The Vincennes University Jasper Campus Land Stewardship Project is entering its third year. Alan Smock, one of the supervisors of the Dubois County Soil and Water Conservation District, a partner in the initiative, says the project is seeking support from outside sponsors and ag-related businesses to speed up progress of the project.
The idea began when the president of VUJC wanted to work with the local SWCD to turn the land owned by the college at the site, more than 100 acres, into a kind of model of what could be done for conservation. Much has been done, but a lot remains to do, officials say.
So far the project has largely been funded by the Dubois SWCD, the Vincennes University Jasper Campus, owner of the farm, and sale of crops produced on the farm. Some soil conservation projects have been installed, cover crops have been used and the farm is being converted to no-till. However, Smock says additional sponsorship would help them make the farm into a demonstration site and a more educational setting faster.
If you drive by the campus now, the front area is a wetland and wildlife area. Most of the farmland is actually behind the campus buildings. That's where water and sediment control basins and other practices have been installed.
The VUJC Foundation, a 501c(3) organization, is accepting contributions to help with the project. In-kind donations from local businesses will also be accepted. You don't have to be from Dubois County or even southern Indiana to help.
The site has been and will continue to be used for field days, and to train soil conservation personnel in the southern Indiana area. The project is cooperating with the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative as a hub site.
To learn more or make a donation, email [email protected] or call 812-482-1171, ext. 3.