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Indiana Conservation Award Recipients Recognized Virtually
Indiana Ag Connection - 01/15/2021

During the closing ceremony of the annual conference of Indiana Soil & Water Conservation Districts, nine people and organizations were recognized for their efforts in protecting Indiana's natural resources.

Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, the conference was held online this year with over 400 attendees. Representatives from award sponsors, Brownfield Ag News, Indiana Farm Bureau and Indiana Prairie Farmer, were broadcasting live to honor these award recipients. The Conservation Farmer of the Year, Chalfant Family Farms, Inc., also participated live and answered questions from Kendall Culp, vice president of Indiana Farm Bureau.

Joe Schmees, Executive Director of the Indiana Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts (IASWCD), emceed this ceremony and offered a lighthearted congratulations to these hard-working districts, farmers and leaders.

Roger Wenning, the 2020 IASWCD Board President states, "This is one of my favorite parts of our annual conference. This is where we get to thank and congratulate these people and groups for their often-thankless work they do because they care. Our state receives so much benefit from their accomplishments and it's nice to honor them for protecting water quality, building soil health and providing services to their communities."

Among those recognized were:

- Earth Team Volunteer Award: Allana Whiteside, Bartholomew County, for her personal project of building a pollinator habitat structure placed at the Bartholomew County fairgrounds.

- Conservation Farmer of the Year Award: Chalfant Family Farms, Inc., Randolph County

- Friend of Conservation Award (non-profit category): Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Fund, Marshall County, for their outreach and education in the community that encourages conservation practices

- Friend of Conservation Award (individual category): Cassie Hauswald and Kathleen Hagan, Washington County for providing technical assistance and leadership in the local watershed

- District Showcase Award: Delaware County SWCD for their dam removal project along the White River in Muncie; Jennings County SWCD for their partnership and development of Tripton Park in North Vernon; and, Dubois/Martin/Daviess County SWCDs for their tri-county group efforts in eradicating invasive species.

- Supervisor of the Year Award: Robert "Butch" Embree for his leadership of the Grant County SWCD

- President's Award: Jamie Scott, Kosciusko County, for his advocacy of Soil & Water Conservation Districts on the state and federal levels.

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