The Indiana Association of Soil and Water Association Districts are currently holding their annual conference in Indianapolis, beginning today. Some 500 soil and water conservation district supervisors plus guests from all over Indiana are expected to attend.
The conference will include time for supervisors, either elected or appointed to their positions within their districts, to stress the need of soil and water conservation efforts to lawmakers. Obviously, this isn't the year that anyone will push hard for new funding. The long, budget-related session of the Indiana General Assembly was a year ago. Clean Water Indiana, the successor to T by 2000, established in 1986, did receive increased funding a year ago.
All the talk coming out of the legislature and from, the statehouse so far relates to property tax reform. But the dedicated soil and water conservationists plan to keep the importance of improving Indiana's soil and water conservation base on the legislator's minds.
The supervisors will attend sessions during the conference devoted to important soil conservation topics, plus they will receive training on how to better perform their roles as supervisors. Key leaders on the conservation front are expected to speak during the conference.
Tuesday evening features the annual IASWCD awards banquet. Those honored will include Outstanding Conservation Farmers of the Year, an award sponsored by Indiana Farm Bureau in cooperation with soil and water conservation districts. Also, the 2008 Master Farm Conservationists will be recognized. This award is so-sponsored by Indiana Prairie Farmer and the Indiana soil conservation partnership.
Master Farm Conservationist winners were recognized for their lifelong achievement in articles in the Conservation Section in the January '08 issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer. Recipients include Don Berger, Wayne County; Clarence Buechler, Dubois County; CJ Carman Loudon, deceased, Harrison County; John McCall, Daviess County; Jerry Risk, Tippecanoe County.
Loudon, a cattlemen from Depauw, north of Corydon, was killed in a farm accident in late August, after notification of his award. His wife and several of his children will accept the award for him Tuesday evening in Indianapolis, in his honor.