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Conservation INsight
May 25, 2022
Summer District Meetings
in August for all 92 Indiana SWCDs
IASWCD and ISDA are planning four Summer District Meetings. Attend the night that is most convenient for you and your district. Time for dinner and networking will be included.
Registration begins in June.
Meetings are from 5:30-8:30 pm
(with check-in at 5 pm) (ET)
  • August 23 - White County Fairgrounds
  • August 25 - City of Greensburg Gov't Building (Decatur County)
  • August 29 - Conservation Club (Daviess County)
  • August 31 - Huntington University (Huntington County)
Topics include:
Dan Griffith, Keynote Speaker,
will present on "Strategies for Addressing Difficult Conversations"
NRCS will present on Farm Bill 2023
Partnership Meeting for Staff
July 28 in Hendricks County
9:30am - 2:30pm
(Check-in 8:30am-9:15am)

Registration goes LIVE June 1
$12/person (includes lunch)

View the IASWCD Partnership Staff Gathering webpage for more details . . . like, "What food will be served for lunch?"
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River Friendly Farmer Award Nominations
Annually, each Indiana county Soil and Water Conservation District may nominate up to two farmers for the River Friendly Farmer Award. Nominate those who do an outstanding job of protecting their rivers, lakes and streams through their every day conservation management practices on the farm. Please reach out to Amy Work (amy-work@iaswcd.org) if you have any questions. This deadline cannot be extended due to arrangements being made for the
August 10 Award Ceremony at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
ICP News
Registration Now Open for Invasive Plant ID Training Sessions for Indiana Conservation Partnership Staff
Spend time in the field learning to identify many of the invasive plants throughout Indiana. Register soon as these workshops may fill quickly. Space is limited to maximize the training experience. Receive a take-home Plant ID booklet. Hosted by the ICP Training Committee and SICIM, these sessions will be held from 10 am to 2 pm (Eastern). Bring your own lunch. Cost: $12/person (to cover costs of the ID booklet). Each location has its own registration site. Click button below for more details on the ICP website.
  • May 31 - Knox County SWCD
  • June 2 - Muscatatuck Wildlife Refuge
  • June 3 - Brown County SWCD
  • June 21 - Rogers-Lakewood Park
  • June 22 - Shades State Park
  • June 23 - Salomon Farm Park
  • June 24 - Cope Environmental Center
Pathway to Water Quality (PWQ) is a conservation exhibit sponsored by the Indiana Conservation Partnership (ICP). The exhibit is located at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Every year, PWQ hosts approximately 60,000 visitors who visit our premiere conservation exhibit during the Indiana State Fair. Part of what makes the exhibit successful are all of the ICP staff who volunteer at Pathway.
This year, volunteer sign-up for staffing Pathway to Water Quality at the 2022 Indiana State Fair will open at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, June 1st. The state fair will run from July 29th to August 21st and will be open daily Wednesday through Sunday.
We are working closely with the Indiana State Fair to develop distancing and disinfection protocols for Pathway to Water Quality. These protocols may change typical activities while at Pathway and we will provide details for any changes made in advance of your volunteer shift. Additionally, we are swapping to digital tickets this year. Rather than mailing tickets, PDFs of tickets will be emailed to the address you use for registration. 
Volunteer positions include into four positions: a greeter, education area volunteer, counters and PWQ Ambassadors. There will be a total of 10 to 13 positions each day. There are three shifts each day of the Indiana State Fair as follows:
  • 9 am to 12:30 pm: One greeter and one counter (when needed)
  • 12:30 pm to 4:00 pm: One greeter, one counter (when needed), one to two education area volunteer and one to two ambassador
  • 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm: One greeter, one counter (when needed), one to two education area volunteer and one to two ambassador
There is always a day coordinator on staff as well. We are offering counter volunteer spots again this year to help understand the traffic pattern and number of visitors to Pathway to Water Quality.
Back by popular demand this year: We are offering a t-shirt to each volunteer. Each volunteer will receive their shirt when they arrive for their first shift. Volunteers will be asked for a size preference when they register - we will try to accommodate that request for shirt sizes provided in advance of the July 1 deadline.
Interested in hosting a demonstration on our new demonstration stage located in Pathway’s new Soil Health Area? Note all demos will be moved from the bridge within Pathway to Water Quality to the Soil Health Area (former Boy Scout Area).
Register your demonstration here: https://signup.com/go/znScDpV. Please include details for your demo and highlight any materials you might need.
Thank you for all you do to promote soil and water conservation and the Pathway to Water Quality exhibit. If you have any questions about the sign-up, don’t hesitate to contact Sara Peel, PWQ Coordinator at pathwaytowaterquality@gmail.com.
Three Day Soil Health Training: Soil Health and Sustainability for Midwestern Field Staff
  • What: Soil Health and Sustainability for Midwestern Field Staff
  • When: June 21-23 in person
  • Where: Beck Agricultural Center at the Agronomy Center for Research and Education, West Lafayette.
  • Pre-requisites: Several months (ideally over a year) experience working for your respective agency AND completed either undergraduate soils class or CCSI-SARE Core Soil Health and Cover Crops Training
Urban Soil Health Program News
Get The Dirt
Urban Ag Soil Health and Management Conference for Ag Professionals & Growers
This is a full-day conference training for conservation and agricultural professionals working with urban and small farms, vegetable growers, and diversified farms. Growers are also welcome. Learn about microbiology, soil contamination, farmer projects, new NRCS programs for small farms, and more. Note: ICP organization staff are highly encouraged to attend.
Thursday, June 2, 2022
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
West Lafayette, IN
Cost: Free. Lunch is included.
Register Now for NACD 2022 Summer Meeting
Registration for the 2022 NACD Summer Conservation Forum and Tour is open through June 242022! Hosted in partnership with the Puerto Rico Association of Soil Conservation Districts, this year's meeting will take place in San Juan, Puerto Rico from July 16-19 at the Caribe Hilton Hotel.
Poster Contest Sponsored by IDEA and Local SWCDs
June 3 is this year's deadline for Poster Contest Submissions. Click on the button below for all rules and information.
Click on photo for better view
"Grant Writing" & "Grants Management" Workshops for Indiana SWCDs
June 23 at 1:30 pm (EDT)*
Join Certified Grant Professional Amy Shankland as she presents on Grant Writing tips and techniques.

July 12 at 10 am (EDT)*
One hour time of discussion and sharing on grant management strategies and considerations.

*Live attendance is highly recommended for these sessions for better engagement and learning.
Clean Water Indiana Grant Guidance
The State Soil Conservation Board approved the grant guidance for the 2023 CWI grants. Applicants are encouraged to let their DSS and RS know if they plan to submit an application. Applications are due September 8.
"Grant Opportunities" Webinar Recordings Now Available on Conservation Link
The four recent grant opportunity webinars (NRCS, NACD, IDEM and IDNR) recordings are now posted on the Conservation Link site.
Other previous recorded training sessions are available there as well, including:
  • State Board of Accounts
  • Succession Planning
  • Public Access Counselor
  • Leveraging Spreadsheet
  • Records Retention
  • Cover Crop Tillage Transect History
  • Human Resource Management 101
  • And more!
Fridays on the Farm: Restoring for the Future
By Brandon O’Connor, NRCS, Indiana
Aug 20, 2021 - This Friday meet Mark Magura of Starke County, Indiana. Mark, and his wife, Amy, have worked hard over the last three years to restore more than 200 acres of former farmland back into a wetland and wildlife oasis. The Maguras originally bought the 272-acre plot in the early 2000s and leased 220 acres to a variety of farmers for the first decade.  
A steward of the land, Mark wants to restore and preserve the land for future generations. Photo by Brandon O’Connor, NRCS.
May 16, 2022 - 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, industrial opportunities and recreation for more than 18 million people, it also hosts a globally significant migratory flyway and is home to more than 325 bird species.
Purdue Extension News
Farm Women are Decision Makers – Annie’s Project Prepares Them Well
Farm women are generating a cultural tide in American agriculture that is moving management, assets and opportunities to a new wave of farmers across the country. At Annie’s Project courses, women in agriculture become empowered to be successful through education, networks, and resources. 
Annie’s Project is a six-session course that is a discussion-based workshop bringing women together to learn from experts in production, financial management, human resources, marketing and the legal field. There's plenty of time for questions, sharing, reacting and connecting with presenters and fellow participants. It's a relaxed, fun and dynamic way to learn, grow and meet other farm women.
Whether new or experienced, understanding the five areas of agricultural risk, knowing how to analyze agricultural spreadsheets and other necessary skills are vital. Learning them in a friendly environment where questions and discussion are welcomed, allow the learning process to flourish.

Virtual courses via Zoom will begin on Tuesday, June 7 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST and continue on June 9, 14, 16, 21 and 23.
 Cost: $65/person
Register by May 27 at: https://bit.ly/2022anniesproject
or call 574-372-2340.
Managing Farm Risk
Webinar Series
Join us for a free webinar series 
on Wednesdays, May 25 - June 29
11am-noon ET
Join an experienced team of Extension educators, specialists, faculty, and a lawyer as we present the Managing Farm Risk Webinar Series. This series will encompass a techniques and tips to mitigate, transfer, and avoid risks in production, marketing, financial, legal, human resource, and social media. Risk is inherent to any business, and farms arguably face more risks than another businesses. Contingency plans will help businesses efficiently recover from disruptions or disasters. Through this webinar series, managers, owners and key employees will be better prepared for disruptions and disasters that their business and/or family will inevitably encounter. This free webinar series will consist of 6 webinars, topics below: 
  • May 25: Human Resource Risk
  • June 1: Legal Risk
  • June 8: Production Risk
  • June 15: Social Media Risk
  • June 22: Marketing Risk
  • June 29: Financial Risk
Other News
A Special Invitation for ICP Staff from Women4theLand: *NEW* Discussion Leader Information
Women4theLand (W4L) is hosting a Zoom session on June 16 at 12 noon Eastern time, for anyone interested in learning more about Women4theLand or becoming a W4L discussion leader. This session will be two parts: First, we will present on the purpose and structure of Women4theLand, and how this initiative works throughout the state to provide women-focused conservation focused programming. This portion of the meeting is an introduction and will be particularly useful for any new conservation employees and for district staff and supervisors. Second, we will discuss how any female ICP staff can become a W4L discussion leader. Formerly known as facilitators, discussion leaders help guide the programs supported by W4L. We will discuss the role and responsibilities of discussion leaders with information you can share with your supervisors, and also announce a formal upcoming training date. For any questions, please contact Heather Bacher, state coordinator,at hbacher@women4theland.org
Check out W4L Events page on their website for upcoming events both in-person and via Zoom!
SICIM Newsletter
2022 Indiana CISMA Conference
August 17-20
In-person Meeting: Aug 17, 2022
Location: Indiana FFA Leadership Center, 6595 S 125 W, Trafalgar, IN 46181
In-person Field Events: Aug 18-20, 2022
Registration Fee: $25.00
Continuing education credits available via pre-recorded sessions
2022 Midwest Solar Survey
In the last year, there has been a noticeable increase in the development of commercial and utility scale solar in the Midwest. The rapid expansion creates opportunities for farmers and landowners, but also poses threats to farmland. The information collected from this survey will be used to better understand farmers' engagement with solar development and opportunities to create better solar programs.
AFT is seeking the input, opinions, and needs of farmers and landowners in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
All those who complete the survey will be entered to win a free AFT membership, and a chance to win a $60 gift card to the AFT store. The answers you provide will be kept anonymous and only shared in aggregate, so please share your honest feedback and opinions on all questions.
Please complete this survey before June 30th, 2022, to improve solar siting on farmland in your state!
Woodland Owner Nominations for Charles Deam Award, Now Open
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. This year you can submit a name online: https://forms.gle/FdtRsG27ixT8gBu78. Nominations can be made by any person or organization. Deadline June 15. The nominator should contact the landowner and get permission before making the nomination and provide basic contact information for the landowner. Self-nominations are not accepted. Any private landowner possessing 10 acres or more of woodland property within the state of Indiana and who has owned the property for no less than 1 full year is eligible. The owner must have a written forest management plan that has been approved by a professional forester.
Campaign in Your Community: Pollinator BioBlitz
Parks for Pollinators is a national campaign to raise awareness and community involvement in the pollinator crisis through local parks and recreation and like-minded organizations. This year, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is hosting the Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz as a month long campaign in September. BioBlitz's are a great way for conservation districts to engage their communities in a science project to explore the outdoors. The program is flexible and allows hosts to participate in whatever capacity works best for them, whether that be a three hour one-day event or a virtual month long campaign.
Xerces Newsletter
Agriinstitute Leadership Program (ALP) Golf Benefit
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. Your participation will support Indiana’s premier program for building leadership capacities for today and tomorrow in the agricultural and rural communities.
 September 1 at Hillview Country Club 
Tee Time: 12:00 Noon
Dinner approximately 5:00 p.m.
 Make plans now to be a part of this fun day.  Get your team together and register today. 
Strategies for Land Stewardship Summit June 21-22
in Walworth and Rock Counties, WI
Join farmers, farm advisors, conservation professionals, and university and agency representatives for a peer-to-peer learning opportunity that will provide practical insights and ideas about how to be successful and profitable with cover crops, no-till, and other soil and water conservation practices. We will tour two farms for an up-close look at conservation practices on the ground, followed by a half-day of presentations and discussion. 
This Summit is a collaboration of land grant universities in the Mississippi River Basin and welcomes attendees from any state in the Basin. 
Travel assistance is available for farmers – please contact Amanda Gumbert (amanda.gumbert@uky.edu) for details. Soil and water management CEUs (6 total) are available for certified crop advisors. There is no cost to register. 
Nature Play Days
From June 4-12, 2022 ICAN is encouraging groups across the state to make a special effort to get kids outside by holding a Nature Play Day event. These events can be anything from broad partnership, multi-day community events to a simple guided hike, loose parts play, or a meet-up at a playground. Large or small, free play or department led, the goal of Nature Play Days is to get kids outside and remind families that nature play is important and can happen close to home.
2022 Soil Health Nexus In-Service
Aug. 9-10, 2022
University of Minnesota
Southern Research and Outreach Center
35838 120th St.,
Waseca, MN 56093
Join educators from across the Midwest to build skills for communicating soil health concepts. In the field, we’ll evaluate soil changes after using different tillage and cover crop planting equipment, and practice using a penetrometer under different field conditions. Presentations will cover manure management and cover crop nutrient uptake.
Climate Intersections Conference: Taking Care of People, Water, and the Land
July 12-14, 2022 in Duluth, Minnesota
How can water professionals work with local communities effectively to foster resilience and equity in a changing climate?
Join us to explore this important question with fellow water professionals from land grant universities, nonprofits, government agencies, tribes, and the private sector across the North Central Region and beyond.
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:
May 30 - Memorial Day
Mary 31 - ICP Invasive Plant ID Training
June 2 - ICP Invasive Plant ID Training
June 2 - Get the Dirt: Soil Conference
June 3 - ICP Invasive Plant ID Training
June 3 - Poster Contest Deadline, IDEA
June 8 - RFF nominations due
June 14 - ICP annual webinar
June 20-26 - Pollinator Week
June 21 - ICP Invasive Plant ID Training
June 22 - ICP Invasive Plant ID Training
June 23 - ICP Invasive Plant ID Training
June 23 - Grant Writing workshop, ISDA
June 24 - ICP Invasive Plant ID Training
July 12 - Grant Management workshop, ISDA
July 28 - ISDA/NRCS/SWCD Partnership Meeting
July 29 - District Showcase Award applications due
July 31-August 3 - SWCS International Conference
August 23 - Summer District Meeting
August 25 - Summer District Meeting
August 29 - Summer District Meeting
August 31 - Summer District Meeting
Sept 7-8 - Indiana Water Summit
For a complete list of upcoming conservation events, go to the Events Calendar on the IASWCD website.*
*As more events begin to take place in person, please check the individual hosting organization's website and/or Facebook page for the latest information on locations, guidelines and details. Thank you.