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Serving: IN

Stalwart Conservation Leader Recognized

Jim Lake receives key award from IASWCD.

The Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts presented several impressive awards at their annual banquet in Indianapolis last week. But none was bigger than the President's award, given to Jim Lake, originally of Allen County.

Lake is a veteran conservation supporter and activist in Indiana. Currently he supports several districts in his role working for the Division of Soil Conservation within the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. Previously, he was a T by 2000 agronomic specialist associated with Purdue University and Clean Water Indiana. His entire career has been devoted to promoting innovative ideas in soil and water conservation within Indiana.

One of Lake's biggest attributes, cited by Jim Doerge, Posey County, IASWCD president as he presented the award, is Lake's ability to think outside the box and encourage conservation leaders in Indiana to try ideas that have worked elsewhere. He recently helped spur on conversations that led to the most recent training programs offered by the soil conservation partnership in Indiana. But his accomplishments range back three decades or more, Doerge notes.

Lake was also recognized by the Soil Conservation Society of America for an outstanding performance award in the summer of '07. That award was presented to him again in front of some 500 IASWCD supervisors and guests at the annual meeting.

The president's award is chosen by the current president of IASWCD, and is often given to an individual who helps out the president as a close advisor. This time, Doerge said he wanted to take a bigger scope, and select someone who has helped not only himself, but countless others in the entire soil conversation movement within Indiana for a number of years.

Lake and his brother, Greg, have long been recognized as outstanding soil conservation enthusiasts in northeast Indiana. Greg ahs spent his career working for the Allen County Soil and Water Conservation District, and has specialized in promoting innovative conservation tillage and no-till programs. That includes both test plots, sometimes extensive, plus field days to showcase the plots. And it also includes making new conservation tillage equipment available to area farmers to try through the aid of the district. Jim has often collaborated with his brother in supporting these efforts.
Greg and his step-son operate a large conservation tillage farming operation in Allen County.

Congratulations to Jim Lake, an excellent choice for another well-deserved recognition.

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