IASWCD logo transparent

Conservation INsight

News & Updates

April 3, 2024

View as Webpage

Join IASWCD on April 4 for a Recap of Participation in NACD's National Fly-In

LtoR: Eric Shideler, Liz Rice, Representative Yakum, and John Kruse

Indiana SWCDs -

Your state association (IASWCD) advocates for Indiana’s conservation priorities nationally through our affiliation with the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD). In March, Liz Rice, accompanied by John Kruse (N-SE Region Director) and Eric Shideler (Conservation Director, Vermillion County SWCD), traveled to Washington DC for NACD's annual fly-in. During the event, they engaged with members of Congress to address current conservation needs and highlight success stories from Indiana's SWCDs.

We hope you can join us via Zoom this Thursday, April 4 at 10 am (EDT) for a recap of their conversations with Congress members, their aides, and other stakeholders.



Friendly Reminder to SWCDs - Please Review Contact Information in Conservation Link

Districts - Now that Annual Meetings have concluded, would you kindly review your staff, supervisor, and office address listings in Conservation Link? These details aid in effectively disseminating information from IASWCD. We will be refreshing our databases in the upcoming months to ensure everyone is included. If you need assistance updating these lists, please reach out to your ISDA District Support Specialist. Thank you!

Nominate a River Friendly Farmer

Now through June 7, Indiana SWCDs can nominate a farmer for the River Friendly Farmer Award. This award is given annually to producers whose best farm management practices protect Indiana’s soil and water resources. Since 2000, over 1,100 Indiana farms have been recognized as 'River Friendly.'

Read More


Soil Health Newsletter

Latest issue

USH News

The Dirt: A Newsletter from Urban Soil Health

Latest issue


Resilient Indiana: Technical Assistance of SWCDs (RITA) Survey of SWCDs

RITA's purpose is to build the capacity of SWCDs and partners to promote climate change mitigation activities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve carbon storage on agricultural lands, resulting in improved ecological resilience of local agricultural enterprises and rural communities.

RITA consists of nearly a dozen Conservation Technicians to provide soil and water resource-related technical assistance to agricultural, woodland and urban land-users. RITA

Conservation Technicians are expected to primarily focus on SWCD projects as well as to integrate with the regional ICP Tech Team. Assistance will take many forms, but ultimately will be facilitating the application of measures that protect and enhance the quality of soil and water and other natural resources.

Completing this short survey will help us place the Conservation Technicians where they can be the most helpful to you.

Read More

Join NACD and the District and Partner Relations Committee for the next Conservation Coffee, a virtual learning and networking opportunity for districts and their partners!

On April 11 at 3:00 p.m. ET via Zoom, learn from Aimee Figgatt, NACD’s Stewardship and Education Coordinator, about NACD’s Stewardship Week (April 28-May 5) and the variety of free resources available to districts to support their programming. Aimee will also share information on other educational resources available through NACD.

Registration for the session is free and open to anyone with an interest in joining! If you're unable to attend live, the session will be recorded and shared later. Check out the previous coffees, as well as a variety of other recorded learning and networking sessions, on NACD’s YouTube channel. 


FSH Seeking Farmers for Cover Crop Assistance

Farmers for Soil Health (FSH) is on a mission to improve soil health and farm profitability. Working with farmers to expand their adoption of cover crops, FSH aims to have 30 million U.S. acres in cover crops by 2030.


As a partner, NACD is excited to share that FSH is currently accepting enrollments from farmers seeking assistance planting cover crops in 20 states: Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Read More

NACD Leads Letter Supporting Technical Assistance and Conservation Programs in Federal Spending Bill

Washington, D.C. – On March 29, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and a coalition of agriculture and conservation organizations sent a letter to the leaders of the U.S. House and Senate appropriations committees requesting at least $1.2 billion for NRCS Conservation Operations and full authorized funding for farm bill conservation programs in Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25). More than 80 conservation and agriculture groups signed the letter to support the requests. Conservation Operations funds Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA), which facilitates the implementation of on-the-ground conservation by supporting our conservation workforce, conservation planning, and the extension of specialized technical assistance to producers. “Funding for NRCS Conservation Operations was reduced in the final Fiscal Year 2024 spending bill, so it is critical that we make a strong case for reversing course as Congress develops FY25 appropriations bills,” said NACD President Kim LaFleur. 

Read more

USDA Seeks Partnerships to Expand Conservation on Grazing Lands

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing up to $22 million in partnerships that expand access to conservation technical assistance for livestock producers and increase the use of conservation practices on grazing lands. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting proposals through its Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative until Sunday, May 26, 2024.

Read More

Applications for USDA Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Grants Due April 9

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2024 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications for grants to support urban agriculture and innovative production. Applications for USDA’s Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production grants are due April 9, 2024 via grants.gov.

“This grant program has proven very popular and impactful in recent years, and we look forward to partnering with more communities nationwide to strengthen local food systems and increase access to healthy foods,” said Terry Cosby, Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which leads USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP). “These projects will add to the important work communities are doing to build food security in underserved areas.”

Read More

Indiana Agriculture Insider

ISDA Newsletter

Latest issue

My DNR: Indiana's Outdoor News

Latest issue

Woodland owner nominations accepted thru May 17 for Deam Forest Stewardship Award

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.


Nominations can be made by any person or organization. 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 one full year is eligible. The owner must have a written forest management plan that has been approved by a professional forester.


Nominate online at  https://forms.gle/CQa6wmZLHPETTP8T9.

Read More

Webinar: Phosphorus Management and Water Quality

Wednesday, April 10th at 2pm CT

Managing phosphorus to both meet crop needs and reduce P loss from agricultural fields is critical to managing water resources. This edition of The Current will focus on P management and water quality - the latest research on P transport modeling, and a review of ag BMPs and their efficacy for reducing P loss.


Featured Speakers:

  • Gurbir Singh, Assistant Professor and State Extension Specialist, Soil Science, Agroecology and Landscape Management, University of Missouri-Novelty
  • Rebecca Logsdon Muenich, Associate Professor, Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of Arkansas
  • Peter Tomlinson, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist for Environmental Quality, Kansas State University

Registration Open for MS4 Inspector Training

NPDES Training Institute will hold a 2-day Certification Training following the MS4 Annual Meeting. 

Thursday and Friday, May 16 & 17

Registration is open and the first 10 MS4 staff to register will receive a $200 Discount!

Read More

April 10th: Register for Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) Learning Exchange Webinar


April 10 - 2:30- 4:00 pm Eastern

The Source Water Collaborative is hosting a webinar entitled, “Demystifying How to Access Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) Funds for Source Water Protection and Natural Infrastructure.“ It is the second webinar in the SWC BIL Webinar Series. This webinar will showcase the wide array of technical assistance (TA) available to help eligible partners develop project plans and application materials to access funding for source water protection, including through the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs). Attendees will learn how to request TA support and hear about case studies from the New England Environmental Finance Center. This funding will deliver long term environmental and public health benefits, particularly to small, underserved, and/or disadvantaged communities.


SICIM's 2023 Annual Report

If you'd like to see what SICIM and all the Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMAs) in Indiana have been up to lately, check it out!


Inflation Reduction Act Community Change Grants Program

EPA’s new Environmental and Climate Justice Community Change Grants program (Community Change Grants) has announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for approximately $2 billion dollars in Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funds in environmental and climate justice activities to benefit disadvantaged communities through projects that reduce pollution, increase community climate resilience, and build community capacity to address environmental and climate justice challenges. These place-based investments will be focused on community-driven initiatives to be responsive to community and stakeholder input. They are designed to deliver on the transformative potential of the IRA for communities most adversely and disproportionately impacted by climate change, legacy pollution, and historical disinvestments.

Read more

Other News

Mini Grants Available

National Wildlife Federation is pleased to offer mini grants of up to $3,000 to host agricultural conservation events that lead to on-the-ground action in the Mississippi River Basin! We seek teams that can develop messages and events that use behavioral frames to appeal to farmers not currently implementing conservation practices. Teams must be willing to work with NWF on evaluation of the event and message.


For more details, please reach out to Cassidy Dellorto-Blackwell at dellortoblackwellc@nwf.org or 734-887-7150.

Read More

Featured Pledge:

Lawn Fertilizer

Fertilizer is food, but is your lawn hungry? Use too much, and it can escape your lawn and go on to feed runaway algae growth in our waterways. Take the action pledge below to make a commitment to protect water by reducing or eliminating fertilizer use on your lawn.

Read more

NCPP Survey: Deadline Extended to April 19

NCPP invites all employees to participate in a nationwide a survey that touches on the following topics: conservation planning process, certification, advancement, access, and barriers.


We would greatly appreciate your feedback in order to gather sufficient data to advance each partner’s mission. The results of the survey will be aggregated, and responses are confidential. A report of the findings along with recommendations will be developed and displayed on the NCPP’s website within 60 days of the survey’s closing. 


Science & Policy Forum: Water and Recreation

May 2 - 11:30 am via Zoom

Join us for the next event in our Science & Policy Forum Series with our partners at the Purdue University Institute for a Sustainable Future. This event will explore water and recreation in Indiana.

Water recreation contributes to Indiana’s economic prosperity, quality of life, and public health. In this Science & Policy Forum, we’ll consider the impacts of water recreation and the opportunities it presents as well as some ways we can promote and protect our enjoyment of Indiana’s water resources.

Read more

Xerces Newsletter

Latest issue

NCR-SARE Welcomes Liz Brownlee

NCR-SARE is pleased to announce Liz Brownlee's appointment as the new Coordinator for the Farmer Rancher Grant Program. Brownlee, who was born and raised in Indiana, brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to this role. 

Brownlee grew up in a farming community but became interested in sustainable agriculture through academics, first through a bachelor’s degree in biology from Hanover College in 2009 and then a master’s in Botany from the University of Vermont. 

Read more