Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Local Leadership

By Geneva Tyler
District Support Specialist, Indiana State Department of Agriculture 

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.”  These words are credited to Roy E. Disney, nephew of the great Walt Disney, and while I may assume he uttered these words with the Magic Kingdom in mind, this statement continues to carry much truth.  I would also perhaps flip Mr. Disney’s statement around and say that our decisions also reflect our values, whether those decisions pertain to what we have for lunch, what we choose to do in our free time, what line of work we choose or how we care for our environment. 

Whether the only soil you claim is contained in a potted tomato plant on an apartment balcony or you have been blessed with thousands of acres to care for, how we value our natural resources becomes apparent in the decisions we make.  Our land and water are incredible assets here in the Midwest and our local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) provide great opportunities to have a voice in your community, make decisions regarding the natural resource concerns in your county, and influence decision makers, peers, and even the next generation.  Being led by 5 members of your community, the SWCD board members’ decisions reflect the values of the District and the continued mission that was handed them in  1937 by the State of Indiana.  While science and economics continue to influence farming practices and environmental stewardship, the desire to conserve soil, improve water quality and leave the general landscape healthier than when we came into it continue to be key values to Soil and Water Conservation Districts. 

 An empty lot has been transformed into a raised vegetable garden, Marion County.

 With the assistance of the SWCD, raingardens have been installed in many urban areas.

 Lamprey barrier on Trail Creek, LaPorte County. 

 A Benton County corn field after a rain shower.

Photo taken at Tipton County Fairgrounds at a Soil Health Workshop, one of many that are routinely offered around the state. 

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