have had on agriculture throughout the state of Indiana. "February is an important time to reflect on the impact Black farmers have had on Indiana and look for ways to support them in the future,” said the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Services’ (NRCS) Indiana State Conservationist Jerry Raynor.
Let USDA Help You Prepare for Tax Season
By Kathryn Fidler, USDA·Jan 25, 2021
If you participate in USDA programs, including our farm loan program, it’s time to start preparing for tax season. USDA technical assistance is free, but it is important to not overlook USDA payments when calculating your taxes. USDA issues documentation for your taxes, including 1098 forms for USDA farm loans and 1099 forms for farmer payments.
Indiana NRCS Accepting Second Round Applications to Improve Big Pine Watershed
 Jerry Raynor, State Conservationist for Indiana’s USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced today they are accepting second round applications to improve water quality in the Big Pine watershed located in northwest Indiana. Dollars are available for farmers through the Big Pine Watershed Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The Big Pine watershed covers almost 210,000 acres in western Indiana which includes portions of Benton, White, Warren, and Tippecanoe counties. The partnership is working with farmers in the area to increase the number of nutrient and sediment reducing practices on cropland and pastureland. While applications are accepted on a continuous basis, March 19 will be the cutoff date to be considered for this second round of funding.
Purdue Extension News
Purdue Forestry & Natural Resources Livestream on Pond Management
Feb. 4 @ 3 pm (EST)
Want to know more about managing your pond and what you can do even now when it is frozen over to prepare for spring? Join us Thursday at 3 p.m. LIVE here on Facebook for our next Ask The Expert session featuring Dr. Mitch Zischke and Ripley County extension specialist Dave Osborne. Bring your questions or post them below.
Other News
SICIM is pleased to announce a new competitive grant funding opportunity for 2021. Established Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMAs) can propose an invasive species related project and apply for funding from SICIM (up to $1000.00). Applications will be reviewed by a SICIM committee, and selected winners will be notified by late March. Please send your application to: troy.hinkle@in.nacdnet.net. Applications are due by 4:00PM on February 26, 2021. CISMAs should contact their local Regional Specialist to discuss project ideas and/or submit questions on how to complete the grant application.
Sentinel Landscapes Partnership Announces 2021 Designation Cycle
The Sentinel Landscapes Partnership is a coalition of federal agencies, state and local governments, and non-governmental organizations that works to advance mutually beneficial land-use goals in project areas known as sentinel landscapes. The mission of the partnership is to strengthen military readiness, conserve natural resources, bolster agricultural and forestry economies, and increase climate change resilience. The partnership accomplishes this by connecting private landowners with government assistance programs that offset the cost of sustainable management practices, conservation projects, or climate change adaptation measures. SLP has officially launched its 2021 designation cycle. Deadline to apply is March 29.
Updated SARE Guide to USDA Programs Opens Door to Available Funding
It can be difficult for farmers and ranchers to navigate the wide range of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) resources and stay up-to-date with program changes after each farm bill. Thanks to the newly updated Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, producers, researchers, nonprofits and landowners can easily find USDA programs that can help them achieve their goals.
The 101-page guide covers 62 government programs and has been updated to include program updates from the 2018 Farm Bill. Each program listing provides a description of the program’s available resources, information on how to apply, and in some cases, examples of how the funding has been used. The guide also includes basic information on how to design sound projects, find appropriate programs and write grant applications.
Virtual Shop Talks for Farmers
February 3 & 17
March 3 & 17
Join the North Central Region Water Network and partners for the upcoming Virtual Shop Talks for Farmers. This four-day virtual event is an opportunity to have meaningful conversations with other farmers and experts about practical ideas and programs that can help you weather hard times and have success with stewardship practices on your farm.
2021 MCCC Virtual Conference
and Annual Meeting
February 23-25
Fallow Fields Study
Attention Indiana farmers! Do you have fallow or unmanaged land on your farm? Purdue Entomology wants to see your bugs! The Insect Ecology Lab at Purdue University is looking for sites of unmanaged or fallow agricultural land to study insect and plant diversity this summer. Surveys are non-destructive and consist of insect collections and plant counts from April to October. Land should be unplanted for at least one year, not managed (pesticide, herbicide, burning, tilling, etc), and approximately 2.5 acres (1 ha) or larger. If you are interested in participating or for more details, contact Allison Bistline-East:909-334-2555, abistlin@purdue.edu
Job Postings:
View this job opportunity below and others on the 

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.