The Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts will hold their awards banquet on Tuesday evening, Jan. 10 to recognize top achievers in soil conservation work during the past year. It's part of the 69th annual conference of supervisors to be held in Indianapolis next week.
One of the awards, new last year, is the Supervisor of the Year Award. Any of Indiana's 92 soil and water conservation districts can nominate someone for this award. There are more than 450 supervisors in the state. Ten will be recognized on stage during the banquet as nominees for supervisor of the year. It's based upon their work on behalf of soil and water conservation in their local community, and their efforts to promote protection of natural resources in general. The person selected as supervisor of the year, kept a secret until Tuesday night, will be announced from amongst the 10 finalists.
Indiana Prairie Farmer in conjunction with the soil and water partnership agencies and groups in Indiana sponsors the Outstanding Supervisor of the Year award. This person will be featured in a later issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer.
For many years Indiana Prairie Farmer sponsored the Master Conservation Farmer of the Year award. This was set aside as an award for someone who could document they had devoted their career over their lifetime to soil and water conservation, both on their own land and through support for soil and water conservation through community activities. Some 100 Hoosiers, most of whom had not been recognized in other ways and were quiet heroes, were recognized during the nearly 20 year run of the program.
That program was discontinued. However, Indiana Farm Bureau continues to honor the conservation Farmer of the Year. These tend to be younger individuals who have done great things for conservation, typically on their farm, but who haven't necessarily been at it for their entire career.When the Master Farm Conservationist program was discontinued, a provision was added to recognize someone with a career achievement award as well as the outstanding conservation farmer award if the judging committee felt it was warranted. This year, for the first time, someone will receive that dual distinction. It will also be announced during the Tuesday night banquet.