Lisa Holscher may not be a name you recognize. But if you’ve attended any soil and water conservation field days about no-till and cover crops over the past several years, odds are good she had a hand in helping with the program, even if it was just providing advice.
Holscher, Petersburg, Ind., usually works behind the scenes as executive director of the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative. Formed a few years ago, it’s responsible for helping Indiana farmers interested in no-till and soil health network and learn from each other statewide.
Roger Wenning, president of the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, brought Holscher into the limelight for a moment during the annual IASWCD conference in January, when he presented her with the President’s Award. Wenning, Greensburg, Ind., is a no-till farmer and will continue serving as president of IASWCD in 2020.
“She’s a great friend of conservation, and a personal friend of mine,” Wenning told the audience. Wenning’s grandson, Travis, passed away from cancer in 2018.
“She was a comfort during that time and one of the reasons why I am here today as president,” he said. “She encouraged me to continue in leadership at a very difficult time.”
The President’s Award was the last official business of the IASWCD conference. Some 500 SWCD supervisors and conservation-minded farmers from across Indiana gathered for three days to learn more about various conservation-related issues, from working with nontraditional players in the conservation movement, such as Coca-Cola, to discovering possible ways to manage a changing climate in agriculture.
IASWCD held a breakfast for legislators during the event. IASWCD unsuccessfully sought a dramatic increase in funding for districts and conservation projects in 2019. Wenning notes that IASWCD leadership continues to educate legislators about the need and will bring another request forward for the 2021 budgetary legislative session.